There seems to be a rumor going around that AT&T will never allow non-Market Android apps to be installed on their Android devices. My question is why? How does this possibly help AT&T? What harm is it to load an app from outside the market? This is just bad publicity for AT&T is all.
The only thing that does kind of make this easier for AT&T Android users to bare is the fact that Google doesn’t really restrict the Android market too much. So most of the apps you would want will be in there anyway. The exception is Wifi Tethering apps, though. And now that I think of it, I’m sure this is why AT&T is banning this (in an effort to stop massive usage of their already struggling data network). The dumb part about it is that in order to use Wifi tethering apps, one must root/jailbreak their device first anyway, and in doing so I promise they can lift this app restriction anyway so this is not going to change much anyway it seems.
Again, this seems to have done nothing but to push AT&T’s evil overlord image created by the whole iPhone lockdown, into the Android playing field as well.
I’m still hoping one day a carrier will give root access out of the box with Android like Nokia did with the N900… I can dream, right?