Installing non-Android Market Apps on an HTC Aria

If you only followed major media outlets, you’d be forgiven for thinking that only worthwhile smartphone available to AT&T Wireless subscribers in the US is the iPhone. With the release of the HTC Aria running Google’s Android OS, AT&T does offer up a worthwhile alternative. The phone’s biggest drawback, however, is it’s inability to install applications not available through the Android Market (a process known as “sideloading apps”). AT&T seems to be the culprit in crippling the phone in this manner, for reasons unknown. If you’re an Aria owner looking for a way around this problem, Engadget is reporting that the HTC Sync desktop client offers a workaround, by allowing you to install third party apps via USB.

I’m not in the market for a smartphone myself, but I’m quite impressed with how the Aria is bucking several of the more annoying trends that have shown up recently in smartphones. Compared to the HTC Evo and the Motorola Droid X, the Aria is practically microscopic. This makes a lot more sense to me for a mobile device that you want to fit in your pocket. The Aria has a much lower upfront cost, being sold on Amazon for a mere penny. Among the other free phones being offered by AT&T, the Aria seems to be best in class.

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