There is talk of rooting and ROMs throughout this article. If you aren't familiar with the process or its pros and cons, you can check out our primers here:
Sprintgirl, a user in the Android Central forums, has put together a tutorial for people who want to start theming their rooted Android phones. While the process is a bit, well, ugly, to put it nicely, this tutorial should help to clear some of the fog from the process. Read More
Normally, to sideload (install from outside the official market) an Android app, you need to enable the "Unknown sources" option in Settings > Applications, then copy the app anywhere on the SD Card, and install it via a file manager, such as Astro.
Unless, of course, a certain entity removes the whole option altogether, making it impossible to install off-Market apps unless you root. Aria, Backflip, Captivate, X10 all have this problem. Read More