Sideloading isn’t exactly the optimal method to install your apps. After all, that’s what the Android Market’s for. Unfortunately sometimes you really need to install the app without purchasing it again – after all, if you’ve bought it via alternate legal means, you probably won’t be able to fire up the Android Market just to buy it again or maybe, the app isn’t available on the market and this is the only way you’ll be able to get it.

Anyway, more than a year ago, AT&T showed off a line of Android phones that depended entirely on the Android Market – which meant these phones weren’t capable of sideloading and using any third-party apps. The word “crippled” was thrown around for a while, but it seems that AT&T is changing its ways.

Well, awhile ago, the Samsung Infuse 4G managed to get a stealth update that let it sideload. That seemed to be only the tip of the iceberg as three more members of AT&T’s Android lineup are receiving sideloading capabilities: the HTC Inspire 4G, HTC Aria, and Samsung Captivate. All three of these phones should have received the update already. If you haven’t logged on to the AT&T system yet or haven’t checked your phone, better see if there are any waiting updates.

This bewildering move is probably in response to the clamor for access to Amazon’s Appstore – which requires sideloading. Unfortunately, that’s only four models from the lineup, though it seems further additions are possible. Here’s hoping that some more will be added.

Source: AndroidCentral