There are many things to like about Android devices including the ability to make it work the way you want it. This can mean anything from installing third party applications, a different launcher, substituting different icons or replacing most of the Google or hardware manufacturer applications with your own, through to customizing the ROM, installing another, or modifying the one your device came with. And for a while, manufacturers offered no support (and positively discouraged) to users who rooted their Android device, installed a third party ROM or did anything that was unofficial. We’ve even had manufacturers deliberately harden their device to modification, which makes it harder for people to modify the device. One of the ways to harden a device against changes is to lock the bootloader, which is the code required in order to replace the original ROM with a third party one.Sony, however, do not belong in this camp. They are an active contributor to the AOSP, Android Open Source Project, and support users by providing bootloader unlock codes. And we’ve news that they’ve just posted a YouTube clip to show Sony Xperia device owners how to unlock their devices’ bootloader. Check the clip below:
Sony is clear to mention that unlocking the bootloader may voids any warranty you have on the device, depending on the part of the world you’re from and how awkward your carrier is, as some don’t seem to mind whereas others do. There are also a whole host of other warnings, too: I don’t recommend unlocking a device bootloader if you rely on the device as strange things can happen and you may lose some or all of the functionality of the device, as people discovered when unlocking the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact back in early October. The source website includes a comprehensive list of devices that you can unlock the bootloader for and goes back to at least 2011 handsets, including one of my favourite Android Gingerbread ‘phones, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc. However, if you’re interested in unlocking your device, be aware that carriers can (and do) restrict this ability, so you may find that you’ll be unable to unlock the bootloader. This isn’t Sony’s fault, but your carrier. Sony’s website also details how to flash the handset back using the Xperia Flash Tool but warns that after unlocking the bootloader the device will no longer receive over the air updates nor will it restore any DRM-protected content that was removed at the time of unlocking (such as the camera cleverness mentioned in the linked article above).
Do you use a Sony device? Have you already unlocked the bootloader or are you now tempted to experiment, especially if you’re out of warranty or have a decent enough backup device? Let us know in the comments below.