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Personally, I think BlackBerry’s new Z10 full touch smartphone is the best product it’s ever launched. Slick, fast, button-free and iPhone-pretty, the Z10 is a bold step for a company seen as locked in the past. There is one issue though, a glaring one that I’ll touch on in my review: there’s a serious lack of quality apps on BB10 OS. Skype, Whatsapp and Instagram are nowhere to be found. So what’s a geek to do? Easy, sideload Android apps onto the BB Z10. This is how you get Whatsapp, Skype, Instagram, Flipboard and everything else for the BlackBerry Z10. Read on!
First off, this is a Windows PC sideloading guide. It is possible to sideload Android apps onto a Z10 via a Mac, but it’s troublesome. It’s an hour of fiddling versus ten minutes of setting up a Windows PC. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Once I’ve successfully gotten the Mac sideloading technique down, I’ll update this story
You’ll need a few applications before connecting your BB Z10.
- DDPB installer – This is an app installer for the PlayBook, but works as well on the Z10.
- There’s also the chance that you’ll need that hideous .NET software package.
- What is a must is Java, so if you don’t have it installed, you should.
Now it’s the Z10’s turn.
- Go to phone settings, security, development mode. Turn development mode “ON” and take note of the IP address.
- Open up DDPB installer on the PC, the screen will look like this:
Now, plug in the BB Z10, let the Windows PC install the drivers and wait for the computer to pickup the Z10.
- Keep the DDPB window open and once the Z10 has connected, click “scan” to pick up the IP address of your device.
- Select the corresponding IP address, enter your password and click “connect.”
A window pops up saying “connecting”. Once that’s finished, no further windows pop up. From here, you add in the converted Android apps (BAR files), select them and click “install”. DDPB installs the software onto the Z10 and the app should appear in the last window.
Note: When you’re finished installing apps, it’s wise to turn off developer mode.
Now as for the converted apps, we’re not going to tell you how to download BAR files or convert Android APK’s to BlackBerry BAR apps at this stage. Watch out for a later article on the pros and cons of converting APK to BAR.
That’s it, you can ditch your Android and iPhone, now knowing full well that the Z10 can support most if not all the popular apps. Yes, the best apps will eventually come to the Z10 (Whatsapp is due this month and Skype sometime “soon“), but until then, you don’t have to waste time fussing about. Oh, here’s proof that it works. Screenshot is of my Z10.