An open source ecosystem is one of the many advantages that Android has over competing platforms such as iOS. This allows to make system-level changes and modifications to Android software running on any device, provided you know what you’re doing. This has given rise to a large community of developers and users around the world, who are actively involved in ‘modding’ numerous Android devices (mostly smartphones) to get the most out of them.
If you want to modify the Android OS on your Android smartphone, there are many online communities (e.g. XDA Developers) that you can go to. However, before you can even begin flashing custom ROMs and recoveries, your smartphone’s bootloader needs to be unlocked. While there’s no need to go into the nitty-gritties, the bootloader is a small program that loads up the operating system whenever a device (in this case, Android smartphone) boots up. The ability to unlock the bootloader is something that only the device manufacturer can configure the device with.
Many Android OEMs allow bootloaders on their smartphones to be unlocked (to gain the interest of the developer community), and the latest to join the list is HMD Global.
The news was announced by HMD Global’s Chief Product Officer Juho Sarvikas via a tweet. Sarvikas mentioned that users/developers can now unlock the bootloader of Nokia 8, the company’s (former) flagship smartphone that was launched in India earlier this year.
To the passionate developer and modding community out there, we have news to share!
— Juho Sarvikas (@sarvikas) September 27, 2018
It’s worth mentioning that even though Sarvikas’ tweet only mentions Nokia 8, the related support page says that HMD Global ‘will allow bootloaders on certain Nokia phones to be unlocked, allowing for customizations.’ This means that the company may allow bootloader unlocking on its other smartphones in the future as well.
Watch: Nokia 8 Sirocco First Look
Even though HMD Global has been pretty great (so far) with its entire Nokia-branded Android line-up when it comes to things like updates, the ability to unlock the smartphones’ bootloaders will most likely extend software support for the company’s smartphones even further.