One of the biggest draws of an Android device for many people is the fact that they can be customized extensively with hacks and user-created ROMs. Recently, however, Motorola has been making life difficult for Android hackers, using a new kind of bootloader on their devices like the Milestone and upcoming DROID X. Getting to the bootloader is an essential part of loading ROMs onto a device, and the new one on Moto phones has yet to be cracked. Considering that the DROID X will also feature this new bootloader, it is very unlikely that the device will be able to flash custom ROMs, at least any time in the near future. When asked why Motorola was blocking people from flashing ROMs on their devices, Lori Fraleigh of the MOTODEV Blog responded with this:
"We understand there is a community of developers interested in going beyond Android application development and experimenting with Android system development and re-flashing phones. For these developers, we highly recommend obtaining either a Google ADP1 developer phone or a Nexus One, both of which are intended for these purposes.
"At this time, Motorola Android-based handsets are intended for use by consumers and Android application developers, and we have currently chosen not to go into the business of providing fully unlocked developer phones."
This is definitely disappointing news for the Android community, but it's also understandable. Motorola has the right to do whatever they choose with their products, and if that includes blocking out the use of custom ROMs, so be it. However, after seeing everything that the Android hacking community is capable of, I'm sure they'll crack the new bootloader eventually. I'm curious to know how many people will be passing on the DROID X simply because they won't be able to flash user-created ROMs onto the device. Are any of you skipping the DROID X because of this new bootloader?
Via Androinica, Motorola