Actually, activating "unknown sources" in the Android settings is for nothing else but side-loading. While technically there's a difference between activating that configuration option and performing the actual side-loading process, is this really a reason for having separate tags?

I vote to merge (x3) into (x15) and making the former a synonym to the latter.

  • From Al's answer I see the merge might not be "optimal". If you (the mods) share his opinion, would you please "reject" this request -- or otherwise "process" it, so this question can be marked "done"? Thanks! – Izzy Mar 16 '13 at 17:56
  • I'm marking this declined largely because of Al's reasoning in his answer (which I agree with). It seems feasible that you could ask a question about the "Unknown Sources" setting itself without getting into the specific act of sideloading (I have Unknown Sources enabled on my phone, now what? is a decent example). It's probably a small set of questions, but having a tag for the actual option's name seems okay as it's a fairly prominent option. Since you did a good job of explaining this in the tag wiki, I think it's okay. – eldarerathis Apr 3 '13 at 19:20
  • OK, I'm meanwhile willing to easily accept that. ATM I'm wondering more about non-market and side-loading... #D – Izzy Apr 3 '13 at 19:49

I say no. "Unknown sources" is (should be) about the setting. "Sideloading" is (should be) about the act of installing an app outside of the context of the Market/Play Store/etc.

They are related, sure, but I don't think they're the same.

  • Can you think of any question to be tagged "unknown sources" which would not deal with side-loading? Though I fully understand the difference (as pointed out in my question), I still hold this a pure theoretical difference not reflected by practical issues. – Izzy Mar 13 '13 at 13:49
  • "Where is the 'Unknown Sources' setting on my generic Chinese tablet?" "Do I need to turn on 'Unknown Sources' in order to use the Amazon Android Market?" "Will having 'Unknown Sources' unchecked protect me from most Android malware?" – ale Mar 13 '13 at 13:51
  • Not perfect, but valid questions about the setting and not about side-loading. – ale Mar 13 '13 at 13:52
  • Which of these questions will not mention side-loading? "Where is the setting" usually continues with what the user wants to do. The "other markets" are side-loading apps to your device. Malware (in this context) will side-load. To me, that's not more than a point-of-view (of course, a valid one ;). – Izzy Mar 13 '13 at 13:58

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