Install Android Apps on Your New BlackBerry 10

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BlackBerry’s new app store — called BlackBerry World — has debuted for new BlackBerry 10 handsets like the Z10 (which I told you about a few weeks ago). The store has an impressive 70,000 apps, but even so, that’s a far cry from the more than 700,000 which are available for phones like Android and iOS.

Thankfully, you can actually install some Android apps on your BB 10 device without much effort. Our friends at CrackBerry recently posted a valuable guide, and so I’ll riff on that to walk you through the steps for installing Android apps on a BlackBerry 10 device using a Mac. And fret not: The PC instructions are easy to find online, too.

Keep in mind that you can’t simply install an Android APK file, which is the file required to install an application on an Android phone. Instead, Blackberry 10  relies on a .BAR file. But that’s okay: A lot of popular apps have already been converted. A simple Google search for an Android app followed by “. BAR” should provide the link you need. Here’s the one for Google Maps, for example.

These steps might look a little intimidating, but they’re pretty easy to do — just give it a shot!

Step 1: Before we get started, you’ll need to make sure you’ve installed the special BlackBerry PlayBook app (that’s the BlackBerry’s tablet software that’s capable of running Android apps) on your Mac. You can find the tools on Hatax. Unzip the file and install it anywhere.

Step 2: Open the folder that you just unzipped, copy the files in the lib folder, and paste them into your Playbook_Tools folder. Easy as pie.

Step 3: Make sure your BlackBerry Z10 is in Developer mode. (Don’t worry, you don’t actually have to be a developer.) Here’s how: head over to the Settings menu then open Security and Privacy and simply tap Development Mode to “On.” Set a password and write it down.

Step 4: Jot down the “Development IP Address” listed in the menu under Development Mode. You’ll need this later.

Step 5: Take the cable that came in the box with your BlackBerry Z10 and plug it into the USB port on your Mac.

Step 6: Open Finder on your Mac (or simply head to the Search bar on the top-right of your screen). Type in “Terminal” and open it.

Step 7: In terminal, type “cd platybook_tools” and then tap your Enter key. Now, type “java –Xmx512M –jar BarDeploy.jar –installApp – device [ENTER YOUR DEVICE IP HERE] –password [ENTER YOUR PASSWORD HERE] GoogleMaps.bar.” Enter your device IP from the development mode settings and the password you set. Don’t use the brackets, and use the name of the .BAR file you’re trying to install. In this case, I used GoogleMaps.bar as an example.

Step 8: Unplug your device and look on the phone for the application you just installed. It should be right there, ready to roll.

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