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For techies: HTC web based tool to unlock bootloaders coming this month
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For techies: HTC web based tool to unlock bootloaders coming this month

The fairly large community of people who like to add modified operating systems to their smartphones roared in anger when HTC released its latest phones with locked bootloaders. The company quickly backtracked and promised to fix the issue..people wondered how. This week HTC answered on its Facebook page.

Since our last update, many of you have asked how the bootloader unlocking process will actually work, and in particular why HTC’s most recently released devices still have a locked bootloader. Rest assured we’re making progress toward our goal to roll out the first software updates in August to support unlocking for the global HTC Sensation, followed soon by the HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile and the HTC EVO 3D on Sprint. Because unlocking the bootloader provides extensive control over the device and modifications may cause operation, security and experience issues, new devices will continue to ship locked but will support user-initiated unlocking using a new Web-based tool.

So how will this work? The Web tool, which will launch this month, requires that you register an account with a valid e-mail address and accept legal disclaimers that unlocking may void all or parts of your warranty. Then plug in your phone to a computer with the Android SDK loaded to retrieve a device identifier token, which you can then enter into the Web tool to receive a unique unlock key via e-mail. Finally, apply the key to your device and unlocking will be initiated on your phone.

We’re excited to bring bootloader unlocking to developers and enthusiasts, and we feel this new Web tool will meet your needs and continue to provide customers with the best experience. Thanks to the community for supporting these efforts!

This looks like it will be a very simple process even for the non-technical user who may want to try something new. Trouble is, HTC will know you have unlocked the bootloader with whatever warranty implications that brings. Hopefully the company will continue to honour manufacturing defect warranties for issues unrelated to bootloader unlocking.

Some of you may want to take a look at Everything you wanted to know about bootloaders for some background on this.

Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

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