HTC Introduces Official Bootloader Unlocking Tool for Phones Released After September 2011

HTC Introduces Official Bootloader Unlocking Tool for Phones Released After September 2011

Dec 30, 2011

HTC has made a great move toward ensuring user freedom on all their devices, by announcing that they will release tools to unlock the bootloaders on all of their devices going forward. Officially, their tools will work with devices released after September 2011; devices released prior to this may get tools in the future.

What does this mean, exactly? Simply put, it means that users can install their own custom ROMs without any restrictions from HTC, though carriers can still hold the rights to not allow the bootloaders to be unlocked. However, for HTC users, this means that they will be able to install the core software of their choice on their phones. It’s a great move for user freedom, and should benefit HTC as power users may be more motivated to use their phones because of this. As well, it’s not like enterprising hackers wouldn’t be able to find a way to unlock them anyway.

CyanogenMod 7 Brings Gingerbread to Many Phones for the First Time

CyanogenMod 7 Brings Gingerbread to Many Phones for the First Time

Apr 19, 2011

One of the most prominent names in the Android custom ROM scene is CyanogenMod, helping to provide a less cluttered and more customizable user experience than what many stock versions of Android provide. The latest version of CyanogenMod has been released by the CyanogenMod team, CyanogenMod 7 Final. This version of CM runs Android 2.3.3, better known as Gingerbread, which is the latest version of Android available for phones. Installing CyanogenMod requires root access and an app like ROM Manager from the Android Market – if you’re interested in installing CyanogenMod 7 Final for yourself, granted that your device, including a variety of popular phones, and tablets like the Nook Color, is among one of the 24 models (not including sub-variants, like the various Galaxy S models) that CyanogenMod is compatible with, search for how to root your phone, or visit the helpful XDA-Developers forum, find your phone, and you can find instructions on how to root your phone and how to install a custom rom on your phone.

The interesting thing about CyanogenMod is that this is going to be many users’ first taste of Gingerbread on their phones. In fact, CyanogenMod even beat some of the manufacturers to Gingerbread support, like with the Samsung Galaxy S. The source code for Gingerbread for the Galaxy S was released after CyanogenMod 7 was released in an unofficial, user-supported variant. The Android user community is very willing to support their devices to do what they want on them, without being reliant on what the manufacturers are willing to do.

Now, the custom rom experience is only recommended for users who are willing to tinker with their phones and aren’t afraid to violate their warranties. However, if you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, and improve the experience of your phone, then a custom rom like CyanogenMod 7 is a good choice, but note that most phones will have a wide variety of custom roms available. My suggestion is to play around with a few, to find what works best for you. However, if you want Gingerbread on your phone right now, CyanogenMod may be your only choice right now.