Good news, AT&T Android users! Up until recently, AT&T had disabled sideloading on all of their Android phones, saying that the decision was made in order to help keep their subscribers safe from malicious software. Earlier this month, though, AT&T revealed that they would soon be enabling the ability to install non-Market apps on their Android phones. The Infuse 4G came with the functionality out of the box, and a new leak has revealed that beginning today AT&T will be rolling out updates to the Inspire 4G, Captivate, and Aria that will enable sideloading. One quick note: your device must be running Android 2.2 to be able to install the update.
The inability to sideload applications has long plagued AT&T's Android products, and I wouldn't be surprised if it drove more than a few folks to buy a different device. The recent introduction of the Amazon Appstore only magnified the problem, as customers that wanted to access this new market needed to sideload it onto their devices. Unfortunately, there's no word on when other AT&T Android phones, most notably the Atrix, will be able to install apps from unknown sources, but we'll be sure to keep you updated.
Via Android Central