There are only a handful of Android devices currently available that are really ‘open’, those being the ADP1, ADP2, Nexus One and now the Nexus S. Devices Google classes as ‘open’ are ones where the user can freely change the build of Android that is on the device, eg. flashing a custom build like CyanogenMod or the like. This is done by having a bootloader that is unlocked, allowing these unofficial builds to be flashed onto the device. The Nexus One was the first to introduce the fastboot oem unlock command which unlocked the bootloader as well as voiding most parts of warranty, which is fine. Now the Nexus S takes this to a new level with both fastboot oem unlock and fastboot oem lock which will allow you to unlock the bootloader when you want to try out some new custom build then lock it when you no longer want to, perfect!

The problem with this is that the manufacturers aren’t really jumping on board, so Google is starting a little push to encourage them, saying that users need to be able to choose between security and openness.

Unfortunately, until carriers and manufacturers provide an easy method to legitimately unlock devices, there will be a natural tension between the rooting and security communities. We can only hope that carriers and manufacturers will recognize this, and not force users to choose between device openness and security.

I know everyone who has ‘rooted’ their device is in absolute favour of this, it’s just time for manufacturers to realise and keep up with the times.

Source: Android Developers.
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It would be nice to choose between using the stock android UI or the manufacturer’s skin.

Doubt it will ever happen though, or if it does won’t be for a while.


If you have a stock android phone, having that choice is as simple as installing the .apk of whatever other Launcher(s) you want. Then you can select from the list when pressing HOME button (or to avoid that, set the alternative Launcher to be ‘used by default’).


Custom ROMs & custom Launchers also pose a problem for developers. Users expect Apps to work, but the ROM/Launcher may do things in a very different way, its a bit much to expect developers to test under any custom rom or launcher as well as all the “standard” stuff. I say, if you’re using custom rom/launcher, don’t complain about things not working ๐Ÿ˜‰


You won’t be given the option to use vanilla when the manufactures have spent millions developing their skins, and the carriers spent $10 on their crapware.

I think this is the point of the article – google want to make it easier for people to flash vanilla variants (removing bing on verizon devices in the US), the manufacturers do not.


oh if only, damn manufacturers…..

well if we don’t get the Gingerbread update for the SGS in the end…. it’s time to root/flash! for now I’m keeping it untouched, for warranty’s sake ๐Ÿ˜‰


Yeah, damn those manufacturers and their desire to make money!

Now if only someone else would manufacture wonderful toys for us..


what we need is the choice to use either the manufacturer’s UI or vanilla android without having to root/flash/void warranty, that’s all I ask!

I definitely don’t want to wait for god-knows-how-long till Sammy release Gingerbread for the SGS, when the Nexus S already has it now.


I’m all for this, but they need to have a page like the Nexus One which says like THIS WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY, IF YOUR PHONE BREAKS ITS YOUR OWN FAULT FROM THIS POINT ON!! I guess that’s what manufacturers are partially afraid of. There’s also problems with 3rd party roms that marr some handsets. I suspect my friend may have screwed up his galaxy’s txt msg capability by flashing things to it (to try and fix the lag problem etc) and blamed the carrier (..). I had Cyanogenmod on my old G1 and I was not receiving some SMS’s… Read more ยป


Hi, Just got Froyo on my HTC magic from Vodafone


Google themselves put a lot of Android users in a security pickle by not releasing updates via their website, thus many upgrades can only be obtained via potentially-dodgy-custom-mods or tampered-with mirrors. A good example of this was the update that was accidentally made available via the Google website, but then got taken down – thus someone made the download available via a file sharing website, but who knows if it had been tampered with or not…


The manafacuters arent going to do the unlocks because they need to have a way to prevent people bricking their phones and then just returning them saying they were trying to load something on (I dont agree with this but its their excuse)

As for the carriers well they make money out of putting things on the phones (demos, adware), so there is no way they want you to replace their rom with a better one.

Unless Google gives them a bit more of a push than that the world will stay the same.