With the announcement of the HTC Aria, many hoped it would mark a new chapter in AT&T’s handling of Android. Their first Android offering was the locked-down Motorola Backflip that suffered from an OS blocked from installing apps through sources other than the marketplace. If you thought perhaps AT&T would wise up, you may not want to read what comes next.
The HTC Aria will suffer the same fate, so any hope of installing unsigned apps such as developer betas or release previews (or any other software you might obtain through a channel other than the Android Market) is gone. Sure, realistically most everyday users won’t miss the functionality at all, but for those that want to get the most out of the open platform that is Android, AT&T isn’t making it easy. Oh, you’re also still getting stuck with AT&T’s first-party bloatware. Don’t bother trying to uninstall any of it because you can’t (though I suppose that is a bit easier to live with).
The question is will this ever change with their handsets, or are all future releases doomed to this sort of tampering?