AH Motorola Logo 1.1

Let the SunShine Down on the Verizon Moto G

September 20, 2014 - Written By Phil Bourget

HTC One M8.  The phone that caused many people problems because of the locked bootloader.  Then, from somewhere in left field, a savior appeared for those that wished and longed to unlock their bootloaders and install whichever software they pleased, not just official.  The savior’s name is SunShine.  SunShine is an unlock method for supported, locked-bootloader devices.  The first to call SunShine’s name in appreciation were One M8 owners.  And today, a second device, the Verizon Motorola Moto G, shouts in joy for the ability to benefit from this tool.

Antics aside, it’s really great news.  But what does it all mean?  Well, as I said, a device can come with either an unlocked or locked bootloader, and the status of being locked or unlocked limits and/or blocks the installation of custom software, even if you have root access on the device.  The locked or unlocked nature of the device is up to the hardware manufacturer like HTC, then if they decide to leave it unlocked, the carrier (if one has the device and buys it through them, obviously) can choose to lock the bootloader, to better control and limit the ‘possible misuse of software and network’ that can come from a flashable (able to have custom software installed on it) phone.  Verizon is notorious for locked bootloaders, as well as for selling ‘developer editions’ with unlocked ones, for extortionate amounts of money.

The Motorola Moto G, a popular and desirable phone on its own, was added to the prepaid roster for Verizon Wireless, and, presumably, people that wanted Verizon and the Moto G rushed to get that combination.  The Moto G, as with every Verizon-branded and -utilizing device, had gained a locked bootloader though.  And people that love CyanogenMod, SlimKat, or any other custom variation of Android instead of Motorola admittedly-clean persuasion were left unable to load that up and use it to their hearts’ content.  Today, though, the group behind SunShine added compatibility for the left-out little Moto G.

There are some things you should know about the SunShine process and the root process.  First, to use the SunShine method, you have to have root, even if it is just temporary.  Second, SunShine costs $25 per device to actually work and unlock your bootloader.  The process involves having root, installing the SunShine apk file manually (so have ‘unknown sources’ checked in security settings before going ahead), install and get started, enter some payment information to cover the $25 unlocking fee, grant it root access, then let it get to work.  After some time, you’ll have a bootloader unlocked on your Verizon Moto G!  If you have a Verizon Moto G, have you done this already, since it may be something you  have been wanting or waiting for for a while?  Also not, people, that more devices with those nasty locked bootloaders, specifically Motorola and Verizon devices.  Maybe the Moto X?  Let us know which Motorola or HTC device on Verizon (or AT&T, if it has a locked bootloader) should get the SunShine treatment next.