Remember yesterday when we told you how to easily install third-party apps, even if your carrier doesn’t let you? Apparently, somebody at AT&T reads Android and Me. Because soon after that, AT&T revealed they’ll start to open up a bit and allow us to install apps from non-Market sources. That’s great news for anybody using an Android phone on AT&T — or T-Mobile for that matter.
AT&T explained the reason why they didn’t initially allow their Android phones to install apps from unknown sources. One of the reasons was fear of “bad apps” harming phones and the network. That’s code for “apps that let people tether for free”. AT&T’s Senior Vice President of mobile devices, Jeff Bradley, explained their initial decision, saying:
I think we’ll go more open. First and foremost we were genuinely concerned from a network bandwidth standpoint and a customer experience standpoint for not having any mechanism to take down a bad app. And the only way we could do it at the time was relying on Google to leverage what [security] they had in [the] Android Marketplace. We took a lot of negative publicity for doing it, but it was 100 percent driven by a desire to be able to have the ability to support our network and be able to help our customers. It really was.Jeff Bradley
It’s OK AT&T, we forgive you. The first AT&T phone to launch with the ability to install non-Market apps is the Samsung Infuse 4G. Hopefully, the carrier will roll out an update in the future for currently available Android devices.