The original Transformer was one of the first tablets to capture the imagination of the Android community, and three iterations later the family continues to be popular among modders and ROM enthusiasts. The latest and inarguably greatest member of ASUS' tablet family, the Transformer Pad Infinity, now has infinitely more options when it comes to aftermarket ROMs and modifications. The company released the TF700 version of their bootloader unlock tool, and interested users can download it from the ASUS support website.
Motorola, a company notorious for shipping devices with locked bootloaders, has finally announced that they've found a solution to offer users the option to unlock their devices while still keeping carrier partners happy.
The first device to see this option will be the just announced Photon Q, which will be available on Sprint in the coming weeks.
The details surrounding how this process will work aren't yet available, but we expect more information to become available once the Photon Q hits the streets.
Those wondering whether Motorola's recently-announced Atrix HD will carry a locked bootloader can exhale – in a string of tweets earlier this evening, Moto confirmed that, yes, the Atrix HD's bootloader will be locked and signed.
That being said, Moto indicated that their "goal" is to provide a way to "unlock the bootloaders on our devices to those who wish to do so," adding that more details are "to come."
@kulow_atx Motorola ATRIX HD at AT&T will have a locked bootloader to meet requirements; (1/2)
— Motorola Mobility (@Motorola) July 10, 2012
@kulow_atx our goal is still to provide a way to unlock the bootloaders on our devices to those who wish to do so, more details to come(2/2)
— Motorola Mobility (@Motorola) July 10, 2012
What this means for the end user is that (for now) customization of the Atrix HD will be severely limited.
After HTC basically pointed the finger at AT&T for the bootloader situation on the American version of the One X (which is technically the One XL), many an enthusiast voiced their disapproval.
Ask and you shall receive (apparently) - ASUS has just published the bootloader unlock utility for the Transformer Pad 300. You can download it here.
Unlock Device App: Unlock boot loader.
1. Only suitable for Andriod4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS version.
2. Before you download, install, and use the Unlock Device App you acknowledge and assume complete risk to the quality and performance of this App, including but not limited to the following: once you activate the App you will not be able to recover your ASUS product (“Original Product”) back to original locked conditions;the Original Product with the activated App will not be deemed the Original Product; the Revised Product will no longer be covered under the warranty of the Original Product; the software of Revised Product will no longer be deemed the software of the Original Product and can no longer receive ASUS software updates; your purchased digital content may also be affected.
After MoDaCo's recent report that HTC's Bootloader Unlock tool didn't work for AT&T's One X variant, The Verge reached out to the Taiwanese manufacturer, and received a reply which suggested that the device has "restrictions" which prevent its bootloader from being unlockable:
Early last month, it was revealed to much outcry that the Transformer Prime had a locked bootloader. Angry customers took to the forums to vent and started a petition to get Asus to change its stance. And just 24 hours later, that's what happened, with Asus promising an unlock tool down the road.
Today Asus delivered, with the unlock tool hitting the TP's support site:
TL;DR: Caveat emptor.
The company strongly suggests customers stay away from unlocking the bootloader, stating:
HTC has added added a handful of devices to the list of those supported by the Taiwanese manufacturer's bootloader unlock tool. The newly-added devices include the Hero, Legend, both the myTouch 3G and 4G, and the aged Droid Eris. The announcement came via Twitter earlier today:
Some of the newly added unlock bootloader supported devices are the HTC Hero, Legend, Droid Eris, myTouch 3G, and myTouch 4G!
— HTCdev (@htcdev) February 15, 2012
As always, HTC warns that unlocking a bootloader is not for the faint of heart, and may preclude users from warranty coverage.
Over the weekend, we found out about Moto's upcoming dev-friendly version of the RAZR, its first device with an unlockable bootloader. What we didn't have, however, were any details about how the unlock process would work, how it would affect the warranty, and so on. Moto has now posted the details answering many of those exactly questions, and there's one thing for sure - it doesn't look like it's going to be as good as it sounds.
This a cause I think we can all get behind. Back in 2010, the Copyright Office in the Library of Congress issued a rulemaking statement exempting smartphones and DVDs from reverse engineering laws under the DMCA. Previously, companies like Apple had used these provisions to threaten criminal prosecution (as well as civil action) against those who "jailbroke" (rooted) devices such as the iPhone (or iPad). The exemption to these penalties put in place by the Copyright Office extended to the "jailbreaking" (or, as we know it in the Android community, rooting) of all smartphones (it also extends to things like bootloader unlocking).