I don't like the idea of jailbreaking my phone, it is still my main source of communication and I don't want to risk paying out the rest of a 24 month contract while having a useless bricked phone. So last night I found that I can test an app update without releasing to market. Here is what I did:
- Export the signed .apk as per a market release
- Post the .apk on my code hosting site as a testing release
- Navigate to the .apk using my phone browser and click to install
- The phone tells me it cannot install apps from outside the market then allows me to go to a settings page on which I can tick a box allowing apps from outside the market
- Try again and the app installs
I'm assuming this will only work with apps that have already been released to market. I tested this with an unsigned .apk and my phone would not install it, so it looks this is a neat little backdoor for honest developers.
There is a potential for security problems but only if a developer turns bad or an app signing key is liberated.