Motorola has had a dark past when it comes to bootloaders. Apart from a couple exceptions (most notably, the XOOM), all of the major Motorola devices have had locked bootloaders, and thus, Android customization enthusiasts have been shut out from such tweaks as custom kernels.
It appears that Samsung may be following in Sony's footsteps by actually giving users what they want where bootloaders are concerned. According to this tweet from Android app developer Supercurio, a source at Samsung has stated that bootloaders on future Sammy devices will be unlocked as long as Google doesn't require otherwise. If true, this means really good things for the dev community, who will never have to deal with the trials and tribulations that tech-savvy Motorola owners have had to face.
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.
That's right - unlike almost all other Motorola devices in recent memory, the XOOM will ship with an unlocked (or at least "unlockable/relockable") bootloader. That means modders will be free to create custom ROMs and kernels for the tablet - not as surprising as it would be were the XOOM not a flagship Google device, but still very reassuring.
Well, this didn't take long - the hackers over at NotionInkHacks.com played around with Notion Ink's dual-core Adam Android tablet that finally started shipping last week and already managed to root the device.
The next logical step and the primary motivation for rooting Adam was, of course, getting the absent Android Market onto the tablet. As we all know, those with almighty root privileges are not easily stopped, so I'm happy to report that full Android Market is now also available on the Adam.
The Android dev team has generally been assumed to have a passive stance on rooting and unlocking Android devices. That is, do it if you want - we won't stop you. And there's certainly evidence abound supporting this - Google's Nexus One could be unlocked via a simple ADB (Android Device Bridge) command: fastboot oem unlock. The same is true of the Nexus S.
Of course, it only makes sense - Google doesn't want to put any unnecessary barriers between Android developers and the open source OS, especially on developer phones.
After weeks of anticipation, leaked photos, snooped videos and widespread rumors, the next pure-Google device is official, and it's pretty much just what you expected. Bearing the title of the flagship device for the the freshly-baked Gingerbread (Android 2.3), the Samsung-made Nexus S includes:
- 4.0" WVGA "Contour Display" SAMOLED screen
- 1 GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird CPU
- Android 2.3 Pre-installed
- 16 GB internal storage (no microSD)
- Quad-Band GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
- Tri-Band 3G (900, 2100, 1700 MHz)
- HSDPA (7.2Mbps) connectivity (no HSPA+)
- Near Field Communication (NFC)
- Anti-fingerprint display coating
- Three-axis gyroscope
- 1500 mAH Lithum Ion Battery
- 5 MP rear camera w/ flash and 480P rec.