There’s no official Netflix app for BB10, but luckily it’s dead easy to get Breaking Bad blasting away on your BlackBerry.
Thanks to a number of workarounds you can get the popular streaming service up and running on your phone in a matter of minutes.
Some of the methods we’ll take you through are easier than others and depending on what phone you’ve got, results may vary. If it’s not possible to get Netflix working in the first instance, try all avenues before throwing in the towel.
Here’s how we did it.
How to watch Netflix on BlackBerry 10 phones – install Amazon Appstore
By far the easiest way to get Netflix on a BB10 phone is to install Amazon Appstore.
To do this you’ll need to head over to this page in your phone’s browser, hit download and follow the instructions.
If you haven’t already ducked into the settings and set your phone up to download apps from outside of the BlackBerry World app store, that’s OK. You’ll be prompted to do so when you try to install Amazon Appstore.
Either way, it couldn’t hurt to do that in advance, so if you want to enable this setting first you’ll need to head to Settings > App Manager > Installing Apps and move the switch to ‘On’.
Once you’ve got Amazon Appstore downloaded and installed, it’s a simple case of opening the Appstore, logging in with your Amazon ID and typing ‘Netflix’ into the search field.
And that’s it.
Note that this won’t always deliver the goods for you. In our tests we found that on the BlackBerry Classic and Q10, Netflix wasn’t showing up. If it’s also not working for you, try Snap.
How to watch Netflix on BlackBerry 10 phones – install Snap
Snap is a Google Play client, essentially a mirror version of the app store that’s baked in to virtually every Android device.
This lets you download and run most Android apps – including Netflix – on BB10 devices.
Sounds great, but how do you get Snap working on your phone? You’ll need both a BlackBerry ID and a Google Account. If you’ve not got either of those, it’s best to get them set up first.
Once that’s done, head over to the dubiously-named Red Light of Love where you can currently download Snap. Save it to your desktop.
After that, you’ll need to brush up on how to side load app files to your BlackBerry device. This leads us neatly on to our next section where we tell you how to do exactly that.
How to side load Android and BlackBerry apps on BB10
Knowing how to side load apps to your BB10 device is a good skill to have. It’s useful in situations where you can’t find what you’re after in BlackBerry World, Amazon Appstore or Snap.
Before you begin doing this, you’ll need to head into the settings of your BB10 device and enable Development Mode. To turn this on, open Settings and head to Security and Privacy > Development Mode and hit the toggle.
When that’s all done, you’re ready to start hunting for apps.
Where can I get APKs?
You’ll need to get used to searching for and dealing with APKs (Android Application Packages) and BARs (broker archive) BlackBerry app files.
Good sources of APKs include APK Mirror and XDA-Developers. Here you can find APKs for Netflix, Facebook, Snapchat and amongst other things. As always when installing files from third party sources, only run something if you’re 100 per cent sure it’s legit. Or you simply don’t care.
Once you’ve found an APK, you’ll need convert it to a BAR file. Fortunately, converting APKs to BARs is dead easy.
How can I convert APKs to BARs?
Once you’ve got this, you’re good to start slinging the converted files on to your BlackBerry 10 device.
This is the final part of the process, so stay with us.
How to side load Android apps to BB10 devices on Chrome
Moving your newly-converted BAR files to your BB10 phone, requires the services of a handy Chrome extension, PlayBook App Manager. This works on both Windows 8 and Mac OS X machines.
Once you’ve got this installed make sure that both your desktop/laptop are connected to the same WiFi network as your BB10 phone or you’re connected via USB.
Then, head into the Settings > About and under the grey Category bar at the top, select ‘Network’.
Make a note of the IPv4 section, as you’ll need those numbers shortly.
Fire up PlayBook App Manager in a Chrome tab, enter those digits into the text field, hit save.
Under the ‘Manage your device’ bullet point that should pop up you should see that same IP address. Click this.
Admittedly it’s not a totally smooth process. If it doesn’t work out for you the first time, persevere. If your WiFi is playing up, try connecting via USB instead.
From here, you simply drag and drop BAR files from another folder into the file list. If the file successfully makes the jump, you’ll get a little ‘success’ message and a notification chime on your phone.
Note that not all apps will successfully make the transition to BB10 phones using this method. In our tests we were unable to sideload Netflix to the BlackBerry Classic and Q10, but we were able to sideload the Chromecast app to a Z30.
Unfortunately, that’s where our successes ended.
Can I get Chromecast working on my BB10 phone now I have Netflix?
It doesn’t look like it at the moment. We side loaded Google’s Chromecast app to a BlackBerry Z30 and while the app launched, it didn’t actually do anything but flash up a message saying ‘This app won’t run without Google Play services, which are missing from your phone.’ Right now there’s no way to get Google Play services on a BB10 device.
In short this means you can’t get Android app like Gmail, Google Maps, Chrome, YouTube or Google’s app store Google Play running, even if you dress them up nicely as BAR files.
While there’s no way of getting the Android Chromecast app to play nice with any BB10 phone right now, there is one lo-fi remedy out there for any folks who want to watch Netflix on their TV via a BlackBerry phone – mini HDMI.
Most BB10 devices come with a mini HDMI port, letting you mirror your phone’s screen on the TV with a mini HDMI-HDMI cable.
A 10 metre mini HDMI-HDMI lead will set you back about £15 if you don’t already have one. Miracast is also supported by BB10 so if your TV supports that then you can try this out too, if wires aren’t really your thing.
If your TV doesn’t have Miracast (or it does – but third party hardware has been purposely locked out) then search for a device-agnostic Miracast dongle like Netgear’s PTV3000, which you can pick up for about £50.