October 30, 2014

HTC Details Bootloader Process for "Developers and Enthusiasts"

It’s been a few weeks since HTC last updated us on their plans on the hot button issue of unlocking bootloaders. The hardware maker took to their Facebook page again last night to fill in a few details as to where things are and how the process will work.

HTC tells us that they are making progress and that the goal of an August rollout is still in the cards. The first device will be the HTC Sensation, followed by T-Mobile’s Sensation 4G and Sprint’s EVO 3D.

Devices will be continue to be shipped to consumers and retail partners in a locked state if only because of security and user experience. A user-initiated, web-based unlocking tool will be made available for for those “developers and enthusiasts” looking to unlock the bootloader. This tool will require users to register an account with HTC, waiving part/all of the device’s warranty in the event something goes awry. From there, users will plug the phone into the Android SDK to retrieve an identifier token that gets entered into the web tool. This token will get you an unlock key that is entered into the device.

We’ve said it a bunch of times here and in conversations in our podcasts – this is not something that most users will even care about. In fact, we venture to guess that a majority of our readers and followers have no idea what a bootloader is.  However, for those who do care and understand the stakes, this is a big step forward for the developer and enthusiast community.