Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL have been on the market for almost a week now, and initial reports suggest they're selling rather well. That isn't incredibly surprising considering Google's latest flagships are premium devices aimed at pretty much everyone, from casual users to Android enthusiasts. While the former group probably doesn't care much about things like custom ROMs, the latter might be more interested in fiddling with their new phones. Unfortunately, that usually isn't possible with a locked bootloader which the Verizon-branded versions of Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL have been confirmed to feature.
For those unfamiliar, a bootloader is a unique piece of software which starts every time you power on your Android phone and tells your device which programs to load in order to run and can also be used to access recovery mode. In other words, a bootloader is what actually starts the Android operating system. In that regard, it's practically an Android version of BIOS. A locked bootloader prevents you from running anything that isn't your stock Android ROM which came pre-installed on your device when you bought it. So, if you want to flash something like CyanogenMod to your phone, you won't be able to do that with a locked bootloader. Well, not unless you unlock it, that is.
While some bootloaders aren't easy to unlock, the ones installed on the Verizon-branded versions of Google Pixel and Pixel XL presumably are. Well, at least if developers of Firewater tool for unlocking Android devices are to be believed. The said group posted a photo of their achievement on Twitter earlier today and claimed that the unlocking process is so simple "it's barely fun." Unfortunately, there's still no word on whether the Firewater team will ever make their method public. The answer to that question written in the same Twitter post was just an ambiguous "maybe." Regardless of that, this is still good news for owners of Verizon-branded Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL who would like to tinker with their devices. Even if the Firewater team never publishes their method, the fact that they've managed to unlock Google Pixel in just a few days after release suggests that someone else may be able to do the same.