Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th May 2011 09:48 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Well, this is some good news on this fine morning. After Sony Ericsson announcing official support for bootloader unlocking on their Android phones, HTC has just stepped it up a notch: the company's CEO (no less) has announced on Facebook that going forward, HTC will no longer lock down any of their phones' bootloaders.
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HTC was always cool
by molnarcs on Fri 27th May 2011 10:58 UTC
molnarcs
Member since:
2005-09-10

I always loved HTC handsets - so do many people on xda-developers. One of the reasons is that they were always hackable. I had winmob 6.5 + latest HTC sense on my old Blackstone. They also build very very solid phones. I threw the Blackstone across the room once (by accident, was just gesturing wildly and it flew off my hand) - battery cover fell off, put it back, no damage whatsoever (minor scratch only). Same with my Nexus One - it's very sturdy. I'd say it's almost like old NOKIA sturdiness.

Another thing I recall reading on xda-devs is that one of the members asked them a technical question (related to hacking the phone) and they actually answered in detail. I also heard a few times that HTC is cool about warranty - ie you don't loose it if you try other mods if the problem is obviously hardware related.

I hope the next Nexus is done by HTC again (though I can't see any reason to change my N1 in the next 1-2 years). Their only weakness is their shitty camera - but I never cared for that, I have my pocketable ultrazoom with me all the time (PANASONIC TZ7) - and I never really used the camera on my phone.

Edited 2011-05-27 11:01 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: HTC was always cool
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 27th May 2011 11:03 UTC in reply to "HTC was always cool"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Yeah, the camera on my HTC HD7 is pretty damn shitty when taking photo's - when recoding HD video, however, it's actually pretty darn good.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: HTC was always cool
by molnarcs on Fri 27th May 2011 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE: HTC was always cool"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

The N1 camera is crap for both ;) But as I said, I don't mind it at all. Curiously, the Blackstone had better camera than the N1, even though it's 2 years older. NOKIA, SonyEricsson are probably the best. My N1 camera is comparable to the SE W800i, and that's a really ancient phone (over 6 years!).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: HTC was always cool
by Boldie on Fri 27th May 2011 16:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: HTC was always cool"
Boldie Member since:
2007-03-26

yeah, what is up with the shitty cameras? My old Nokia N82 had a great camera three years ago! And my fathers Nokia N8 has a really great camera (the actual phone sucks). Why oh why did Nokia turn to windows. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: HTC was always cool
by Elv13 on Fri 27th May 2011 20:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: HTC was always cool"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

Mine is much better than the old SE 1.3mpx I had on the side flip version of the same phone. Of course, "dark shot" are not stat good, but overall, it's better than SE W***i. If the N1 camera is that bad for you, you probably had a faulty device. Have you tried with Cyanogen and the stock firmware? They have different way of doing the focus and color balance.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: HTC was always cool
by Tuishimi on Fri 27th May 2011 19:04 UTC in reply to "RE: HTC was always cool"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, same here, I have the HD7 as well. Great for movies! Photos look like a van Gogh rip-off.

Reply Score: 1

Great news
by unoengborg on Fri 27th May 2011 14:03 UTC
unoengborg
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is great, now they are off my don't buy list again.

Now I only wish they could ship phones with vanilla Android as an option, or at least make it possible to turn off Sense, and still have a full set of standard Android apps. Not that there is something wrong with Sense but in my oppinion less is more and I find vanilla android more elegant.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Great news
by WorknMan on Fri 27th May 2011 16:20 UTC in reply to "Great news"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Now I only wish they could ship phones with vanilla Android as an option, or at least make it possible to turn off.


Yes, absolutely. I wish there would have been as big of a campaign to get them to offer vanilla as an option. Since Google won't (or can't) offer a CDMA phone in the US, HTC seems to be the next best option, but Sense really blows whale cock. I know some people like Sense, but then again... some people are retarded.

Note: I've heard people say you can get rid of Sense by installing Launcherpro or something similar. That's like saying you can get rid of Internet Explorer in Windows by deleting the IE icon from the desktop ;)

Edited 2011-05-27 16:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Great news
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 27th May 2011 16:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Great news"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Agreed - I would've thought about buying an HTC Android phone if they didn't ship sense. Blugh.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Great news
by Lennie on Sat 28th May 2011 09:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Great news"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Isn't this the whole idea about unlocking ? To allow you to install vanilla ? Or even something else.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Great news
by WorknMan on Sat 28th May 2011 22:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Great news"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Isn't this the whole idea about unlocking ? To allow you to install vanilla ? Or even something else.


Yeah, but for whatever reason, once a new vanilla version of Android comes out, it takes hackers awhile to get it working and stable on phones that don't run vanilla. For example, when Froyo came out, it was many months before they had all the glitches worked out with vanilla on Froyo, and even then, with the most stable vanilla ROM I could find, my LED notification light didn't work right.

I'm not sure why it takes them so long, but I'm guessing it is because of driver issues. Whatever the case, consumers shouldn't be at the mercy of hackers on XDA working in their spare time to get updates.

Note: I don't mean to sound like I'm bitter towards the hackers - I very much appreciate the work they do. God bless them ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Great news
by Lennie on Sun 29th May 2011 13:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Great news"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Code takes time, especially if you don't have detailed documentation of the device.

It makes perfect sense, think about it, when a manufacturer releases a new device for the public the driver development already started months before it was released and they have knowledge of the device.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Great news
by lawlernet on Fri 27th May 2011 17:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Great news"
lawlernet Member since:
2005-08-22

"Now I only wish they could ship phones with vanilla Android as an option, or at least make it possible to turn off.


Yes, absolutely. I wish there would have been as big of a campaign to get them to offer vanilla as an option. Since Google won't (or can't) offer a CDMA phone in the US, (snip)
"

The Nexus S 4G which is offered by Sprint is CDMA.

Reply Score: 1

Already existing phones?
by sb56637 on Fri 27th May 2011 14:36 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

I don't really understand how the internals of a smartphone work. Does this means that HTC is planning to release some sort of flashable open bootloader for already existing devices? Or are they only promising this for future devices?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Already existing phones?
by AdamW on Fri 27th May 2011 16:22 UTC in reply to "Already existing phones?"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

an open bootloader means it's trivial to boot a non-standard operating system firmware image on the phone, and hence a whole third party environment - so an alternate build of Android, or even a different OS entirely, if the hackers can make it work. It's pretty common to port Android to phones HTC released with Windows Mobile, for instance.

it became trendy recently for phones to lock down the bootloader: it wouldn't run a firmware image that wasn't digitally signed with a specific key controlled by the manufacturer. obviously this makes things much harder for tweakers; you have to crack the protection to load unofficial firmware images.

HTC did this with their last few models - I think the last six or seven high-end phones they released, Engadget's story on this has a list. Now they've promised they'll stop doing it in future. They haven't promised to update the phones that already have locked bootloaders to unlock them; I'm not even sure if they _can_ do that with an OTA update.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

5$ of every HTC sold goes to Microsoft due to an out of court settlment over allegations of Android patent infringement. I guess actually publicly addressing those claims or going after Google direct, as the manufacturer of the infringing product, wouldn't be nearly as profitable.

http://www.reghardware.com/2011/05/27/ms_royalty_deal_htc_android/

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I have the HTC HD7 with Windows Phone 7, so as far as the MS extortion fee goes.. lol.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

At least with your choice of Windows Phone 7, the licensing fees are obviously relevant.

Not owning an HTC runing either platform, I'm not directly affected by the Android extortion racket either. For me, it just falls under the catagory of Microsoft's ongoing unsubstatiated claims against the Linux kernel and any OS that happens to include it.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Fri 27th May 2011 18:07 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Seems like handset makers are starting to gain some sanity. In the future I feel handsets won't be different from regular computers in a sense of what one could do with them.

Waiting for Meego compatible device from HTC.

Edited 2011-05-27 18:08 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by shmerl
by Alfman on Fri 27th May 2011 19:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

shmerl,

"In the future I feel handsets won't be different from regular computers in a sense of what one could do with them."

You might want to rephrase that a bit in case there are any lawyers reading - a future where computers and smartphones are equally locked down wouldn't be any fun at all.

With all the current DRM being pushed onto consumers on the desktop (windows and elsewhere), there's still a possibility that future computers will be become less open and less capable.

"Waiting for Meego compatible device from HTC."

I'd also like something running Meego. I vote with my wallet, does it count if it's empty?

Edited 2011-05-27 19:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by Lennie on Sat 28th May 2011 09:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I don't know if that counts if it is empty.

But if you could make Meego run on HTC, make it available to people online and it works really well then even though your wallet was empty you would still have contributed to people choosing a manufacturer.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by shmerl
by kaiwai on Sun 29th May 2011 04:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Seems like handset makers are starting to gain some sanity. In the future I feel handsets won't be different from regular computers in a sense of what one could do with them.

Waiting for Meego compatible device from HTC.


You know what would be really awesome would be the ability for a vendor like HTC to sell devices - same specifications and hardware across the board and then leave it up to the customer at 'installation time' to decide what operating system to install (downloads the OS image in the background then installs it via the internet) and then allow the user to change OS's if they wish.

For example, you buy an Android phone, find that the operating system is not what you expected so you log onto the client software, spend $10 for the Windows Phone 7 operating system and replace your existing operating system with a new one ;) Now that would be really awesome IMHO ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Sun 29th May 2011 21:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

That would be great. The big blocker for this are drivers for all those operating systems. HW vendors aren't eager to make them open, and aren't too willing to release them for a broad range of OSes.

Reply Score: 2

Motorola, please be next
by sb56637 on Fri 27th May 2011 18:43 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

Motorola, please be next. I own a Droid 2 Global, probably the best QWERTY Android available from a hardware perspective at a great price, but a locked bootloader is really hampering innovation and 3rd party ROM development.

Reply Score: 2

History Is Repeating.
by oiaohm on Sun 29th May 2011 04:11 UTC
oiaohm
Member since:
2009-05-30

Remember trs80's c64 and so on All locked platforms by firmware.

XT from ibm comes along with pity much stock hardware and someone clones the bios and it takes off.

Android is really slowly creating the same thing in the phone market.

Really I am waiting for the first phone that has choice of OS's. Ie Windows phone, Android and Meego. Depending what SD card you insert depends what OS it is.

Then hardware makers will be able to tell MS to get stuffed as well.

Reply Score: 2

RE: History Is Repeating.
by viton on Sun 29th May 2011 10:11 UTC in reply to "History Is Repeating."
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

What is the purpose of that?
I just want a well-tested combination of software optimized for that specific hardware.

I have a dual boot (win/linux) on PC, because some things are much easier or only possible to do in linux, but the whole dual boot thing is stupid.

Reply Score: 2

htc sensation
by stabbyjones on Sun 29th May 2011 11:39 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

htc sensation. omg, htc sensation.

also for those wanting vanilla android you'll have a lot easier time doing it when the bootloader is unlocked ;)

Reply Score: 2