One of the biggest frustrations of dealing with Verizon, if you're someone who likes to tweak their phone, is that the carrier insists on locking the bootloaders on its phones that otherwise would not be locked. Samsung has offered Developer Editions of its phones in the past, including the Galaxy S III, largely to avoid that problem and appease the dev crowd. Today, that tradition continues with the Galaxy Note II which has now appeared on the company's site in a similar hacker-friendly model.
When the Droid DNA was first announced, we were all surprised to find that the bootloader was unlockable at HTCdev.com. Because of this, the device actually got root, recovery, and custom kernel days before the official release. Unfortunately, by the time the device became available in retail channels, Verizon pulled the plug and it was no longer unlocked through official means.
Thankfully, there's another way (isn't there always?). The softmod below will effectively change the carrier information, allowing it to once again be unlocked via HTC's official tool.
A few days ago, developer mskip released the Nexus 4 toolkit, which simplifies the unlock/root/recovery/etc. process on the device. The same dev has now released the Nexus 10 toolkit, which does essentially the same thing, only for Google's first 10" slate. These toolkits really take the work out of doing a number of otherwise potentially tedious tasks:
FUNCTIONS OF GOOGLE NEXUS 10 TOOLKIT V1.0.0 [20TH NOVEMBER 2012]
* Install correct adb/fastboot drivers automatically on Windows xp/vista/7/8 32bit+64bit
* Backup/Restore a single package or all apps, user data and Internal Storage
* Backup your /data/media (virtual SD Card) to your PC for a Full Safe backup of data
* Unlock/Re-Lock your Bootloader
* Root Stock Jelly Bean builds (upto 4.2.0 JOP40C)
* 1-Click For All to Unlock the Bootloader, Root, Rename the Restore File and Flash Custom Recovery
* Perform a FULL NANDROID Backup of your system (Boot, Cache, Data, Recovery and System) via adb and save in Custom Recovery format on your PC which can be Restored via CWM Recovery
* Pull /data and /system folders, compress to a .tar file and save to your PC
* Dump selected Phone Partitions, compress to a .zip file with md5 and save to your PC
* Install BusyBox on your phone
* Extras, Tips and Tricks section available to all ToolKit Donators
* Auto Update ToolKit to latest pushed version at startup (donator feature)
* Program up to 10 Quickpic slots and run them very quickly (donator feature)
* Mods section to automatically perform certain tasks on your phone
* Download Google Stock Image directly to correct ToolKit folder for extracting and flashing (no need to move it manually anymore)
* Flash Custom Recovery or Google Stock Image to phone
* Rename the Recovery Restore File present on some Stock Roms
* Boot into CWM Touch Recovery without Flashing it
* Boot or Flash .img Files directly from your PC
* Install a single apk or multiple apk's to your phone
* Push Files from your PC to your phone
* Pull Files from your phone to your PC
* Dump selected LogCat buffers to your PC
* Dump BugReport to your PC
* Set Files Permissions on your phone
* Open new Command Prompt for manual input
* Reboot Phone to Fastboot Mode or Android from fastboot mode
* Reboot Phone to Fastboot Mode, Recovery, Android or Download Mode from adb mode
Following the ATRIX HD, the recently announced Electrify M destined for U.S. Cellular is Motorola's newest member of the bootloader unlock program. The Electrify M is basically the RAZR M with minor visual tweaks but, unlike its Verizon sibling, won't come in a separate, more expensive developer-friendly flavor. Instead, like the Photon Q on Sprint and the RAZR i/HD outside of U.S., it's unlockable out of the box.
An unlocked bootloader means Electrify M owners will have full blessing of US Cellular and Motorola to customize software on their devices and flash custom ROMs, in exchange for losing the warranty, of course (in case there is any confusion, Motorola specifies: "Once you get the unlock code, your device is no longer covered by the Motorola warranty; in other words, please don't blame us if things go wrong, even if they appear unrelated to unlocking the bootloader.").
You may recall the collective scream of horror emitted by the Android community when it was confirmed over the summer that the Verizon model of the Galaxy S III would ship with a locked bootloader. As a consolation, Samsung decided to sell an unlocked "Developer Edition" for full price online. While the regular device has since been cracked, it's a lot cleaner to buy the dev version and now it's on sale.
Those of us with rooted devices and a penchant for flashing ROMs know just how valuable a great backup tool can be. Titanium backup is undoubtedly one of the most popular (and most useful) backup tools around, and it just got an update to version 5.6.0.
The update, which had been floating around as a "test version" prior to official release, brings a few UI enhancements and fixes, an updated set of translations, and improved "Market Doctor" and "Force Attach" functions to repair broken links between apps and the Play Store.
We already know that the Big Four will be getting their own respective renditions of the Galaxy Note II. We also expect that it'll also be part of a unified release much like the Galaxy S III. We've even seen how Verizon defiled its home button. Turns out leaving its mark on the face of the device wasn't enough for Big Red, though; the carrier has also done some work to the bootloader.
So, you were thinking about picking up a Kindle Fire HD, rooting it, and throwing a ROM on it for an impressive $200 tablet? Turns out that idea may not work out as well as we initially thought: both the Kindle Fire HD and the second gen KF have locked bootloaders. Bummer.
This may not mean that custom ROMs are impossible on these devices, only that it's more improbable.
For those who may not know, the bootloader is responsible for checking the firmware's signature before a device boots.
Motorola has just made two sites for the developer editions of its newest phones live, and you can actually pre-order one right now. The RAZR M Developer Edition will cost you $550, which seems about right given the specifications. It will ship around September 13th, and comes in any color you like, so long as it's black.
You can also sign up for updates on the RAZR HD Developer Edition, though don't expect news on availability or pricing particularly soon - Motorola says it won't be shipping until "before the holidays." Both dev edition devices come with unlocked bootloaders right out of the box, so you can get your ROM on unhindered.
Today, Motorola just floored users with an unprecedented offer: if you bought a phone from Motorola that launched in 2011, most of you will receive an upgrade to Jelly Bean. If, however, you're using a phone that Motorola decides will have a degraded experience, you will receive $100 in credit towards an upgrade. This may mark the first time that a manufacturer has broadly promised compensation for a lack of updates for all of its devices.