The Android fanboys buzzing with excitement. Rather, the hot topic today is that the Infuse 4G is the first Android phone from AT&T to allow app installation from outside of the Android Market.is a , but not for the reasons you might be thinking. Yes, the massive 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus touch screen, thin 8.9mm design, and 1.2GHz processor are impressive, but none of these features has
Long a thorn in the side of Android enthusiasts, AT&T has restricted the ability to load apps from any source outside of the Google portal. So in other words, users could not install a beta app from a developer looking to get feedback on an upcoming release.
Even companies like Gameloft and EA, who offer games from their Web sites, have little to no presence on AT&T phones. Then there's the impossible to load any games or apps from the Amazon App Store., Amazon. Unless the consumer had root access on the phone, it was virtually
AT&T's previous stance on the issue was that it cared for the user experience and that the Android Market principles held developers accountable for the apps submitted. As AT&T saw it, if a developer played ball, its subscribers didn't have to worry about malicious apps and evil-doing. As we've learned over the last few months, however, the Android Market is not an impermeable fortress.
In speaking to the press yesterday, AT&T's Senior VP of mobile devices Jeff Bradley indicated the carrier's desire to open up.
I think we'll go more open. First and foremost we were genuinely concerned from a network bandwidth standpoint and a customer experience standpoint for not having any mechanism to take down a bad app. And the only way we could do it at the time was relying on Google to leverage what [security] they had in [the] Android Marketplace. We took a lot of negative publicity for doing it, but it was 100 percent driven by a desire to be able to have the ability to support our network and be able to help our customers. It really was.
Assuming this is the AT&T policy, I see this as a win-win scenario. Consumers will be happy, as they can access apps from Amazon, Getjar, and other stores, while AT&T benefits by getting additional consideration when it comes to future Android purchases.