AT&T is finally seeing the light on allowing its Android customers to download third-party applications.
The ability, known as "sideloading" allows users to go beyond the purview of AT&T own application store. AT&T confirmed the news to application developers earlier today, informing them that its phones would no longer be locked to first-party apps. The confirmation comes a day after the company began pushing updates to the HTC Inspire 4G, Aria, and Samsung Captivate. The Infuse 4G ships with the capability.
The move is significant for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that it allows AT&T's Android subscribers to finally access Amazon's Appstore. More significant, however, is that with the move the company is finally drawing closer to giving Android users what they want: a truly open phone. You may now applaud.
Here's the entirety of AT&T's message:
In March we announced our intent to provide Android customers access to the Amazon Appstore. Future Android devices (starting with the Infuse 4G) will come with the option that will allow users to change their settings in order to access content from third party application stores.