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…)

LG G3 “Bump” Gives You Fully Working TWRP Recovery on All Variants

If you own an LG G3 – we are talking any variant – and are into custom recoveries, ROMs, that sort of thing, then you should probably have already installed Bump. Created by Team Codefire, Bump allows you to boot into a full TWRP custom recovery and flash ROMs as you please, sort of like if you had a full bootloader unlock. As I just mentioned, this should work with all carrier variants (including Verizon’s), you just need to be rooted first (and work through a little adb with a recovery.img).  (more…)

Unlocking Xperia Z3 Compact Bootloader Worsens Low-Light Camera Performance, May Affect Other Apps

The message from most smartphone manufacturers seems abundantly clear – bootloaders are better locked. Even OEMs which ship so-called developer devices seem to do all that they can to dissuade the average user from flashing unauthorized firmware, whether by posting scary disclaimers or disavowing all responsibility for damage. Sony, it seems, has adopted a far harsher tactic for those who bravely unlock the Xperia Z3 Compact’s bootloader, which is to degrade the user experience. (more…)

SunShine Bootloader Unlock Tool Released for Moto X, DROID Family

TeamAndIRC released their SunShine bootloader unlock for the original Moto X and the DROID family from last year (MAXX, ULTRA, and Mini), this afternoon. The unlock tool comes in the form of an .apk that is sideloaded onto your Motorola device of choice. Once installed and paid for ($25 per device), a quick run through of a compatibility check followed by an approval or two is all that it takes before your phone is unlocked.  (more…)