Android’s Fastboot Tool Is Now Able To Connect To Networks

March 4, 2016 - Written By Justin Diaz

For a number of Android users, the best part about having an Android device is the open nature of the operating system. This open capability allows them to customize their device in a multitude of ways that includes everything from changing out a simple home launcher to flashing a custom firmware built specifically for their device. To flash custom ROMs or factory images for instance, your device needs to have an unlocked bootloader and it may have to be rooted depending on what you’re trying to flash, and at some point you’ll likely need to enter fastboot on the device with the fastboot tool, which is usually done by connecting the device to a computer through a USB cable.

The current way of connecting an Android device to a computer and entering fastboot may soon be changing though as it was recently discovered that the fastboot tool has now gained networking capabilities. This particular functionality would allow users who tinker with their devices to enter fastboot and flash custom ROMs or other software completely wirelessly and without the need to physically connect it. This has the potential to be useful in a number of different ways. For example, if your device has issues being found by your computer when trying to connect it and enter fastboot, or if you’ve simply lost your USB cable.

It will also open up the capability for any Android devices which don’t have a traditional port to enter fastboot so users would be able to flash software. For this all to come together of course, the device that is trying to connect to the fastboot tool wirelessly would also need the ability to link up to a network from the bootloader and accept any commands that the fastboot tool is dishing out. Although there are no devices at the moment which hold such a capability, one user with a 2015 Moto G has posted an image of his device with a bootloader that is not yet available and has the capability to connect to a WiFi network. This suggests that the ability for devices to connect to networks without cables from the bootloader will be available on at least some more current devices in the near future. There’s no telling how long it will take before bootloaders gain WiFi connection support, but there is a possibility that it won’t be too far off.