The tutorial below will help you on how to run Android applications on PlayBook just like regular PlayBook applications. Although many of the apps are already available on BlackBerry App World, but the can be some which you are looking for and are still not available on App World, so you can chose to go through below process to getting the Android Market and other Android apps running on your BlackBerry PlayBook.
Note: To get Android Market on BlackBerry Playbook, your PlayBook should be rooted.
Check this tutorial to root / jailbreak BlackBerry PlayBook.
Without root access you won’t be able to install the necessary files using a free tool called WinSCP. Once the PlayBook is rooted then you can use an application called DDPB to sideload a single Android app to your PlayBook. You will use Honeycomb Launcher to initialize the Android system on the PlayBook.
After that you will use WinSCP application along with a bundled app called PuTTYgen to gain access to the root directories on the BlackBerry tablet. Then you will download the latest version of Cyanogen Google apps to install to your PlayBook so that you shall be able to start the Android OS and gain access to the Android Market. So this is the summary of what we are going to do in next steps and after that we shall be able to install any Android app on PlayBook.
It is required to root your PlayBook on OS 126.96.36.19969 and don’t upgrade to 188.8.131.5249 version after rooting you can upgrade to this version.
Download the following programs on you Windows computer and keep them in one folder preferably on desktop.
Attach your device to the computer using the USB cable and just start an Android App on the PlayBook i.e. Angry Birds.
Ensure that the Development Mode is Turned On
On your PlayBook tap the gear icon in the upper right corner —> from the list on the left and below Storage & Sharing, tap Security —> From the list that appears on the right, tap Development Mode —> Set the slider tab sitting next to User Development Mode to On. You’ll be prompted to enter your password before the developer mode can be set.
Take a look at Development Address, which you shall need later. It is usually best to leave it set at the default setting of 169.254.0.1.
Install DDPB and the Honeycomb Launcher
First install DDPB and Run the application. Enter your development address and PlayBook password in the boxes on the left. (Refer to below screen image)
- In the DDPB application, click the Add button.
- Browse to find the Honeycomb Launcher application that you downloaded earlier, select it, and click Open (or OK).
- The application will now appear in that area on the right. Click the box beside the HoneyCombLauncher (HCL) name so that a check appears.
- At the bottom of DDPB, click Install.
- After a few moments, the HCL Updater application will appear on your PlayBook.
- Tap it to launch the app.
- Select Honeycomb Launcher when prompted with the “Complete action using” dialog box.
- Once the app has started, close it and also close DDPB.
Prepare and connect with WinSCP
In next step we will use WinSCP to transfer Cyanogen Google apps files to the PlayBook. Included with these files is the Android Market the platform to download many Android applications. Before we can get started with WinSCP, we’ll need to generate the security keys that will allow it to connect to the PlayBook.
Making keys with PuTTYgen
PuTTygen is also installed with the WinSCP so before running WinSCP just run the puTTygen, you will see the below screen. In PuTTYgen, click the Load button. Browse to the key that DingleBerry created during the jailbreaking process. This will be in your DingleBerry folder.
After navigating to your DingleBerry folder, it may appear to be empty; it is not. At the bottom of the window, change the box that reads, “PuTTY Private Key Files (*.ppk)” so that it says “All files (*.*). Select the rsa file; make sure you do not select rsa.pub. Click Open or Okay.
Now that the key has been successfully imported into PuTTYgen, we need to save it so that WinSCP can use it. Click Save private key (not public key), and click Yes when the program warns you about saving keys without a passphrase. Make sure you leave the file type as PuTTY Private Key Files (*.ppk). Give the name to the file and Save. Once the key has been saved, you can close PuTTYgen.
Connecting with WinSCP
Open WinSCP on your computer. Click on “Session” in the upper left of the program. Use the boxes to enter information about your connection as mentioned below the image:
- Host Name: 169.254.0.1 (the default value when turning on your PlayBook’s development mode)
- Port: 22 (default)
- User name: devuser
- Password: (leave blank)
- Private Key file: click the button with the three dots (…) on the right and browse to find and open the .ppk file which you saved with PuTTYgen in previous step.
- File protocol: SCP
Towards the bottom of the WinSCP program, you’ll see a check box for Advanced options; click it. Select SCP/Shell from the expanded list on the left. Complete the requested information as mentioned below.
- Shell: /tmp/setuidgid root /bin/sh – Note the space before and after “root”
- Return code variable: Autodetect (default)
- Uncheck to box marked “Lookup user groups”
Click Save to store your settings for future use in case you use WinSCP to access your PlayBook again. Before you can successfully connect using WinSCP, you’ll need to make sure a connection to the PlayBook is active. The easiest way to do this is to start Dingle SSH. In order to make active connection with WinSCP, start the DingleBerry rooting tool and click Dingle SSH and click Connect at the bottom of the next screen.
A command window will open and should give you the same # that you saw when you first rooted your PlayBook.
Return to WinSCP. Make sure the information you just saved is highlighted, and click Login. The software will connect with your attached PlayBook.
Copying Cyanogen Google Apps files
Once logged in, WinSCP is split into two panels. The panel on the right contains all of the files and folders of your PlayBook; the Panel on the left contains the folders and files of your computer. At this time, go ahead and unzip the gapps-gb-20110828-signed.zip file. These are your Cyanogen Google apps files. Make sure you get all of the folders unzipped to somewhere you can easily find it, like the desktop.
In the panel on the right – the PlayBook panel – keep double-clicking the three dots until you reach the root of the tablet where you will see folders like accounts, air, and apps. In the left panel, do the same thing to find your unzipped Google apps folder.
Click on the System folder in the left panel (the one from your computer). From the Files menu at the top, select Copy… You should get a confirmation window that looks like this. If the message is different, stop and try again. Now you must copy the System folder to the root directory of the PlayBook. You’ll get a message warning you that the directory already exists on the PlayBook. This is normal and expected. Click Yes or Yes to All.
The Last Steps
In the right pane of WinSCP (the PlayBook pane) and from the root directory that you should already be in, go to (root)/system/app/ To do that, Double click the system folder, then double click the app folder. Inside that folder, find the file SetupWizard.apk. Click on that file once to select it, then press the delete key. Choose OK when asked to confirm that you want to delete the file SetupWizard.apk.
Return to the root directory of the PlayBook and open the apps folder by double-clicking it.
Find the folder called sys.android.[really_long_string_of_characters].ns and open by double clicking.
Double click the Native folder to open it, and then open the scripts folder and now you will be in the folder (root)/apps/sys.android.[RLSoC]/native/scripts
Find the file android-player.cmd.sh, right click on it, move your mouse down to where it says Custom Commands, and choose execute.
Do the same thing with the file: kill-android-core.sh (Do not confuse this with kill-android-apps.sh; You need to kill the core.)
Restart your PlayBook
- After you restart your BlackBerry PlayBook, you will have access to the Android Market.
- First start the HCL Updater which will start the Android OS on your PlayBook.
- In the Android environment window Tap the Apps button
- Find Market Place in the list of available apps once you will tap it you will be asked about the Google account, give your username and password and enjoy.
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