Not long ago, users and developers alike relied heavily on hackers and logic to achieve S-OFF to get the full experience of their desire for a great(er) experience on their Android phone. Some people buy an overlay device like HTC with Sense, Motorola with Blur, and so on, knowing what entails when they get it, but they anticipate running a stock experience or a heavily optimized build from one of the developers in this community. Recently we took a moment to talk with ToastCFH and Dees_Troy from TeamWin, who are responsible for HTC Dumlock. HTC Dumlock makes the unlocked device further accessible for a few more phones.
Last week we purchased some T-Mobile One S units for our developers and one of them was chosen to go for a test drive and to try out HTC Dev Bootloader Unlock. This is where we got to know each other and a bit more about HTC's online utility, which nonetheless has disappointed thousands more than just a bit. I am going to let everyone know now: do not plan on just stopping at rooting this and calling it a day, I tried to remove bloat with Root Explorer and came to a brick wall of denial. I found out you also cannot flash custom kernels in recovery mode.
"What is affected in retrospect when I unlock?" Let me answer that: It actually cripples your phone. It's probably less risky to take a chance and go for an S-OFF method that could potentially brick your device. As per numerous reports, and some insight from ToastCFH and Dees_Troy, there is a plethora of issues with this process and many gripes and speculation just coming from myself.
A cobb without a Kernel: Flashing a kernel is similar to trying out walking on coals. You have to do the following (coming from ToastCFH at XDA):
fastboot boot recovery alternaterecovery.img
Here's some thought: If you flash a crap/test kernel that doesn't boot, not only can you not pull the battery you have to relentlessly use your power button to get yourself out of the mess to get the phone to shut off (HTC One series). The reason you can do it through "booting" recovery as opposed of using the one you flashed: The boot method is actually using the boot/temp partition, which in the end, is not really the boot partition.
HTC, why are you doing this? Aren't you supposed to be trying to deter users from chasing exploits and trying to gain S-OFF? It sure doesn't seem like it. From this perspective, it seems you
All your system are belong to HTC: ROM Manager uses a script to replace your recovery while in Android. The slight issue is, it requires root. Root is the center of the development universe when it comes to ROMs, kernels, mods and the likes of the bunch. HANDS DOWN, most of the alterations you make to your phone while booted in Android utilize root and the system partition. This is not only a P.I.T.A., it can be a deal-breaker. I will get to that point in a bit. First, let's take a look: How do I tinker with something if the manufacturer tells me I can but in reality I can't? Conundrums. It's amazing: You cannot remove the bloat from your phone, you cannot replace the recovery and you sure cannot replace the boot image while booted in Android/Sense.
Radio killed the kernel dev star: Yes, radio. Those cool P*IMG.zip files you flash in HBOOT, that's out the window... Unless you get an RUU (ROM Update Utility) and go back to the stock firmware. With older HTC devices with S-OFF, you could slap a P*IMG.Zip (essentially a firmware/radio update in HTC's update.zip format) on the SD card and boot into HBOOT. It would check and flash it for you. That whole proces is gone; this entire process of being able to do this on the mobile side is now gone. You will now need a computer to flash the file.
To need or not to need... That is the question: Toast brings up another excellent point: If these measures have to be in place (maybe due to carrier request) why not provide the proper documentation to support the device? We're pretty sure when someone unlocks this device they understand they are giving up any firmware support from HTC.
An excellent point, and most of you will probably agree with his bomb of logic. At the end of the day, he is right; the unlock method is crap and we find it more of a hinderance and crippling intent rather than a compliance to the developer community who has made them the number one development device for so long. Recently Samsung has taken the torch and led its dedicated developers with fulfilled promises and standards.
Lastly, GPL. It is is not made to stretch the maximum time available and take your time. It is probably a good suggestion to set up an HTC gitweb or something of the nature to ensure that when the device is available, the developers that you "support" so much can have free reign at improving your device and moving forward at their own pace. That making the final connection to the developer house, letting the user and developer free you from providing software support. Release the source, fully alert and vigilant. We know it takes time to clean code, but the One X (international) community could really use some tasty kernel source code right about now.
One last note: HTC may not be able to further assist with the firmware/software/OS once unlocked, but you can still support your hardware by giving some documentation on how to proceed with an unlocked device. Giving someone a flashlight with no batteries in a dark house isn't an ideal method of answering our call.
If you read this, please take a moment and support your developers and modders that enhance your phone life everyday, by tweeting, sharing or posting on Facebook the following quote:
" @HTC we want our phones back! http://tinyw.in/LNSn "
Thanks to everyone who has read and contributed to this piece.