RIM Takes A Page From Sony’s Handbook, To Begin Removing Features In The Name Of Security.

RIM appears to be taking a page out of Sony’s update/upgrade handbook — moving forward, updates to the BlackBerry PlayBook ecosystem will remove the app sideloading feature currently allowed by RIM. The move, according to Developer Relations VP Alec Saunders, is in reaction to concerned developers who cite the Android Market’s (Google Play) “rampant piracy problem” and lack of revenue because of said problem. By Sanders’ account, roughly 1/4 of Android’s downloaded apps are pirated (though no hard data/sources were given). Naturually, Sanders (and RIM) don’t want this; they want to more closely emulate the very tightly controlled, more secure iOS ecosystem.

Sanders was quick to point out that developers needing access to sideloading apps for testing purposes would be given a “new solution”. For customers, however, the backdoor access to app installs is essentially on its last leg.

Before you lob bricks at our heads for the title — it’s a joke. Well, implying that Sony only provides updates that remove features isn’t. That’s a fact. RIM Taking a similar approach, however, is at least based in reality.

We’re 50/50 on the decision. We understand end users’ grief with having a feature taken away from them after the fact — a feature that has been a marketed “plus” over the competition. Sideloading is an awesome tool for the consumer to have in their cabinet for times in which RIM either denies an app (for non-malicious reasons of course) or the developer simply doesn’t want to distribute via RIM’s own store. On the flip side, we sympathize with developers who have lost hundreds to thousands of dollars on pirated software. Either way you slice it, someone is going to be upset while someone gains something new to smile about.

Another thing to consider — RIM’s entire existence has been built around security. Sideloading apps does provide an easy door for bad apps to get in, take control of consumers’ PlayBooks and cause a massive headache for security-concsious RIM. Still, we’re not sure this is the best way of going about it.

PlayBook owners: What do you say? The sunsetting of sideloading apps a pro or a con for the PlayBook/BlackBerry ecosystem overall?

Via: CrackBerry

  • Nemasus

    I prefer to pay a few cents/dollars for an app officially available on the RIM’s AppWorld. I have tried a few android apps such as the Kindle reader for Android, and although they were free, some did not work properly and took away something from the great experience that the PlayBook offers.

    RIM needs to provide incentives for developers to port their applications to BB OS10 and have them published on AppWorld  for free for example.