AT&T Does it Again, Restricts Non-Market Apps on HTC Aria

Gosh darnit AT&T.  Just when we thought you were starting to get Android you had to go and pull this stuff again.  Like the Motorola Backflip, the just-announced HTC Aria will not allow for users to download apps from outside of the Android Market.  Say farewell to beta testing and direct-to-consumer downloads.  While you are at it, you can also kiss goodbye to market alternatives like OnlyAndroid and SlideMe.  AndroidCentral is reporting that the screen on the left is what the HTC Aria shows under the applications settings while the right side is a Nexus One.

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Scott Webster
Scott Webster 6620 posts

Scott has been running AndroidGuys since 2007 and loves nothing more than reading up on the latest smartphone rumors. His other mobile efforts can be found on Android Update (CNET) where he covers Google's mobile platform.

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  1. chahk
    June 15, 19:22 Reply

    Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I really do think that AT&T is trying to purposefully undermine Android by releasing crippled handsets. Don't you think that iPhone 4 exclusivity would be worth that much to them?

    • Kevin
      June 15, 20:17 Reply

      At the rate AT&T is going with the iPhone 4 pre-orders, they're going to lose the iPhone exclusivity. And Stevie's big day is highlighted with order problems and privacy breaches. LOL.

  2. ohlaawdy
    June 15, 15:55 Reply


  3. Justin
    June 15, 20:00 Reply

    hopefully there will be some sort of market for people to root this device. If so, and I was on ATT I would buy it.

  4. mikeeeee
    June 15, 20:05 Reply

    they sucked in 2000 and haven't changed. if att was my only alternative, i'd use tin cans and string.

  5. Greg
    June 15, 20:08 Reply

    rooting the device will be 1 answer and then using the dev. tools will be the other. It maybe and aggrivation for the less tech savvy, but for those who it really concerns we'll get around it. nuff said.

    BTW, I'm excited to see an HTC Android device hit AT&T, hopefully the 29th we'll see the Samsung Galaxy S!!

  6. Mark T
    June 15, 20:21 Reply

    This behavior of ATT's is the exact reason that I went to Google to get my ATT Nexus One.

  7. StephanC
    June 15, 20:56 Reply

    Can't you use the Android Debug Bridge to install out of Market apps?

  8. mauriceh
    June 15, 21:16 Reply

    They (AT&T) have to support these.

    They just finished getting stung on security for iTampons.

    If I were AT&T I too would be VERY careful..

  9. MiSoFine
    June 15, 22:03 Reply

    That is so depressing! I have been waiting on this..and they kill it. I have a friend waiting on the Dell Mini 5 and they will probably kill that too.

    Really Apple? Are you THAT insecure?

  10. tired
    June 15, 23:38 Reply

    ya it sucks that ATT is blocking 3rd party apps, but honestly, how many average users will need these? Android Market has 50,000 apps and growing by the day. Nobody seems to complain that apple does the same thing….does web OS allow 3rd party apps?

  11. Andrew Wicklander
    June 16, 00:18 Reply

    Intersting. One might even call this fragmentation. Oh wait, I forgot Andy Rubin said that doesn't exist. Move along, nothing to see here….

  12. Michael Sansig
    June 16, 01:21 Reply

    This is the kinda stuff that Verizon used to do with all their phones, locking customers out of options, and now AT&T has become the wireless company that cripples it's phones. Maybe it's time to jump ship.

  13. guest
    June 16, 03:20 Reply

    Unfortunately, everyone including AT&T thinks smartphone future is just consumer based. What about enterprise use of smartphones and tablets using their internally developed corporate apps? How will they install them?

  14. ralph
    June 16, 10:03 Reply

    that is really stupid why are they doing this? they are not competing at all, if it’s apple doing this this that tell us one thing that apple is a bunch of pussys affraid of competition

  15. steve
    June 18, 23:45 Reply

    IS THERE A WAY TO UNBLOCK what AT&t has done???????

  16. steve
    June 19, 00:01 Reply

    Sorry, I meant to ask if it is easy to get around AT&T blocking third part apps. I love small phone, but I can't stand being restricted

  17. wacou
    January 06, 17:48 Reply

    To unblock / install at&t non-market app, you have couple choices.

    1. using ADB Shell via your pc.
    ( install command at dos is: adb install xxxx.apk )

    Now, if you want to install from the microsd or direct installation from you phone.
    There are couple requirement.
    1. Root your phone.
    2. Install “RootExplorer”
    3. Install “SQLite Editor”

    Then, go to your system file, take at&t MB520 Bravo for example.
    1. Go to /data/data/
    2. Then databases/settings.db
    3. finally choose “settings”
    4. should be line 76, tab the “1” of “force_only_market_apps”
    5. Press menu button and select edit field to “0”

    If not motorola phone, just go to

  18. Jeff
    January 22, 21:56 Reply

    Optus (in Australia) has done it also. Such a shame. Any AU providers not blocking these phones?

  19. QWERTY
    February 22, 16:09 Reply

    Does this mean no good apps like the SNES emulator? If it’s on the market doesn’t that mean you can buy it or does it have to be a Android created app? I was looking at the HTC Aria and thought it looked awesome but this kinda draws me away.. D:
    Someone please explain this issue more to me? /:
    Guess i’ll buy it anyway because my option in the Aria or iPhone 3gs and i dont like iPhones..

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