When the Samsung Infuse 4G launched with the ability to install unsigned apps from third-party sources, a long-standing policy with AT&T was reversed. In every Android release up until the Infuse, AT&T had blocked the capability over concerns for user security. A recently leaked document suggested the carrier would be retro-actively enabling what has come to be known as app sideloading for several devices via updates, and now a spokesperson with AT&T is confirming the fact, saying, “over the next few weeks, we will also roll out this capability to existing devices in our base for which an upgrade is possible.”
The carrier points to a previous inability to “find nefarious apps and to take them down.” CTO John Donovan, for whatever reason, now feels Android on AT&T is at a place where he feels comfortable opening up their devices to third-party markets without feeling like users are at risk.
Thanks for looking out for us for so long, AT&T, but I think we got this one. Sure, there will always be a handful of users who make bad choices when it comes to putting third-party software on their devices, but Android users on other carriers have been making out with sideloading just fine. For those on AT&T, expect a wide range of current devices to have the ban lifted in the near future.