updated 09:20 pm EDT, Mon May 16, 2011
Move necessary for Amazon Appstore content
AT&T is reportedly distributing updates to many of its Android handsets, enabling the devices to install applications that don't originate from Google's official Android Market. The move appears to be an extension of the carrier's shifting strategy, which started with non-Market app support for Samsung's Infuse 4G.
AT&T initially resisted the idea of allowing apps to be sideloaded onto its handsets, however the company came under increasing criticism after Amazon launched its own Appstore. Aside from Infuse owners, the rest of AT&T's customers had been effectively blocked from downloading apps from alternative portals.
The new capabilities are said to be arriving first on the Inspire 4G, Aria and Captivate. It remains unclear if the company will continue to release over-the-air updates enabling the same functionality on the rest of its older Android handsets. [via AndroidCentral]