May 06 AT 9:40 AM Alberto Vildosola 9 Comments

AT&T sees the light, will soon let us install non-Market app

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.

Source: PCMag

Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

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  • http://Website Noriega713

    I call Bulls**t…I bet it’s because they see how Android is going and are starting to notice how people want ANDROID… Not the Iphone…

    • http://Website Noriega713

      Also I bet they saw the how the Iphone didn’t do anything to stop Android (on Verizon)…So since they can’t beat them…join them.

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      After this… All I need from At&t now is an UNLIMINTED data plan. At least at that point i’d have some respect for them.

  • http://Website Jgalan14

    Well AT&T is doing good by letting their customer choose or not to install apps, I guess amazon app store actually help since they need to be sideloaded, also I don’t blame them in the first place tho, for a regular consumer (and those are mostly people te don’t read engadget, android and me, etc) don’t really know what is sideloading an app, I got a lot friends that don’t have an idea of what it is, and after all AT&T is not missing much you can submit any app to the android market store and google won’t review to make sure is not violating anything which is scary sometimes

  • http://Website eClipse

    “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.”

    Yeah, right. With a click they can turn off the service of anyone abusing the network (or charge them for it).

    AT&T wants to own and charge for everything, and this is likely part of their attempt to look more “open” for the feds in relation to their purchase of T-Mobile.

    The “Sideload” discussion is not about just apps, it is about all content, which companies like AT&T and Apple would prefer always go their them, and is one of the major reasons iOS devices are a PITA to use. Make no mistake, they aren’t protecting the user, the are protecting market share.

  • http://Website Androidawg

    Why is it that every time I see AT&T in a headline, it is about them doing something that pisses me off. In this case they piss me off by pretending that they are “opening up”. Pricks.

  • http://Website Jaymonster

    The real question is what sort of cut did at&t get from Amazon to make this happen. So now at&t doesn’t have to build their own market to sell apps, they leave the heavy lifting to Amazon and just collect on the new revenue stream which apparently will be substantial enough to “risk their network and user experience.

    (Do they really expect any but the most gullible to believe this complete and utter BS? Well, they are trying to sell the though that tbeir acquisition of T-Mobile is “good for consumers” so anything is possible)

  • http://Website john

    As soon as ATT buys tmobile ( current carrier ) I will go to sprint

  • Nick Gray

    It’s good that AT&T will change their stance on non-market apps, but it’s too little too late. AT&T is trailing the other carriers in number of Android phones and number of Android users. It’ll take a long time to undo the damage they have done by treating Android users as second class citizens.