AT&T might not be the most loved wireless carrier among Android fans (to say the least), but the company seems to be trying to right its wrongs. One of those wrongs is the carrier’s position on prohibiting Android users to install an app from outside the Android Market (known as sideloading). Being able to install an app from wherever you want is one the things that differentiate Android from other more “walled-garden” platforms. But somehow, AT&T felt this feature was way too liberating for its Android customers to handle.
Thanks mainly to the rise of third-party app stores like Amazon’s, AT&T has been somewhat forced to lift this restriction from its Android phones. The carrier is already releasing Android phones with sideloading available, but what about already released phones? For those, AT&T seems to be working with OEMs in order to enable sideloading. And today Ma Bell and Motorola took the first step by releasing an app that does just that for the Motorola Bravo.
The app is available through the Market, and the whole process only takes a couple taps. Just install the app, open it and tap the “Unlock” button. That’s it. You’re free to install apps from any source you like.
We hope this is just the first (and not only) Android device to have sideloading enabled by AT&T. And we expect the company to continue releasing more of these apps for other Android phones on the network–hopefully sooner rather than later.