Motorola puts the hammer down to Atrix 4G modders

Motorola puts the hammer down to Atrix 4G modders

Summary: The Atrix 4G just released by Motorola is as closed as a device can be as the company has locked the bootloader, making custom ROMs a much dicier proposition to create and install.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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How open the Android platform is depends on which devices you look at, and those produced by Motorola have the tendency to be often closed to the modding community. The Atrix 4G released by Motorola is as closed as a device can be as the company has locked the bootloader, making custom ROMs a much dicier proposition to create and install.

In simple terms, the bootloader is the utility that allows custom ROM builder to load replacement software into the firmware. This involves taking superuser status, or "rooting" the device, that allows system software to be replaced. The modding community is reporting that Motorola's new Atrix 4G has a locked bootloader that is designed to prevent rooting and changing the firmware.

This is not the first Android device to be locked down, and while it complicates the modding process the developers behind it are resourceful and will likely get past the locked bootloader in time. Locking it down is obviously Motorola's way of making it much more difficult to keep casual modders at bay.

While Motorola tends to take securing the system software on its devices seriously, it appears the upcoming XOOM tablet will not be locked down. The company began tweeting yesterday that the XOOM bootloader will be "unlockable/relockable to enable developers to access hardware for development".

Topic: Mobility

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12 comments
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  • RE: Motorola puts the hammer down to Atrix 4G modders

    Well the Atrix has been rooted before it was released it is just a matter of time for custom roms. Droid was locked down and it now has custom roms
    mrlinux
  • RE: Motorola puts the hammer down to Atrix 4G modders

    I hope it can be rooted, as it does look like a nice phone, and I my opinion, whats the point of having a phone if you cant mess about with its insides!
    (Yes I know 99.9% of people dont want to do that but I am the 0.1%)
    Will T
    • RE: Motorola puts the hammer down to Atrix 4G modders

      @Will T It has been rooted
      http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=960336
      mrlinux
  • Send a Message

    Vote with your $.

    The tech savvy modders have some influence with people they know. Get the word out that Motorola devices are defective and steer your friends and family to alternatives. After word spreads it will cost millions in PR $ for Moto to counter the negative impressions.
    Tim Patterson
    • RE: Motorola puts the hammer down to Atrix 4G modders

      @Tim Patterson I have already gotten the word out on Motorola but more importantly, I will not buy a product that is heavily locked down and companies are getting a reputations for if they lock their devices or not. I tend to gravitate toward HTC over Moto or Samsung for this reason.

      The argument is always that people are going to mess with their phones and moto or whoever will be liable. Why not just make recovery easier? I have a rooted Nook Color running honeycomb (which is awesome by the way) and it is nearly impossible to mess up because it boots from the sd card first. If I jack up the boot partition, all I have to do is put in a bootable sd card and start over (I'm sure B&N isn't thrilled). Why can't these companies just do something similar? They could even install a hidden untouchable partition that can be used to recover the device like some PC makers. That way when some wanna be hacker bricks his phone and calls for support, they can tell him to do a factory reset by downloading a file to his sd card from their site.
      redhaven
      • RE: Motorola puts the hammer down to Atrix 4G modders

        @rdaleypa
        >>Why can't these companies just do something similar? They could even install a hidden untouchable partition that can be used to recover the device like some PC makers. That way when some wanna be hacker bricks his phone and calls for support, they can tell him to do a factory reset by downloading a file to his sd card from their site.

        Noway, they don't do that. If they do that, they potentially lose higher priced resale of similar device.
        Ram U
    • RE: Motorola puts the hammer down to Atrix 4G modders

      @Tim Patterson While I agree with getting the word out that they have attempted at least to restrict modders I don't agree with your suggestion to lie to friends and family by telling them the devices are defective. The devices are not in fact defective and for most people not being able to mod them will never be an issue. By lying to them you may well steer them away from what could have been their perfect device to something else simple due to your personal preference to be able to mod.
      non-biased
  • RE: Motorola puts the hammer down to Atrix 4G modders

    My opinion..STOP BUYING FROM THESE MANUFACTURERS , They will come to Jesus fast enough ...Tired of the American business model, money-stop the money to these greedy b*******.
    bfriskey
  • RE: Motorola puts the hammer down to Atrix 4G modders

    Motorola is dumb. One of the main reasons why people buy androids instead of iphones is the freedom. Taking away the freedom is just a bad marketing move on the side of Motorola. I will stick with HTC androids until Motorola changes its strategy.
    jaos1@...
    • RE: Motorola puts the hammer down to Atrix 4G modders

      @jaos1@... The number one reason people buy Android phones over the iPhone is not freedom. There are those that do but most people that have purchase Android phones up to this point have done so for a couple of primary reasons, can't afford a higher end phone such as the iPhone or high end Android or the iPhone is not offered with their carrier. These obviously do not apply to everyone as a lot of people prefer Android for their own reasons but for the vast majority it has nothing to do with freedom.
      non-biased
      • RE: Motorola puts the hammer down to Atrix 4G modders

        @non-biased
        I agree with you. Android phones may have freedom, for those who want it, but to suggest that is one of the main reasons why most people by Android phones is rather misguided.
        Wakemewhentrollsgone
  • Motorola Lockdown

    It's one of the reasons I have an HTC.
    zclayton2