If you're going to do any serious modding on your Android smartphone, your first step is going to be unlocking the bootloader. This is a simple procedure on Nexus devices and a few other handsets, but many of the top OEMs have added security measures to prevent regular users from mucking about with their stock software. For these devices, there's a tool called Sunshine by recognized developers Justin Case (jcase), beaups, and friends. Version 3.0 just came out, and it can unlock the bootloader and acquire S-Off with almost every modern Motorola and HTC smartphone on the market.

Sunshine in action

Sunshine has been going strong since the middle of last year, when it initially started as a tool to acquire S-Off on a handful of HTC phones like the One M8, Remix, and a few others. Since then, it has grown to encompass almost the entire product lineup from both HTC and Motorola.

With the release of v3.0, Sunshine now supports all modern HTC handsets with versions of Android up to Lollipop 5.0.2; except for the One M8 on Verizon, which is only supported if it is still running Android 4.4.x KitKat. Work is being done to bring Verizon's M8 with Lollipop into the fold, but there's no ETA for support. Sunshine also works with Motorola's entire family of phones from 2013, but only if they are running KitKat 4.4.3 or below. Root is also a requirement for the unlocking process, but the installer tool can usually acquire temproot on most phones. A few handsets can't be reliably rooted, so users may be directed to use HTC's bootloader unlocking tool, after which Sunshine can root the device and acquire S-Off.

The Sunshine installer is free to download, but each device costs $25 to unlock. The installer will perform tests to determine if your phone is supported and if any additional steps are necessary to complete the process. Most payment methods are accepted, including credit and debit cards, Paypal, and several others. Further information is available from the FAQ on the website, or from the ongoing thread at XDA.

To get started, just download and install Sunshine from http://theroot.ninja. After testing for compatibility and paying for a license, the unlock process can take anywhere from 3-10 minutes. Once finished, you'll be free to flash all of the ROMs, custom recoveries, or just about anything else you care to try out.

Partial compatibility list posted

Justin Case has posted a partial list of phones Sunshine 3.0 is known to work with. It's noted that this list is a work in progress and devices will be added as they are confirmed. The best way to determine compatibility is still with the Sunshine installer.

Alternate Title: Sunshine 3.0 Is A Key To The City For Your HTC Or Motorola Phone, No Bat-Signal Required

Alternate Title 2: Unlock Your HTC Or Motorola Phone With All-New Sunshine 3.0, Because JCase Ran Out Of Funny Names For Unlock And Root Tools