So the tweeter /Android world has been abuzz lately concerning the fact that Verizon has chosen to lock the bootloader in their version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 device.
Customers who have received their devices ahead of the expected shipping time have reported after much work that the device has a locked bootloader. Making it different and not as Dev friendly as the other US versions that do not.
What does this mean exactly? Hell what is a Bootloader really?
a bootloader is the code that runs on a device before the operating system starts up. Almost all computer operating systems have bootloaders of some sort. This low-level code contains the instructions that tell a device how to start up and find the system kernel. The bootloader usually lives on the system board in non-volatile memory and is often specific to a device. It has to be, since the software and hardware loadout will vary so much from one device to the next. Every time your phone starts up, that bootloader code is telling your device what to do in order to get you to the home screen. As you can imagine, this process is vitally important. As such, manufacturers often use security measures to keep you from tampering with the bootloader.
But Why would you want to unlock it since it sounds like such an important piece of software? Well, there’s a whole internet full of custom ROM makers that work their magic on devices and having access to the bootloader makes that all the easier.
Now having a locked Bootloader has not stopped Rom makers from hooking up devices such as the Motorola Razr with amazing roms but its much harder and if the device is corrupted apparently there is a Efuse.. misunderstandings occur and a puppy is killed in Mountain View…
So is this another sign that Verizon who has been under attack recently for everything from New plans, Lebron winning a title to the current heat wave on the East coast is up to their tricks again or something else?
While people that are interested in Roms and tinkering with their devices find this move to be anti customer friendly to be honest it maybe the right move. I deal with users every day that place themselves in what Nokia likes to call ” The smartphone beta test”. One of the great features of Android is the “open” aspect that allows people to cook Roms and the like but with the popularity of Android there is the potential for disaster. I recently went on a twitter rant about this subject and the fact that users are becoming “flash happy” and trying out Roms with reckless abandon.
#Begin Blog rant#
What happens if these people end up trying “SuperRom V3.5231.A” which is built from “Source”…
Well they can email or PM -ICEMASTERZ5433 who cooked the rom and hope for a reply but what happens when they find out that good ole IceMasterz5433 is a 23 year old living in his mom’s basement in Nebraska? I mean really did you think it was a good idea to load something that a guy on the internet made in a week? I mean companies take months building software with real ya know.. Engineers. But hey he has a bunch of tweeter followers and the forums swear by him so why not… So there you are stuck with a shiny dual core LTE enabled HD display having plastic brick with no warranty and no upgrade.. Now is that promised 12.5% percent faster OS worth it?
#End blog rant#
So what you end up doing is call up your trusty carrier and make up some wild story involving a ferret, sunspots and a packet of grass seeds in order to get a insurance replacement. So your phoneless a few days till you get a newly refurbished device and your carrier gets a useless brick, costing them and other users money. Thats a bad thing.. a very bad thing..
As stated before in THIS very blog… Verizon is a for profit company and they take this very seriously. Because of the costs they have seen raise due to the large amounts of replacements from the Android community and those “Flash masters” that would make any company think twice about how “open” they want to be. Its not a new thing as Verizon has for a while now ask Motorola (maker of their popular Droid line) to lock and encrypt their boot loaders. Heck this is a company that got a Nexus and made it NOT a Nexus, that takes…
They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease and based on the Outcry from the hacking community I would not be surprised if Verizon and Samsung will offer a solution similar to what HTC has done for their users. Give the people that want an open device the chance to have one after they go through a process of waving their warranty etc. As I have told the hacking community quite a bit, if you want to play out there then Verizon will never be the place for you, CDMA issues aside nothing is more Rom friendly then the Nexus line of devices.. available now (mostly) from the Play Store :)
Just think twice before you trust Icemasterz5433….