One of the most frustrating hindrances of AT&T Android phones is that users are not allowed to download apps outside of the Android Market – the option to “side load” apps from third-party sources in the settings menu is missing from AT&T Android phones. Luckily, HTC just updated their HTC Sync software to allow the Aria owners to do just this.
We don’t know if this will be put to an end at AT&T’s request, but it’s still something you can grab right now if you want the option. The updated HTC Sync utility allows users to throw downloaded apps onto an HTC Android smartphone device from their computer. The software uses a easy drag and drop method while the Aria is connected via USB. It’s currently only available for PCs at the moment, and we’re not sure when or if a Mac version will be coming out anytime soon.
If you’ve been a little disheartened by the fact that you can’t side load apps on your AT&T Android device, you now have a decent work around. But even if you couldn’t, it really shouldn’t sway you in either direction when purchasing the device. Sure, there are plenty of applications that you can download outside of the Market, but for the most part, everything you need is available through the official channel. That being said, I do side load applications I get elsewhere quite often, so if I were to go to AT&T, I’d definitely go with the Aria due to the side-loading software.
If you’re looking for an Android device for AT&T, and you think you might want the option to side load apps to your device, you’re only choice is the HTC Aria. Though, seeing as I how I actually do download applications outside of the Market, I think I’d have to go with the Samsung Captivate over the HTC Aria. The gorgeous screen on the device is enough to overlook AT&T’s small modification to the OS.
You can grab the HTC Sync update here.
Which would you go for? A much higher end phone that can not side load applications, or a lower-end device that can?