How To Install Carrier-Blocked Android Apps Without Rooting Your Phone

Apparently some carriers block apps from being installed on their phones.  Which sounds anti-competitive to me, and ripe for a lawsuit, but that’s a topic for another day.  This sort of policy is obscene, in my opinion: it’s my phone and I should be able to install what I like on it, just like my PC.  Well, there is a work around!  And you don’t need to root your phone to use it, either.So here’s the voodoo:

  1. Turn on airplane mode to disable the SIM card (or turn off your phone and remove the card).
  2. Enable WiFi and connect to internet (now your data isn’t being filtered via your carrier’s servers).
  3. Access the Android Market; the blocked app should now be available.
  4. Turn off Airplane mode (or turn your phone back off, reinsert your SIM card and turn your phone back on again).
  5. Enjoy the app!

You can also try installing from AppBrain instead of the official marketplace, but you’ll have to enable third party app installations in the settings.

I imagine one reason for this carrier policy really is anti-competitiveness, like Apple pulling apps that offer better or more expanded features that the regular phone software already offers.  For instance AT&T won’t let you install the fantastic app PDAnet, which allows you to tether your phone as a modem.  Of course, AT&T wants you to either a) not do that at all, as it bogs down their already slow network, or b) pay a fee for you to be able to access the data you are already paying for with your data plan.

And it’s not just AT&T – Verizon does this as well, alas.  I was outraged when Froyo came out as they disabled the tethering and hotspot capability for the original Droid.  Ostensibly because they say there aren’t drivers available for the phone to be used as a modem, but this is untrue – I have them installed right now in order to use PDAnet.  My opinion is that this was disabled this in order to force users to upgrade to a newer phone.  Dirty pool, old man… dirty pool.

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Copyright Tyler Style 2015. All rights reserved.

Posted 2011-02-13 by Tyler in category "Android", "Mobile App", "Mobile Phone", "Software", "Technology

About the Author

Totally a geek engineer type - I like to think, tinker and make things go BOOM! I'm also pretty introspective, and enjoy analyzing most things around me and talk about them (often to exasperation). I don't do much pop culture in general, and don't own a TV - give me lively debate with another inquiring mind instead any day of the week!

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