Blackberry World has an impressive list of apps for you to download, over 70,000 available right now. Unfortunately, there are a lot of apps still unavailable on the platform. If you made the transition from Android or iOS to Blackberry, then you surely lost some of your favorite apps in the process. They will come to BB10 eventually, just give it some time and be patient. Google Play and the App Store didn’t accumulate all apps in their catalogs overnight, it took some time.
Luckily, Blackberry 10 has a nifty feature that allows you to side load Android apps. If you’re familiar with side loading apps onto the Blackberry Playbook, then you already know how to install Android apps on a Z10, it’s essentially the same process.
Since the tutorial is a little lengthy, we’ll get right to it. There are some initial steps you’ll need to get out of the way before we get started though. First things first, before you try this you’ll need to make sure you have the following: a Windows or Mac, a USB cable, an alcoholic beverage of choice and the appropriate software below.
Preparing for the Task
Obviously, make sure you have the latest version of Blackberry 10 installed on your device first (you probably do). Next, you’ll need to download some resources to your computer.
- Install the correct Java Runtime Environment for your computer- Here
- Install the DDPB installer (you may also need .NET frameworks)- Here
- Download converted .Bar or .Zip files- Here
Next, you have to activate Developer Mode on your Blackberry 10 Playbook or Z10. The process for doing so is remarkably similar to enabling the USB debugging options, or .APK installation from unknown sources, in Android.
To do this, navigate to: Settings > Security and Privacy > Development Mode
Tap the On/Off button to enable Dev Mode (make sure it’s set to ON)
A screen will appear, that asks for your device password, and if you don’t have one it will ask you to create one. REMEMBER YOUR PASSWORD.
Installing the Apps
Now that, the preliminary stuff is out of the way, we can get right to installing those Android apps. Go ahead and connect your Blackberry 10 device to your computer. If you’ve connected your BB10 to your computer before, then Blackberry Link will load automatically. If you don’t have Link installed don’t worry because we’re just going to close it anyways. You can also close the pop up on your BB10 device, it’s just telling you it successfully connected to the PC.
Once the device is all connected, start up the DDPB program (which you should have downloaded and installed in the previous step). It will ask you to input the IP address for your Blackberry, in the field “IP Development Mode,” but if it doesn’t you can just click scan. The IP address is the password you assigned for your device earlier, hopefully you remember it (I did warn you).
The next step, installing apps on the device, is pretty easy. Just click the “Add” button and it will ask you to locate the install file. Choose one of the .BAR or .ZIP files that you downloaded earlier, and it will be added to the application list. Tick the box next to the applications you would like installed on your Blackberry, (if enabled it will show a check mark in the box next to the application name). When you finish selecting all the apps you want, just click on “Install”.
If the operation is successful, a pop up will appear that displays “done”. Provided you completed all the necessary steps, you should now see the apps in your BB10 app list. If you don’t see the apps on your device, go back and make sure you entered the correct password.
That’s it! When it’s all said and done, it’s not particularly difficult to side load apps on a BB10 device. Keep in mind though, these apps were not developed for BB10 so they may be buggy or have issues. You did enable a developer mode feature, after all, which means it’s a work in progress.
Enjoy your new apps!
Featured Image: Inside Blackberry