Rating: We have tested this on PlayBook but not BB10 yet
With release 2.0 of the BlackBerry Playbook OS back in 2012, we first saw an ability to run Android apps on BlackBerry hardware. There is, of course, a big catch. The apps don’t run inside an emulator as you might expect. They have to be converted from a native APK format for Android into a BAR format for a PlayBook. Now BlackBerry was obviously hoping that scores of developers who had created apps for the Android marketplace (via Google Play) would take the time to do the hard work of such conversions. However, this hasn’t really happened. So it is now down to enthusiasts to convert the apps themselves. And one of the best places for finding such apps is on a forum run by the people behind the Good e-reader. See here.
Now one of the main reasons for wanting to run an Android app on a BlackBerry is the fact that Skype has never released a global client for its VoIP/video service.
It only supplied one specially for Verizon in USA as well as Telkonsel.
Our efforts to run the Skype app converted to BAR on a BlackBerry PlayBook bore few fruit, however. The VoIP/video capabilities simply didn’t work.
It was possible to get the Skype IM (Instant Messaging) facility running on the PlayBook but we wouldn’t bother it is much easier to run imo (for BlackBerry here).
Imo is just a really good IM client for multiple systems.
Another reason for trying to run Android apps on the Playbook was a desire to utilise a cloud storage system and the Dropbox service in particular. That worked.
One last bit of explanation. Installing apps onto a BlackBerry device using this method is technically known as ‘side-loading’.
In essence, you are downloading the apps to a desktop’s hard disk and then transferring them across to the BlackBerry device.
But you need an ‘installer’ for your PC for this. We followed Good e-reader’s directions and installed a package called DDPB to perform this very trick.
Here‘s the web site for Dauden which produced the DDPB application if you can’t find it elsewhere.
Best of luck.