Do you hear that? It's the sound of a thousand HTC fans modding the crap out of their shiny new HTC One Developer Edition smartphones. The Taiwanese company just posted the RUU (ROM Update Utility) for the American version of the One DE, giving would-be tinkerers a safe way to restore their devices if something goes boom. You can download the RUU at HTC's Developer Center. We'd post some direct links for you, but HTC is insisting you go through the Downloads page. Click the RUU for a Windows EXE file, or zip for a ZIP file of the ROM.
Do you have an extra $649 burning a hole in your pocket? Do you have a hankering for a carrier and bootloader-unlocked HTC One? If so, we've got some news for you. HTC just opened up pre-sales for the HTC One Developer Edition to US customers.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor
- 2 GB RAM
- 64 GB of storage
- Front-facing stereo speakers
- Two dual-membrane microphones for recording
- Multiple frequency compatibility:
- HSPA/WCDMA: 850/1900/2100 MHz
- GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
- LTE: 700/850/AWS/1900 MHz (US)
Back in March, HTC announced plans to sell a limited quantity of the unlocked HTC One. While this isn't the cheapest way to get the flagship device, Developer Editions are completely contract free and won't bother you with those pesky carrier-imposed lockdowns.
The year was 2012. A mere two days before the alleged Mayan apocalypse—and about nine days before people stopped making tired old jokes about it—we got wind of the Developer Edition of the Galaxy Note II for Verizon. There were three differences between this handset and the version you could buy in the carrier's stores: it had an unlocked bootloader, it's unsubsidized, and it was not available for sale yet. Even though the locked version had been available for nearly a month. Oh, and it's still not out yet.
Here's the timeline:
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.
Samsung hasn't announced pricing or availability for this model just yet, but if previous patterns hold, you can expect this to take a bit of a toll on your wallet, as it's going to be sold off-contract and unsubsidized.
Welcome to the newer, friendlier Motorola, where every would-be Android modder is catered to. After creating developer editions of both the new Droid RAZR M and Droid RAZR HD for Verizon (the first from the manufacturer-carrier combo since the XOOM) Google's new acquisition is spreading the love to AT&T. The company announced the ATRIX HD Developer Edition, complete with unlockable bootloader, via its Twitter account today. There's currently no price or date available, beyond the fact that it will be available soon.
If Moto follows its pattern with the Verizon phones, the ability to unlock the bootloader will not be made available to customers who bought their phones from the carrier, on-contract or otherwise.
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.
The phone is purchased direct from the Samsung site and is identical in every way to the Verizon-sold edition, except that it has an unlocked bootloader ready for modding.
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.
Your eyes aren't deceiving you, though. Yes, there's a third promise on that screen. Motorola is promising "developer editions" of their phones to allow users to "enable modifications of the Android code." This doesn't exactly sound promising for average consumers who want to avoid locked bootloaders, but we'll see how Motorola implements the program.
Samsung's Android devices have always come with easily unlockable bootloaders, so seeing the Verizon version of the Galaxy S III locked down at the request of the carrier (we don't buy your excuse, Verizon) was quite a shocker to many enthusiasts (not like it stopped them). Samsung, realizing how important it is to have unlockable bootloaders on its devices, decided to go the same way Motorola did back in January and release a user-unlockable Galaxy S III Developer Edition specifically for VZW.
The device will be only available online through Samsung (it should appear shortly), and because Verizon is obviously not going to subsidize it, will likely cost about $600 (Samsung has yet to confirm the final amount).