AT&T locks its latest Android phone -- the Aria -- out of sideloading apps, too

Apps on the Nexus One

(AT&T Aria, left, and the Nexus One)

Here we go again, folks. The HTC Aria -- AT&T's second and arguably best foray into Android -- is limited to only loading applications from the Android Market. As you can see in the screen shot above, the choice to load apps from "non-Market" sources is missing, meaning you won't be sideloading from other websites or -- once Android 2.2 is released -- directly from e-mail, which is very cool.

And this isn't the first time we've seen this. As you'll well remember, the Motorola Backflip is hobbled in the same way -- it's a limitation inflicted by AT&T and is not inherent to the phone itself. We still don't like calling the phone crippled (OK, I don't like calling it crippled, others disagree) because of this, as the rest of it works just fine. But we will say the following:

AT&T: Stop doing this. It's bad for the ecosystem. And bad for developers. And bad for your customers. And it ultimately makes it look like you don't care about Android.

More on the Aria coming up, folks.

Phil Nickinson