You know, I’m beginning to sware off future Motorola handsets for the simple fact they are making it harder for me to enjoy my smartphone of choice. We already talked about the Droid X’s locked bootloader that will make rooting efforts exponentially harder. So far, devs are still trying to crack the Motorola Milestone’s (European Droid) locked bootloader in order to flash custom ROMs. Ask any diehard Android junkie and they’ll tell you, flashing various ROMS and tweaking your handset for hours on end brings us some sort of sick joy.
But alas, Motorola doesn’t want us to have fun anymore as the Droid 2 will also sadly come locked down. When questioned by various sources, the only answer that could be netted in return was that the original Droid and its unlocked bootloader were the exception, not the rule, and that future devices were likely to all be locked down. After that, typical PR babble about “fully complying” with various licenses and other empty phrases cause me to stop paying attention. Specifically:
“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 aNexus 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.”
The most disappointing and disheartening fact is that it seems Moto doesn’t even care about this issue, instead telling users to buy other manufacturer’s products. Even worse, Moto seems to have an assumption stuck in their mind that it’s a very small number of people who want “to go above and beyond” the normal Android experience (read: Android system devs), when in fact, that’s far from the truth. Plenty of “normal consumers” are jumping into the Android rooting arena as custom ROMs make an already great mobile OS and hardware even better. No matter how great you think an Android phone is stock, you haven’t truly experience Android’s greatness until you’ve rooted.
I totally get protecting your IP and securing your customers from rogue attacks by hackers. But come on. Motorola is completely failing to read and understand a fair chunk of their user base and what drives them towards Motorola Android devices — customization. Will it hurt them in the long run? We’ll find out. Will you move on to other manufacturers whom are less restrictive towards rooting, perhaps HTC?