With the G4, LG is appealing to hardcore Android users by including both a microSD card slot and a removable battery. Now the company is going one step further to appease that crowd with a bootloader unlocking tool.
LG has launched an official bootloader unlocking tool on its developer website. The company says that starting this year, it plans to allow users to unlock the bootloaders of “certain releases of LG smartphones.” LG then goes on to explain all of the rules about bootloader unlocking, like the fact that unlocking your phones bootloader will void its warranty and that unlocking the bootloader will cause your phone’s DRM to become “untrusted,” which could impact certain apps that require DRM, such as some streaming services.
Right now, LG’s bootloader unlocking tool only supports one device: the LG G4 (H815) for the EU open market. LG says that it plans to add more devices in the future, but it’s unclear if that will include past hardware or only future releases. If you do own the particular G4 that supports having its bootloader unlocked, LG’s got detailed instructions on how to perform the unlocking.
Unlocking an Android device’s bootloader allows the owner to tinker with the inner workings of its software and do things like load custom ROMs. While bootloader unlocking isn’t something that most consumers care about or even know about, lots of Android folks like to be able to unlock their bootloader. Google’s Nexus devices have bootloaders that are easily unlockable, which is one of the things that makes them popular among the more hardcore Android crowd. It’s nice to see LG cater to that group with a bootloader unlock tool of its own, but hopefully we’ll see it lots more devices added soon, especially existing hardware.
Have you ever unlocked the bootloader of an Android device? If so, why?