If you happen to own a Samsung Captivate, HTC Aria, or HTC Inspire 4G, then the dream of many, many Android owners on AT&T is about to be yours - the ability to legitimately sideload apps. AT&T lifted its sideloading-barrier on the newly released Samsung Infuse 4G, and naturally, the question arose: What about older Android devices? Now we have our answer.
AT&T has taken a lot of heat from Android fans, and for good reason - they were the last of the four major US carriers to truly embrace it, and even then they made the controversial decision to block users' ability to sideload apps - i.e., install apps not offered on the Android Market. Their intentions were only to protect users from "bad apps," but of course this also meant that users have been unable to install any type of beta apps or, more notably, the Amazon App Store.
It's shaping up to be quite a day for AT&T users, isn't it? First the Infuse 4G announcement, and now even bigger news: it appears that the aforementioned device also allows apps to be sideloaded! As you may remember, AT&T has blocked sideloading since its first Android device - the Motorola Backflip. Sure, there have been ways around that restriction, but it's a simple service that all Android users should be allowed to enjoy.
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.