AT&T doesn’t enable side-loading apps. They want you to go through their app marketplace. I’m sure it’s a control thing, but I’m a big boy, I can decide what I want to download and what I don’t. Since Amazon launched their Android App Store today, I thought get my phone (Samsung Captivate) enabled to run other apps. Even as one blog points out that it takes 8 steps, I’ll show you here that it’s worse for some! I found instructions here (or here) that were very helpful (follow the link on the 3rd post). In a nutshell, you root the phone, install busybox, copy the settings.db file to the sd card, move it to your computer and use an SQLite plugin to edit it, move it back to the phone and reboot. It was almost that simple. Rooting worked fine for me. I couldn’t get busybox installed. I even tried pulling it from another source and installing it manually. In any case, all you need from it is the “cp” (or copy) utility. I got around that using cat with redirect.
Once you get to the step where you’re supposed to copy files to the sd card, run these commands instead
cat /dbdata/databases/com.android.providers.settings/settings.db >/sdcard/settings.db cat /dbdata/databases/com.android.providers.settings/settings.db >/sdcard/settings.db.backup
I found the SQLite plugin for Firefox easy to use. Once you copy the file back to the sd card, you’ll need to move it back to the system location, so use the same “cat” trick I used above.
Once you reboot, you’ll be able to follow the instructions on the Amazon site to download their app store app (and it will work now).
So, enjoy Angry Birds, or whatever other app of the day you grab. Oh, and we (the collective we) should probably buy a few apps to keep new apps coming!