HTC has incurred the wrath of its customers, as scores of fans took to its Facebook page to vent their anger over news that the bootloader in HTC’s upcoming Evo 3D smartphone will be locked.
For those who don’t know what a boot loader even is, it’s a small program that brings the operating system of a device into memory – in other words, the stuff that turns on your computer - which in this case is the Evo 3D.
Well, turns out that HTC has decided to encrypt the bootloader signature on the Evo 3D for security purposes and the move hasn’t gone down too well with its fans as it prevents them from installing custom ROMs (standalone versions of Android that have been manipulated in some way), which have become increasingly popular in Fandroid Town due to continued arduous waits for Android updates to arrive to older devices.
HTC fans have stormed the official HTC page on Facebook with force since the revelation demanding that the Taiwanese giant changes its mind.
Some users have gone as far as vowing to “stop buying (and recommending) HTC [products] if you continue to lock down your bootloaders”, while others have started an online petition to protest the decision.
There has been some confusion, too, surrounding the actual nature of the lockdown. Most users are referring to it as ‘locked’ while others claim it is ‘encrypted’, which is somehow different. Android Police has confirmed that the bootloader itself is not encrypted but its signature (authentication key) is.
According to novox77 from AndroidForums, an encrypted bootloader is one where the “signature is encrypted, making forgery of the signature practically impossible”.
He added: “[The] solution [to decrypting the bootloader] is to flash a leaked Engineering HBOOT with that same encrypted signature. There's no guarantee that this image will ever be leaked.”
Fortunately, all the shouting and screaming has got HTC’s attention, which has since posted on its Facebook wall that will be “reviewing the issue and our policy around bootloaders”.
Who says petitions never work?
Android Police, AndroidForums