We just started testing BlackBerry’s new Q10 smartphone, the one we’ve been holding out for since it’s the full physical QWERTY keyboard we’ve been missing so much. We used the Z10 for a while, but now that we’re revisiting a new BlackBerry we decided to figure out how to get some of the more popular Android applications on the phone. BlackBerry’s App World doesn’t offer a lot of key software, including Netflix, Spotify, Instagram and, yes, even Candy Crush Saga.
The good news? You can easily find and install the required .BAR files. We went over to BB10Bars.net where there are hundreds of available applications. And, thankfully, CrackBerry recently posted a how-to guide that makes it super easy to install a .BAR file right from your browser. We’ll walk you through those steps now.
Step 1: Download the .BAR Files
This is easy. Simply search for and download the .BAR files for the applications you want. We went looking for a few, including Netflix, Instagram, Candy Crush Saga, Google Maps, Spotify and some others. While we found some of them, we ran into a few problems down the road. We’ll address that in a bit.
Step 2: Download PlayBook App Manager
This is a Chrome extension and you can find it in the Chrome Web store. Here’s a link: PlayBook App Manager. Keep the page open and make sure you’ll bookmark it. We’ll come back to this in a second. Basically, this is just used to sideload the applications to your BlackBerry without having to use complicated software. It’s incredibly easy to use, so don’t let the screenshot turn you off.
Step 3: Get into Development Mode
Again, this is super easy. Simply open up system settings on your Z10 or Q10 and navigate to “security and privacy” and then tap “development mode.” Once you’re inside this menu you’ll want to put your device in development mode and then note the IP address listed. Next, plug your BlackBerry into your computer using a USB cable. If you’re prompted to install drivers or BlackBerry Link make sure you do so.
Step 4: Link the PlayBook App Manager with your BlackBerry
Open up the PlayBook App Manager Chrome extension (remember, we had you bookmark it for a reason). Enter in the IP address that was listed on your BlackBerry in development mode. Click save. Next, click the link for the IP address that was generated under “Manage your device.” You’ll be presented with a crazy looking screen that shows all of the apps currently on your device, but you don’t need to pay attention to that.
Step 5: Install the .BAR files
Remember the .BAR files you downloaded for Netflix, Instagram, Spotify and other apps? Here’s where they come into play. Simply tap “Install apps” and navigate to the .BAR files that are saved on your computer. The Chrome plugin will take care of the rest, and you’ll see the status of the installation of each file. When you’re finished, unplug your BlackBerry and navigate to the home screen.
Voila! Easy as pie. You should now see the applications on your BlackBerry Z10 or BlackBerry Q10 homescreen. The only issue? Some .BAR files don’t always work. That’s the caveat here: these aren’t officially supported, so you’re going to run into speed bumps. We found that Spotify and Candy Crush Saga had some issues, but Netflix and Instagram are cruising along just fine. Let us know what apps you find, or if you have a solution to our Spotify issue!