Ladies and gentlemen, minutes ago HTC announced that they have been listening to us all along and will reverse their stance on locking bootloaders! The statement comes directly from the CEO Peter Chou and reads:
Update: If you've somehow ended up on this page, please note: HTC has since changed its bootloader policy - all future phones will be unlocked.
Once a great example of how open Android phone manufacturers could be, HTC has taken a lot of heat from its fan base over recent decisions to lock its devices' bootloaders (such as with the Sensation and EVO 3D), endangering the possibility that these devices will be able to support custom ROMs.
It's that time of the week again folks - time to hit the polls. This week's question is one that'll allow you to express what you think an Android handset should let you do in terms of customization, modification, and other various tinkering (think rooting, custom ROMs, kernels, etc). Basically, we want to know how important it is for you, as a consumer, that your next phone be easy to customize.
Neither z4root nor SuperOneClick is currently working on the Charge (though I'm sure someone will come up with a one-click method soon enough), but guess what - Gingerbreak sure does. Follow these instructions, and you should have root and full /system unlock on your Droid Charge in a few minutes. Credit goes to the Exploid Crew and unnamed testers.
No custom recovery, such as ClockworkMod or RA, is available yet, but it is surely going to arrive very soon.
Today is starting out pretty well - minutes ago, we finally got the HTC Thunderbolt kernel source, and now Sony Ericsson decided to lift our spirits even further via a blog post announcing their commitment to the Android development community. And a commitment it is - Sony Ericsson may just be the first large manufacturer truly listening to us.
Sure, Motorola unlocked the bootloader of the XOOM, and Samsung did the same to the Nexus S, but Sony Ericsson is promising to release versions of ALL Xperia phones with easily unlockable bootloaders, at least ones slated for 2011.
Conspiracy theorists would have you believe that the ThunderBolt's signed (and locked) bootloader was all Verizon's doing, but it appears that isn't quite the case - the Incredible S, one of HTC's unlocked GSM phones, is shipping with a similar failsafe system. That basically means no custom ROMs for you (at least until a viable workaround is discovered).
Proof? Look no further than the contents of this Incredible S RUU:
From what our friends at AndIRC can tell (note that they don't have a device in hand), the Incredible S includes a signature check much like the one on the ThunderBolt.
We fixed it for you. Unlike the root method we described yesterday, following the instructions below will provide S-OFF, remove signature checks, and unlock eMMC. Enjoy!
Rooting The ThunderBolt - Version 2.5
That didn't take long. A collaborative effort between numerous Android hackers just managed to crack the Thunderbolt's bootloader wide open, successfully booting a custom recovery image. They also incidentally discovered a new root method in the process. Credit goes to jcase, jamezelle, and scotty2 (and all of andirc) for working out the details, and ProTekk and Trident for putting their shiny new Thunderbolts on the line. Here's the visual proof:
Image credit: Trident, ProTekk
We'll keep you apprised on the situation with instructions on how to go about unlocking your own Thunderbolt as we get more information.
Update: Bootloader and recovery are both locked and signed. See new screenshot.
Update #2: The device has been rooted, and its bootloader has been unlocked!
Some of our good friends over at AndIRC (most thanks going to scotty2 for discovering it, and Trident for being the guinea pig) have discovered a bit of troubling information regarding the HTC Thunderbolt: its bootloader and recovery are locked. What does that mean, exactly?
That's right, folks. Sending in your XOOM to Motorola while it's rooted will get it sent right back. Motorola will not provide 4G LTE upgrades to XOOM devices that have been rooted, plain and simple.
A forum moderator in the same Motorola support thread indicates that it's not quite as hard-line as the first responder indicated, and that your XOOM simply must be stock in terms of software functionality when Motorola receives it.