Since the first tweet went up last Wednesday on CrackBerry.com, there have been 318 posts on the topic, some expressing outrage and vowing to ditch their PlayBooks if sideloading is blocked.
Sideloading allows PlayBook users to have applications that aren’t written natively for RIM’s tablet. There’s a long list including Netflix, Skype and Kindle.
PlayBook’s recent OS 2.0 upgrade allows approved Android apps to be available through BlackBerry AppWorld. PlayBook owners had been waiting months to see a flood of Android apps written for PlayBook to suddenly appear, but developers have been slow to convert their products.
The response was immediate. Below are a few snippets from the debate on CrackBerry.com. Click here for the full thread.
–“I refuse to jump ship,” wrote DAnklaud, “but they are making me “walk the plank” with this behavior.
–“As a developer I think it's bad for eco-system because it’s another problem to the developer wanting to quickly test things (especially while working on many devices),” wrote a poster with the name Magnesus. “I often put my Android apps on Dropbox to quickly test it on all my Android devices without connecting every one of them. Without sideloading it would be pain in the you-know-what. But I'm only a small developer, I don't know what others think.
–“Unless RIM can convince devs and help speed up the process of porting android apps and the likes to the PB, they stand no chance in this market (both smartphone and tab) and when/if they disable side loading,” wrote SumthinNew.
–“The problem is that as long as sideloading can freely be done by anyone, native PlayBook apps can be pirated with effectively no effort at all,” wrote peter9477. “There are many leading PlayBook apps which have lost probably thousands of dollars in sales because of piracy, and RIM is taking steps to help protect their developers from that.
— “This discussion has been around for a while,” said conix67. I firmly believe disabling side loading does benefit developers in general, and a totally necessary move when RIM is trying to make PB/BB10 more attractive platform for developers. Developers want that security when investing in PB/BB10 platform. Making their work easily pirated won't encourage them at all. More developers = more apps => benefit to consumers.”