Sideloading is a great way for PlayBook owners to get more Android apps on their tablets while they wait for native versions to be released. But for Research In Motion, it’s becoming a developer-relations problem at a time when maintaining good ties is paramount.
The growing list of paid Android applications being repackaged as free ones that can be run on the PlayBook is causing their creators some dismay. Which is understandable. It doesn’t take much to repackage an Android app for PlayBook and once it’s repackaged it’s quite easy to distribute and easily pirated.
For developers, that means lost revenue and, potentially, bruised reputations — if the repackaged app doesn’t perform as it should. And for RIM, which is hellbent on creating a thriving developer ecosystem around the PlayBook, that’s bad news indeed.