June 22, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
Today was a productive day among Android developers who like to hack away at phones. Earlier this morning, the Samsung Galaxy S achieved root status, just a couple of weeks after being released. The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 was also cracked open, though it has been in the hands of developers for considerably longer.
The X10 proved to be a tough nut to crack. Developers at XDA have been working since March to root the X10, and a community-funded bounty reached as high $1,650 on June 11. Now that Bin4ryDigit and others have achieved root, you can count on more work going into enhancing the X10. You may even see bits of newer software versions beyond 1.6 before SE releases an official update.
The Galaxy S was less formidable but the reward was still sweet. Unlike the X10, Galaxy S owners can get detailed instructions on how to root right now.
Android newbies should know that rooting is a process by which device owners gain special access to their phones. Carriers and manufacturers release phones that close off permissions to certain functions, so to root is to unlock those permissions and gain near-complete freedom to add features, apply hacks that improve the phone, and load custom software versions created by others.