August 3, 2011 | by Tony Price
In the continuing saga of Android customization, HTC has been a shining example for other manufacturers to follow. While other companies have sent mixed signals regarding bootloaders, HTC has remained stead fast in their belief in Android freedom. Last month, we reported that they planned to give users the ability to unlock their bootloaders, and now there are more details on that program.
HTC posted on Facebook that they will be launching a web-based bootloader unlocking tool later this month. In order to make use of it, you will need to register an account with HTC and make sure you have the Android SDK on your computer. Your device will be accessed for an “identifier token” and then you will be emailed a unique unlock key.
HTC claims that they have been shipping devices with locked bootloaders to protect their consumers. Unlocking your bootloader, like rooting your phone, provides easier access to deep system files. It is that kind of access that make things similar to yesterday’s call recording malware possible.
While it’s good to see HTC taking these steps for both developers and enthusiasts, I think this may not be the way customers wanted this to go. After reading through some of the Facebook comments, I can see some backlash from consumers about this voiding warranties and the idea that HTC may want to track those who use the tools. While the warranty thing is valid (HTC says so), the tracking idea cannot be confirmed.
Overall, this is the right move for the community by HTC. They have long been the manufacturer that has been most acceptive of custom ROMs and modifications, and it looks like they want to keep that title. It is also in line with the news we reported in July regarding HTC bootloaders.
What do you think of this plan? Are you upset that HTC makes you void your warranty (which you probably did anyway)? Are you afraid of HTC tracking who unlocks their bootloaders? Let us know your thoughts in comment section below.