Motorola has been offering "Developer Edition" versions of several of its devices since early 2012, giving Android tinkerers the opportunity to buy a handset that they can easily unlock the bootloader on and tweak to their heart's content. There have always been some caveats with these devices, though, including the fact that while they did come with easily-unlockable bootloaders, requesting an unlock code from Motorola would void the device's warranty.
Today Moto announced that its Developer Edition program is undergoing a couple of major changes that ought to please anyone that's ever considered buying one of the tinkerer-friendly handsets. Motorola says that starting now, requesting a bootloader unlock code will no longer result in that device's warranty being voided. There's good news for anyone that's unlocked the bootloader of a Motorola Developer Edition phone before, too, as the company says that it's reinstating the warranty of any customer that's requested an unlock code for a 2012 or 2013 Developer Edition product.
The second change relates to factory images. Motorola will now begin posting return-to-factory software images on its website, giving owners of these Developer Edition handsets an easy way to return their devices to a factory-fresh state if necessary.
While offering these Developer Edition phones at all makes Motorola more tinkerer-friendly than some other manufacturers in mobile, the fact that requesting a bootloader unlock code would void a device's warranty always made the Developer Edition hardware a bit less attractive than they would be otherwise. It's great to see Motorola changing its policy on the matter, though, and the decision is made even better with the news that Moto will be reinstating the warranties of previously-unlocked handsets. With these program changes in place, I'm betting that Motorola and its Developer Edition program will start to see quite a bit more interest from the Android tinkering community.