ZTE Will Unlock the Axon 7 Bootloader

Elite h4x0rs, ZTE and its new Axon 7 might just be the company and phone for you. After apparently hearing you voice deep desires for an unlockable bootloader, the company says that it will make that an available option for those “with a high level of technical expertise” and who have “had experience flashing custom ROMs.” I’m not kidding, the email they sent actually says that bit about flashing ROMs.  (more…)

Official Bootloader Unlock Comes to Verizon Moto X (2nd Gen), Could Open Way to Marshmallow

Motorola will not update the Moto X (2nd gen) on AT&T or Verizon to Marshmallow. Since Motorola has gone completely silent on this decision, we don’t really know where to place the blame. My guess is that there are a couple of reasons. One, Motorola doesn’t have the resources anymore to support either and is instead focusing on the “Pure Edition” unlocked model which they control completely. And two, they don’t want to deal with the “partner” side of it, which means they don’t want to go through the ridiculously lengthy and possibly, mostly unnecessary “testing” process from AT&T and Verizon in order to get the update out to you. Unfair or not, that’s the situation we are in.

With that in mind, something is brewing in the bootloader unlock community that may be a way to Marshmallow on some level, at least for the Verizon variant of the Moto X (2nd gen).  (more…)

How to: Unlock the Nexus 6 Bootloader (Nexus 9 Too)

I get that the timing of this post seems super silly, especially after the conversations we had yesterday, including one where I said I don’t buy Nexus phones to flash all the things, but you know what? Many of you did buy a Nexus 6 or Nexus 9 to do just that, flash and tinker, so we want to make sure you know how to get started. Also, the process for unlocking the Nexus 6 or Nexus 9’s bootloader that we are about to walk through is something I do with all Nexus devices I own, because there is always a chance I may want to tinker later on down the road. Why not be prepared?  (more…)

Thursday Poll: Rooted or Non-Rooted?

Throughout the day, thanks to topics like the Nexus 6 having encryption that can’t be turned off without taking matters into your own hands, we have seen the emergence of a healthy discussion around the topic of tinkering. When we say “tinkering,” we are talking about understanding adb commands, flashing recoveries or images or ROMs, and generally deciding that you can make your phone better than it is out of the box. As the conversation has grown, a number of readers have taken it back to what we used to consider to be the initial step in becoming a tinkerer, and that’s through rooting a phone. And that thought has revived this poll question, which we try to run at least once a year, but haven’t seen December of 2013. In other words, it’s time.

So, let’s do this. In the poll below, all you have to do is answer by choosing if you are “rooted” or “non-rooted.” From there, to continue this conversation, feel free to jump into the comments section and talk about the phone you own, if you are rooted or non-rooted, why you fall into either of those categories, etc.

Rooted or Non-Rooted?

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FYI: Android 5.0 Introduces “Enable OEM Unlock” Option in Developer Options

If you buy one of the new Nexus devices – the Nexus 9 or Nexus 6 – and plan to unlock its bootloader upon first boot, so that you can get to tinkering, understand that you may have to enable the “OEM unlock” command that would typically be used to accomplish that task. In Android 5.0 “Lollipop,” Google has added a check box under Developer Options that enables the OEM unlock command to work. If that box isn’t checked, then I would imagine you will see an error during the bootloader unlock process.  (more…)

Galaxy Note 4 Developer Edition Now Available for $699

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Developer Edition for Verizon that we first told you about last week is now available for purchase. For $699, you can own Samsung’s latest oversized device and have the opportunity to unlock its bootloader.

In case you were wondering, this is the same Galaxy Note 4 that has been available from carriers. You are still looking at a 5.7-inch QHD AMOLED display, Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB RAM, and S Pen functionality. The only difference here is the unlockable bootloader that tinkerers tend to need in order to, well, tinker.  (more…)