Manage BlackBerry PlayBook Android app permissions

Back in May I wrote a post How to manage BlackBerry PlayBook app permissions, but this was only relevant to BlackBerry PlayBook apps. Did you know the PlayBook also supports Android apps which run in a runtime sandbox?

Android apps run on the PlayBook from version 2.0 and recently went through some performance improvements with the release of version 2.1 in October. Version 2.1 sees Android apps run in their own window, so you will no longer be able to see the previously opened Android apps along the bottom bar. You probably noticed these in version 2.0.

Given it’s very easy to manage the native PlayBook app permissions, it’s next to impossible to revisit the apps permissions for Android runtime apps. The reason for allowing Android runtime sandboxed apps on PlayBook is simple – there are more Android developers. It’s the app eco system that drives the tablet – think Google Play Store and App Store for Apple.

Security is the mainstay of this blog, so having noticed that users cannot revisit Android permissions, here are some simple steps to revisit Android permissions.

  • Load up App World and click > My World and find an Android app in Installed Apps i.e. BBC News Tablet app and click > DELETE
  • Prompt appears “Are you sure you want to delete BBC News Tablet edition by Stackersoft” – click > OK
  • The uninstall process will now remove the app
  • From App World TAP > Uninstalled and you should see the last uninstalled app i.e. BBC News Tablet click > Reinstall
  • The app will commence downloading. You will now see an Android permission prompt highlighting the following default permissions:
  • Internet – Allow the app to send and receive data. This could potentially be used to send your personal data to other services
  • Files – Allow the app to access your pictures, music, documents and other files. This could potentially be used to share your personal data.
  • Device Identifying Information – Allows the app to access information that uniquely identifies
  • You also have the option of unchecking the permission requests but be careful as by doing this could stop the app from working properly
  • You also have the option to either ‘Accept’ or ‘Deny’ the app
  • If you Accept then the app will continue the install process

At the bottom of the prompt it says “You can edit your security settings later. Please visit the Security page in system Settings”. Unfortunately this isn’t actually the case, hence this post. 🙁

You can use the above process for any Android app that you install and want to recheck the permissions. Admittedly, it isn’t a seamless approach (it should really be baked into the PlayBook QNX operating system), but right now it’s the only way BlackBerry PlayBook owners can manage their Android app permissions.

Safe surfing folks!

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3 Responses to Manage BlackBerry PlayBook Android app permissions

  1. elixir says:

    2days ago instald Ghost Comdr file mgr on PB. When I unchkd both blks&hit Accept,it refused 2install(it wasa “don’t” w/chks and a “do w/”Accept” @same time, so it bombed out&I had2 keep chks&accept). Read ur instrs here2day; went back2AppWorld& deleted App; removed chks &hit “deny” (both actions in agreemt to “not allow” permission); re-installd& it did ok. Did this w/Air Browser” app also; but both apps don’t appear in my PB Security Settings; but yesterday’s chkd &allowed Accept perm for “ghost C” didn’t show up 2day in sec sets. Appears Android apps whether u accept r deny perm disalloy u in controlling security after install by cloaking themselves (gosh! I really don’t believe this paranoia!??);
    Mustb y u said:
    “Unfortunately this isn’t actually the case, hence this post. :(” TNX :)1/16/13

    • Julian says:

      #elixir# I’m glad this post has helped you. I’m guessing you replied from a mobile, given you used SMS abbreviations. 🙂

  2. joel j says:


    I am facing problem in ajax call while converting apk to bar using the hatax tool

    I am getting Error: NETWORK_ERR: XMLHttpRequest Exception 101

    During ajax call

    var ajax = new XMLHttpRequest();

    try{‘post’,url, false);


    ajax.setRequestHeader(“Cache-Control”, “no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate”);
    ajax.onreadystatechange = function() {


    var _oonreadystatechange = function(ajax) {


    if (ajax.readyState == 4) {
    if (ajax.status == 200) {


    var resp=ajax.responseText.trim();
    if(resp.charAt(resp.length-2) == ‘,’){
    resp = resp.substring(0,resp.length-2)+’}’;


    var dataarrey=JSON.parse(resp);

    customerou= dataarrey.sm_userdn.split(‘,’)[1].split(‘=’)[1];


    }else {

    alert(ajax.status+”Please Check Network Connection”);

    catch (e) {

    Have given alerts in the above code to debug as well,

    in playbook alerts are comin in following order:

    -[object XMLHttpRequest]



    -0Please Check Network Connection

    -Error: NETWORK_ERR: XMLHttpRequest Exception 101

    Please suggest a solution.


    We opted for the apk to bar conversion method, because we had a requirement to invoke playbook mail client with attachment, using playbook webworks sdk(since our existing code is in webworks ).

    After exhaustively searching we found only the mailto option which has limitations of number of characters in message body and doesnt support attachment.

    So finally after converting the apk android version of our app to bar, the bar was invoking the native mail client in playbook.

    Now we ran into this ajax problem in the apk to bar converted executable, the apk is workin fine in android

    Please give a solution


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