updated 11:20 pm EDT, Mon April 9, 2012
BlackBerry to strike balance in app sideloading
RIM's Developer Relations VP Alec Saunders on Monday clarified his position on restricting sideloading on the BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry 10. He noted that, rather than blocking a manual transfer of an app from PC to device, RIM would be encrypting apps to prevent bootlegged copies while still allowing legitimate sideloads from developers and end users who'd downloaded the title. He indirectly positioned it as a balance between Apple's mostly locked down view and the loosely checked Android method.
"Side-loading is a developer feature," he said. "It exists so that developers can load their apps onto their own devices to test. It's there so developers can send a beta release to their testing community for review. It is definitely not there for some people to side load a pirated app."
Saunders explained the earlier implications of an outright ban as a virtue of Twitter. Although he had the opportunity to explain more, the short nature cut out much of what was specifically happening. "140 characters doesn't allow for nuance," he said.
The stance, while more flexible than once thought, doesn't change Saunders' view of Android apps. He called the platform a "chaotic cesspool" that purportedly led to rampant piracy. Many paid developers do develop for iOS first over Android out of a belief, if not first-hand experience, that piracy would be too common.