Changes will happen automatically in the background; Motorola Atrix 4G will also receive an update

Sideloading on AT&T

An AT&T spokesman has confirmed some smartphones in AT&T's current lineup will be updated to allow installation of applications from outside the Android Market. This comes after we published a screen shot that states the Samsung Captivate and HTC Inspire 4G and Aria will soon receive access to applications from outside the Android Market, a process known as "sideloading." AT&T has also confirmed to us that the LG Thunder will receive the update to allow non-market apps. Here's the official word:

In March, we announced our intent to provide AT&T Android customers access to third-party application stores. [story] Future Android devices (including the recently launched Samsung Infuse 4G) [story] will allow users to change their settings in order to access this content. Over the next few weeks, we will also roll-out this capability to existing devices in our base for which an upgrade is possible. Users will not need to take any action as their phone will receive the update automatically. 

Previously, installation of non-market apps required hacking of the phone, or a tool like the Sideload Wonder Machine. With this silent update -- note that you won't actually have to do anything; AT&T will push it to your phone automatically -- you'll now be able to install applications directly from developers, websites and, yes, finally, the Amazon Appstore.

And as for the Motorola Atrix 4G? AT&T says it's working with Moto, which will provide the update for non-market apps in a future maintenance release.


Reader comments

AT&T confirms non-market app installs coming to existing phones


How can sideloading even not be an option on an Android? Shame on these manufacturers and carriers for stripping out what should be a standard feature of this fine operating system. And shame on Google for allowing it in the first place.

I don't understand why they can't give a specific date. "Next Few Weeks" could mean practically anything. All I want to know is whether my Inspire 4G will be updated before the end of May, so I can get my free copy of Plants vs Zombies when it gets released.

Why can't they just tell me when they plan on taking care of this? They've played coy about the whole deal since March and it's driving me nuts. Please. Be. Specific.

you know at&t will wait until the day after it comes out, because it will only be free for 24 hrs. I"m like you that is only reason why i want this update. But being at&t they have to screw us 1st before we can get what we want.

Chill dude. If you haven't received a notification to update yet, you soon will. Both my Inspire and Aria got their updates last night.

dude it's been 3 days of hearing this news and every time i go to check for a update it says "server can not be reached" also I'm sure you live in a big city or in a state at&t cares about.

Did you not read the article before posting? It clearly states that it's a "silent" update. They state you don't have to do anything to get it. Meaning all of you who are constantly checking for the update using "Check for Update" menu are waisting your time. The update will get pushed to your phone when it's ready for you. Be patient and quit getting aggravated!

Really? Which state are you in? I keep checking on my Inspire and haven't gotten anything. Neither has my wife's Aria. Good to know SOMEONE has actually gotten the update, though. It gives me hope. Hope for the future. A future of the Amazon Appstore on my AT&T Android devices.

The future looks good.

I'm in WV some places don't even have EDGE service. Yea it is good to know some people have gotten it. But Knowing my luck this will come the day after plants vs zombies is out. But I was on XDA and some people have said they rebooted their device and the update was their or they had the option for sideloading. So try that, I did and still noting. I hope you get it.

Even if the update doesn't come before the, if you click "download" through the Amazon Appstore web browser interface, won't it just add the app to "my apps," and then let you install it whenever you want?

They seem to have already pushed out the update to my phone as I just checked and saw it there. Turned it on and downloaded the Amazon app store. Now I'm getting all the free apps I "bought" when they were free just in case this day came.

this might be a stupid question but does the internet on my phone need to be turned on to receive the update? to save data usage i usually leave the internet turned off on my phone unless i'm using it.

Haha yes the internet has to be on or connected to wifi. The update has already been pushed to my Inspire and my girl's Aria.

Shoot, I can't tell if I did (or will) get the update as my Atrix is already rooted and non-market apps enabled.

Oh well, thanks for nothing AT&T.

Not that it really matters..but I wonder if being rooted, with non market apps enabled will prevent this so called "update"?

Now if theuy will turn the limit of once per day to check for updates off I won't have to advance my date everytime I want to check for it

"They state you don't have to do anything to get it. Meaning all of you who are constantly checking for the update using "Check for Update" menu are waisting your time. The update will get pushed to your phone when it's ready for you."

Quoted from an earlier post..

Lg Thunder? I don't think at&t even offers a phone now or in the past called the Thunder... which device are you guys referring too? Did you mean the LG Phoenix? That and the Thrive (go phone) are the only lg androids devices in at&t's line up right now.

Also, still haven't gotten my update. Kinda funny cuz I spent like 2 hours getting swype on my Inspire using the Sideloading Wonder Machine. lol

Just spent 5 hours on the phone with at&t once again, it seems to be a once or twice a month routine since they cant seem to count when it comes to the amount of my bills, however, the head supervisor had me on the line when she asked tech support about the update and they said that they would be sending me the update tonight and it didn't matter if my phone was off or not, if it's left on all night they said to turn it off when I wake up and when I turn it back on it will be there. I live in Wisconsin and I have 4 inspire 4G's and I received the update at 1:27am on the 16th for one of them, but it had no effect, they said problem was fixed and I would receive working updates on all 4 tonight, I still want to root one of my phones, (I have several more) just having really hard time understanding, too many people with too many different ways to do it, don't know which is the best way. Hope everybody gets their update soon so we can have something else to complain about.

just got off the phone with at&t twice Rep said that there is no such update, another said that there is an update and that I should have it towards the end of the month.....I'm thinking wtf!!!

Yeah, I still don't have the update. I reiterate from earlier: why can't AT&T just be clear about this whole deal? Just give us a time-frame. If we aren't getting it until June, TELL US, as opposed to having all of us check our phones on a daily (hourly?) basis to see if it's arrive yet or not. All that does is piss us off further every time it still isn't available.

Surely they know this all made the news and blogs. AT&T knows people are checking their phones. All they have to do is be marginally specific. Heck, even "Next Week" is more specific than "Soon." Not as good as "By May 19, 2011" of course, but still.

Its not set to specific date, you just have to wait. its a silent update meaning there isn't any and check if you have unknown sources listed if not then you don't have it yet..its sucks waiting but bro down the hall has it and it kinda makes me mad because I don't have it :/

Got my update sometime yesterday on my Inspire. checked my applications section and bam! third party apps check box is there! FTW!!

If you don't have it by the 23rd call customer care. On the Captivate, you can't tell without trying a download because there will be no checkbox. On the the Aria and the Inspire there will be. The Atrix is not yet available for it.

My Captivate is now free of it's shackles and can install apps from wherever I choose. Got the update today between 6 and 10 AM in Tampa Bay area Florida. There is no check box in applications as there is in other devices. You just have to try to install a .apk from a non Android market source to be sure.

Still did not have it today on my Captivate. I started a chat session with an AT&T rep and he was able to push it to my phone. A "quick" reboot and voila! Sideloading like a mad man!

Only took about 10-15 minutes in the Chat. If you don't have the update, I would either do a session or call.

My HTC inspire 4G is unlocked, meaning i am using it on a different carrier. Do i still get this software update from HTC?

Started sideloading today on my Captivate 2.2 today. Was able to load from Amazon appstore and GetJar w/o restrictions

July 5th and none for me, either.

I've been through hell and back with AT&T and HTC on this issue. AT&T even sent me a replacement HTC Inspire, and the new model that arrived in the mail still didn't have the update and couldn't receive it.

I really don't want to root my phone, but it's looking like rooting may be my only option... :-(

I talked to the att people and found that the patch will not display the ability for 3rd party apps in the setting/applications. So the best test for this is to hit the amazon store link: Or another external link and see if it installs. It worked for me. Give it a try and see.

Just wanted to let you all know that today, July 21st, my HTC Inspire 4G FINALLY got its update. I happened to check and there it was. It wasn't there yesterday.

So, for those that don't want to scroll the whole way up, this post was started on May 18th. Over 2 months later, I have my update.

Thank you, and good night.