When it comes to root and mod action on Motorola devices from the last couple of years, all eyes turn to brilliant Android hacker Dan Rosenberg. Since the Droid 3 was released two years ago, Rosenberg has successfully found root exploits for every Motorola device, including the D3, Bionic, RAZR, Droid 4, Xoom 2, Atrix HD, RAZR HD, and RAZR M. Add to that the fact he just released a tool that unlocks the bootloaders on the most modern Moto phones (RAZR HD, M, and Atrix HD), and it's not hard to see why he's such an important part of the Motorola modding community. Heck, without him, there probably wouldn't even be a Moto modding community.
But with his most recent exploit also came the harsh reality of the current state of Motorola phones – fact is, it's just getting too difficult to find useful vulnerabilities. This makes sense – Android is getting more secure in itself, and companies are finding new ways to ensure devices stay locked up tight. According to Rosenberg, the days of exploiting Motorola handsets may have come to an end.
I see this as the end of an era for Motorola rooting and modding. At this point, it is significantly more difficult to find vulnerabilities that may be used to root Motorola devices than when I started two years ago, due to fixes for the all the bugs used in previous exploits. It has gotten to the point where there may not be a "next time" for publishing a Motorola root exploit. Of course vulnerabilities still exist, but as the pool of bugs shrinks, the number of people capable of finding them grows smaller and the time investment required increases. As a result, I have no plans to continue publishing Motorola root exploits after this release.
Rosenberg goes on to say that he hopes Motorola's acquisition by Google will "gradually lead to changes in policy allowing more open devices." Whether that will happen or not has yet to be seen, but I think we all hope for the same. Until then, Rosenberg offers up a fantastic piece of advice for anyone who wants the ability to root and/or mod their device:
If an unlocked device is important to you, buy an unlocked device instead of expecting someone to accomplish a difficult hack.
I think that sums up the state of the Android community as a whole pretty well: don't buy locked devices if you ultimately want/need/hope for an unlock to show up in the future. We're getting to the point where you can no longer count on the fact that "someone will do it eventually," and it's time to start purchasing accordingly. Sure, this isn't the most economical option – paying full retail for a bootloader-unlockable device is difficult for most to justify. Unfortunately, it's time to start making the tough choices.
Of course, you could always just buy a Nexus.
[via DroidRZR.com; Thanks, Michael Pahl!]