Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 9th Apr 2012 12:02 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless RIM has announced it's going to remove the PlayBook's ability to sideload applications. The company claims it's to prevent the piracy problems in the "chaotic cesspool of Android Market". However, the company provided no evidence, studies, or whatever to back up their claims. Considering the state of RIM's business, I'd say the company has bigger fish to fry, but alas. At this point, I'm just hoping they don't do a BeOS, but open the QNX code before they go belly-up.
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Comment by grantpalin
by grantpalin on Mon 9th Apr 2012 21:24 UTC
grantpalin
Member since:
2011-02-11

As a Playbook user since last summer, I both appreciate this news and worry about the aftereffects.

It's no secret that the AppWorld selection has not been on par with other platforms, though it has steadily improved since the initial release last year - more apps, better apps, useful apps. I don't need half a million apps, I just need the ones I can use day-to-day. I don't use Skype or Netflix, so their absence does not bother me.

That said, I can appreciate what the side-loading ability has done to bolster the app options. I've used the ability to sideload apps that are freely available, yet are not in AppWorld. The loss of this ability will severely curtail the app options.

I do see the rationale behind this move, in reducing use of pirated apps (I've seen numerous requests in the CrackBerry forums for help in converting paid Android apps), and to provide some solace to would-be developers concerned about app piracy.

The possible upside of this move is that app developers may feel better about developing for the Playbook with piracy out of the picture. On the other hand, if developers simply weren't interested before, the perspective may not change after.

Time will reveal the result of this move. It could be good, or it could be bad. Makes me even more interested in working on an app or two for the Playbook.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by grantpalin
by Alfman on Mon 9th Apr 2012 22:17 in reply to "Comment by grantpalin"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

grantpalin,

"The possible upside of this move is that app developers may feel better about developing for the Playbook with piracy out of the picture. On the other hand, if developers simply weren't interested before, the perspective may not change after."

You're comment covered two possibilities but ignored another: some developers are put off by monopolized app distribution channels. I thought the possibility should be mentioned since it covers most open source guys and some proprietary ones who'd rather market and distribute themselves.


Anyways, I personally feel DRM is mostly evil and hurts legitimate users more than anyone else by curtailing fair use rights, etc. Never the less, as misguided as I find DRM to be on both technical and moral fronts, I do understand the motivation of executives to buy into it. However if RIM's intention was just to offer better copy protection, it should just offer it's DRM API's to all developers regardless of sideloading.

Edit: I'm assuming RIM has DRM at all, but I suppose it might not have any DRM to offer developers? I don't know, but time and time again the solution is to improve sandboxing rather than to disable sideloading.

Edited 2012-04-09 22:26 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2