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).
If you didn't know, HTC has promised to provide bootloader unlock support for all devices released after September of 2011 as well as many others released before, and they have been keeping good on that promise with added support for many devices over the last few months.
Those following HTC's efforts to liberate bootloaders everywhere have a bit more to talk about tonight, as the Taiwanese manufacturer added support for a handful of devices.
For those not in the loop, HTC pledged to enable unlocking the bootloaders of all devices released after September 2011, but is doing the community one better by extending support to older models as well. HTC allows users to unlock their bootloaders using a quick, (relatively) easy online tool.
Well, that didn't take long, did it? Just one short day after news hit the web that the Transformer Prime's bootloader is encrypted and locked, ASUS has issued a statement on its Facebook page regarding the matter, and it's definitely a step in the direction that the modding community was hoping for. Here's the meat and potatoes of it:
Regarding the bootloader, the reason we chose to lock it is due to content providers' requirement for DRM client devices to be as secure as possible.
In a continued effort to unlock bootloaders everywhere using their online tool, HTC has added several exciting entries to the "supported devices" list. Perhaps the most notable of the new entries are the Droid Incredible 2 and HTC Thunderbolt. Officially, HTC's online unlock tool is compatible with all devices launched after September 2011, but the new additions reflect an effort to add compatibility for older devices.
Update: HTC just added the Incredible S to the mix.
Update #1: HTC Vivid is unlockable as well - thanks again for the tip, jcase.
Update #2: HTC just updated the bootloader unlock site and announced that "All HTC Android devices launched after September 2011 are unlockable. The website will be updated accordingly to reflect this in the coming weeks.
HTC is continuously adding phones and tablets to its official bootloader unlock page, and a couple of new devices have made their way into the now-unlockable arena. The EVO View 4G is one such device, as it now joins its Wi-Fi only brother, the Flyer, in the world of open bootloaders. Also joining the mix is the T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide, the first device from the myTouch family to make its way onto the portal.
Owners of the LG G-Slate have been waiting a long time to get some custom ROM action on the 8.9-inch device, and now that dream may finally become a reality thanks to a quick hack that unlocks the bootloader. The process is stupid-easy - it's basically as simple as flashing a .zip file in ClockworkMod.
While there aren't any custom ROMs available for the device just yet, the first custom kernels are starting to show up on RootzWiki - a good sign indeed.
One of the most interesting features in Ice Cream Sandwich is, without a doubt, the new Face Unlock that lets you unlock the phone using your face and the front-facing camera. Before we go any further, please read the following bullet points, as I'd like to clear a few things up:
The question of whether Face Unlock can be duped by a photo was raised by many almost immediately after the feature was announced, to which Google responded with "give us some credit".
Joining the race to replace all of your practical possessions with mobile apps, Lockitron is offering an NFC-based, key-free lock control solution for Android, iPhone, and Blackberry that has the potential for tons of applications, from letting people into your home while on vacation, to simply buzzing in a friend with no effort whatsoever.
Utilizing a system of "mobile keys," Lockitron's system communicates with a small hardware device connected to the user's internet router, which in turn communicates with your doors, either automatically, or through the use of an optional NFC tag that the user would manually slap onto a lock.