Motorola Atrix 4G owners, this is the day you all have been impatiently waiting for. Yesterday, we reported that Motorola might unlock the boot loader on the Atrix 4G with the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update.
However, the awesomely talented folks over at XDA have managed to beat Motorola, and have unlocked the boot loader on the Atrix 4G.
The whole method to unlock the boot loader on the Atrix 4G can be found here. Do make a backup of your data, since the handset will be wiped clean of any data when the boot loader is unlocked. Sadly, there is a catch though. The method only works on AT&T branded and OLYFR branded version of the Atrix 4G.
Other branded version of handsets threw an error when users tried to unlock the boot loader. The phone did not brick itself, so there is no issue in trying.
The unlocked boot loader means we should start seeing custom kernels and true custom ROMs for the handset. In fact, ClockWorkMod Recovery is already available for unlocked Atrix 4G handsets. Here is the link to the appropriate thread over at XDA forums.
Motorola has been heavily criticized by developers and consumers for locking down the boot loader on their devices. In its defence, Moto said that carriers also play a part in locking the boot loader on their phone, and that they will unlock boot loader on their handsets sometime in the 2nd half of this year.
Now, the folks over at BriefMobile, have somehow managed to get their hands on a test build of Android 2.3 Gingerbread for the Atrix 4G. The test build allows them to unlock the boot loader on their Atrix 4G, by simply using the fastboot oem unlockcommand.
Below is a video of the Atrix 4G boot loader being unlocked :
It is not confirmed whether the final build of the Gingerbread update for the Atrix 4G, will allow users to unlock the boot loader on their handsets.
BriefMobile does state that they have confirmed with representatives from Motorola, about the possibility of unlocking the boot loader in the final build of the Gingerbread update.
If Motorola remains true to their words, then this move will definitely please all the Atrix 4G owners out there. An unlocked boot loader would mean faster un-official Android updates, AOSP ROMs, custom kernels with Overclocking and under-volting support etc.
HTC’s smartphone sales and profits have risen up sharply, with the growth of Android. Last year, HTC Android phones were among the most popular ones among the consumers as well as developers. Developers used to buy a HTC based Android phones, since it was easy to get root access and flash custom ROMs on their phones.
However, since the beginning of this year HTC changed their agenda and started shipping Android phones with encrypted boot loader. This meant that rooting and flashing custom ROMs on HTC phones became nearly impossible. The company received a lot criticism on their move of encrypting the boot loaders on their handset.
Many people who had previously thought of buying the HTC Sensation went ahead and got the Samsung Galaxy S II, just because the SGS II does not have a locked down boot loader.
A few days ago HTC said that they are reviewing their policy on locked down boot loaders. Today, HTC’s CEO Peter Chou announced that HTC has listened to its customer feedback, and they will no longer be locking down boot loaders on their devices.
This definitely is music to my ears, and as well as every developer out there. This move from HTC clearly proves that ignoring the developer community can lead to negative PR and lot of criticism (Psst Motorola).
However, HTC has not mentioned anything whether their current devices with locked boot loaders like the Sensation, Incredible S will be unlocked or not.
First Sony Ericsson, then Samsung and LG and now HTC all have realized that they are adversely going to affect the sales of their handsets by locking down its boot loader. Now, only if Motorola could realize this!
Back in 2010, HTC’s Android handsets were very modding friendly, and that was one of the main reasons for their popularity. HTC’s handsets were among the first to get a new mod or ROM ports. This was all because HTC did not lock or encrypt their handsets boot loader.
Sadly, it looks like this year the company has taken a different approach towards unlocked boot loader on their handsets. All the phones HTC have released this year including the Desire S, and the Incredible S have a locked boot loader. Many developers and modders criticized HTC for this, and expected that the company won’t be so strict with its next super-phone the HTC Sensation.
Sadly, the folks over at AndroidPolice are reporting that the Sensation will ship with a signed boot loader as well. Unless the developers get extremely lucky, like in the case of the HTC Thunderbolt, there is a very tough chance of unlocking the boot loader.
This news has already caused many developers and HTC handsets users to change their mind about the Sensation. The Samsung Galaxy S II is no less than the Sensation in the specs department, and many people are looking towards it as a viable alternative.
It is really sad to see HTC shipping their phones with an encrypted boot loader. Motorola is already being criticized by a lot of people for shipping their phones with locked boot loaders. Companies need to realize that shipping their phones with a locked boot loader is going to adversely affect the handsets sales.
Motorola and HTC should learn a lesson or two from Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson on supporting the modding community.
Back when I first started playing with different Linux distributions, like Ubuntu, I’d accidentally wipe out the boot loader. I had been through this scenario in Windows XP countless times and I knew how to restore the Windows master boot record.
This time, it happened to me in Windows 7. I was playing around with a Linux boot loader utility and I accidentally trashed the MBR (master boot record). I ended up with a really weird message when I went to restart the machine. It wasn’t Operating System Not Foundbut I knew what had happened.
Fortunately, I had created a Windows 7 Repair disk. If you haven’t done this yourself, take a few minutes and do it now.
Create a Windows 7 Repair Disk
- Insert a blank CD
- Click on the Start button and type repairinto the search box.
- Click on Create a System Repair Discand follow the instructions.
Repairing a missing or corrupted boot record
Let’s assume that you have either a Windows 7 Installation DVD or a repair disk. Here’s the scoop on how to fix a missing boot record, or some other weird boot error.
If you can remember when the Motorola Milestone launched, which was ages ago in the technology world, it came with chip technology called “e-Fuse”. For all intents and purposes, this was a blatant attempt by Motorola to stop hackers and developers from booting custom firmware on their devices and protecting their own intellectual property, such as MotoBLUR. Some of the reasons that people purchase Android devices, is solely because they have much more open access to the hardware than they would compared to an iPhone, Windows Phone 7 or webOS device. HTC seems to understand this and provides a way for users to unlock their devices albeit forgoing their warranty. Perhaps this is why Google chose HTC as their OEM for the Nexus One and it was a big hit with the community.
Today, a user posted a question to Motorola’s YouTube account asking about dock support for the up and coming Atrix 4G. The poster was met with a response – @tdcrooks if you want to doï»¿ custom roms, then buy elsewhere, we’ll continue with our strategy that is working thanks. Moments after the AndroidCentral member posted it to their forums, Motorola removed all the comments off their page and started on damage control.
They posted up a Note on their Facebook page apologizing for the comment made by one of their employees. They are also claiming that there will be a work-around for their future devices in order to allow developers to use devices “as a development platform” but still giving them the ability to “protect our users’ interests”. Keeping in mind that because Texas Instruments has eFuse embedded in a lot of their chips, Motorola does have the power to re-program the “fuse” on the fly – this means that Motorola could ship out binaries to requesting developers, which would allow them to bypass the fuse and give them lower level access to the hardware.
There are many choices out there if you’re looking for an Android handset. If you disagree with the practices of Motorola, the best option would be to vote with your wallet.
The folks over at Xda Developers have done it again. They have managed to root the Motorola Droid 2, only after two weeks of its launch. Users who are interested in rooting their Droid 2, need to have adb and the required drivers from Motorola installed. Users need to key in lots of command from adb to root their Droid 2. Rooting a phone allows users to remove all the crapware which an operator loads on the phone. It also provides the users with Wi-Fi and USB tethering for free.
Hopefully, the Motorola Droid 2 will now soon get the Clockwork Mod recovery and Custom ROMs. However, the locked down bootloader on the device is surely going to give the developers some sleepless night. The Motorola Droid 2 is the successor to the highly popular Droid. The original Droid was and still is a popular phone among the modding community due to its unlocked bootloader.
Here is the link on how to root your Droid 2.
The European sibling of the Motorola Droid the Milestone has got the Froyo love unofficially. The Motorola Droid is yet to receive the official Froyo update, but thanks to the modding community certain ROMs based on Froyo already exist. The Milestone getting an unofficial Froyo update is certainly big news since the phone has a locked down bootloader.
Dext3r from ModMyMobile forums has ported the Android 2.2 FRF91 build to the Milestone. The only problem with this unofficial Froyo update is that the camera won’t work. I guess this should give Motorola enough hints to start working on the official Froyo update for the Milestone. Motorola had earlier said that they still need to decide whether to bring Froyo to Milestone or not.
Since the Droid X, and the upcoming Droid 2 feature the same bootloader as the Milestone, we expect the modding community to achieve some kind of success in porting Android 2.2 to these devices.
The Motorola Droid has now been listed as end of lifein the Verizon inventory system. Yes, your beloved Motorola Droid is finally going to be phased out. In the upcoming few weeks, the Droid will be completely phased out from the Verizon inventory system. Motorola and Verizon will be replacing the Droid with the Droid 2.
Droid users should not be disheartened since the Motorola Droid is a very popular phone among the modding community. The Motorola Droid sold like hot cakes when it was launched. It was and still is one of the most popular android phone out there. The successor to the Droid the Droid 2 will feature a 1 GHz OMAP processor, and 512MB of RAM. The sad news is that the Droid 2 will feature a locked bootloader, which will severely limit its modding capability.
The Droid 2 is expected to be released in August, and will be announced my Verizon within the next few weeks.
One of the main reasons why the Motorola Droid sold like hot cakes in the U.S was because of its unlocked bootloader. The unlocked bootloader allowed the modding community to play with the phone to their hearts content. Thanks to the unlocked bootloader users could flash a custom ROM with tweaked settings, overclock their CPU etcetera. Sadly, the European version of the Droid a.k.a Milestone featured a locked bootloader due to which it did not do sell very well.
When Motorola announced the Droid X, the modding community hoped that the Droid X will also feature an unlocked bootloader. Sadly, it was found out that the Droid X uses the same bootloader as the Milestone. Now in a shocking move, Motorola has officially announced that it won’t allow Custom ROMs on their handset from now on.
Securing the software on our handsets, thereby preventing a non-Motorola ROM image from being loaded, has been our common practice for many years. This practice is driven by a number of different business factors. When we do deviate from our normal practice, such as we did with the DROID, there is a specific business reason for doing so. We understand this can result in some confusion, and apologize for any frustration.said Lori Fraleigh from Motorola.
Motorola even suggest people to buy a Nexus One or a Google ADP1 developer phone for flashing and playing around with their phone.
Bad move from Motorola here! I am sure the sales of Droid X and Droid 2 will take a huge hit due to this.