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RIM to encrypt apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry 10

Research In Motion plans to encrypt apps for its BlackBerry PlayBook tablets in an attempt to cut the number of pirated applications.

“Starting with our next release of the BlackBerry PlayBook OS, we’re introducing a feature that will encrypt apps so they can only be run by the user who purchased the app,” Alec Saunders, RIM’s vice president of developer relations, said on the company’s development blog.

Earlier comments made by Saunders on Twitter seemed to suggest that RIM was going to stop the practice of sideloading apps, where programs are transferred directly over a USB connection onto a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. That would have meant Playbook apps would only be available through the BlackBerry App World store.

However, Saunders confirmed RIM was not getting rid of side-loading on the BlackBerry PlayBook OS or in BlackBerry 10.

“Side-loading on our platform is changing in nature. Side-loading is a developer feature. It exists so that developers can load their apps onto their own devices to test. It’s there so developers can send a beta release to their testing community for review. It is definitely not there for some people to side load a pirated app,” he added.

In earlier tweets Saunders referred to Android Market – aka Google Play – as a “chaotic cesspool”.

“Piracy is a huge problem for Android devs, and we don’t want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android Market,” he said, adding in another tweet “25% of Android apps are pirated.”

Saunders also revealed that 25,000 apps were submitted to BlackBerry App World in the last quarter, which is a record for that platform. 

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