Because while it’s certainly cool that PlayBook OS 2 lets you run repackaged Android apps that have been converted to RIM’s .BAR format, it’s way cooler to just install them as if you’re using a regular old Android device via the Market. It’s also a lot easier and makes a wider selection of Android apps available for the PlayBook.
Update: This guide only works with a BlackBerry PlayBook running OS 2.0 beta. If you’re running a newer version of the operating system, there’s not currently a way to jailbreak your device, and the steps below will not work.
Update 2: It’s unlikely the dingleberry tool will be updated to supports PlayBook OS 2.0 or newer software anytime soon. The dingleberry website now redirects to the jailbreak.me blog.
If you haven’t already rooted your PlayBook and installed PlayBook OS 2 beta, go do that now before attempting to install the market. You won’t get anywhere if you skip those two steps.
You’re also going to need an SCP client like WinSCP (use the first link labelled ‘installation package’) and PuTTYgen. Download and install them on your computer before following the steps below, too.
The following instructions assume you’re using a Windows computer, because for now the only way to root a PlayBook is to use a Windows PC.
It’s also worth noting that you’ll need a PlayBook running OS 2 beta for this to work, since DingleBerry cannot yet jailbreak the final version of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0.
1. Download the current Google Apps package from CyanogenMod.
2. Extract the contents of the .zip file (you’ll need them later).
3. Download an Android launcher app packaged as a .bar file from PlayBook Bars and install it using DDPb Installer (mentioned on the PlayBook OS 2 tutorial. (Just choose any of the apps with “Launcher” in the name such as Android Launcher, Launcher, or the Honeycomb Launcher).
4.Tap your launcher app to initialize the Android Player on your PlayBook (it should appear on your PlayBook homescreen near the bottom).
5.Launch PuTTYgen on your computer, press the load button, and browse to your Dingleberry folder. Change the file type dropdown to all files and double click the file rsa to select it.
6.Click OK when you see the PuTTYgen notice above and then click save private key. Name your file something easy to remember (like playbook.psk) and save it.
7. Log into your playbook as root with an scp client (eg: WinSCP for windows). Use your PlayBook’s IP address for the host name and root for the username. Under private key file, click the … button and browse to (and select) the playbook.psk file you just saved in PuTTYgen.
8. When the WinSCP file explorer opens, your computer appears on the left and the PlayBook appears on the right. In the left pane, browse to the folder where you extracted the CyanogenMod Google apps.
9. Copy the META-INF and system folders to the root directory of your PlayBook (the system folder will merge with the existing system folder on your PlayBook).
10. In the right pane, browse to /system/app/ and delete SetupWizard.apk. Now click the folder icon with the up arrow (again, in the right pane)
11. Again in the right pane, browse to /apps/sys.android.XXXX.ns/native/scripts [enter]. XXXX is different for every PlayBook, and it’s a LONG number.
12. Once you’ve changed directories, click the black box icon that says HOM to open a command prompt in WinSCP.
13. Type ./android-player-cmd.sh kill-android-core.sh [enter] to kill the current Android Player process on your PlayBook.
14.Launch the launcher app you installed in step 3.
15. Using the launcher app, tap through to the full apps listing (often in the top right corner of a launcher’s main screen). Tap Android Market (or another Google app), and enter your Google account details.
16. If Google logs you in, you’re done! If not, retrace your steps.
Bear in mind, not every app you download from the Market is going to work.
While the PlayBook can run Android apps, some of the ones you try to install may be dependent upon libraries or frameworks that aren’t included by RIM (like the Google Maps framework, which is missing and prevents apps like Current from working).
Also note that Android apps don’t have access to the PlayBook’s cameras just yet, though that could certainly change when PlayBook OS 2 is released in February.
Latest BlackBerry PlayBook news and tips:
- BlackBerry PlayBook tablet won’t get any more significant updates
- Why the BlackBerry PlayBook is still worth buying
- BlackBerry PlayBook is never getting BlackBerry 10 software update
- Lilbits (5-14-2013): The future of BlackBerry tablets
- BlackBerry CEO Thorstein Heins sees no future for tablets