T-Mobile adds Device Unlock to Google Play

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Consistent with their goal of making things easier for customers, T-Mobile has developed an app that users can run to unlock their devices when their contract is up or to temporarily unlock the device when traveling abroad. The biggest downside at present is that only a few customers can actually use the Device Unlock app – those who have a Samsung Galaxy Avant. Still, it is good to see T-Mobile making this move.
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It’s legal to unlock your cell phone (again)

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After it became illegal to unlock carrier cell phones thanks to the DMCA, a ton of backlash started up to try and get the laws changed back. After tons of petitioning, a bill finally made its way to the Senate floor, and after a few months of work, it’s finally being signed into law. The appropriately titled Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act makes it perfectly legal for a consumer to unlock their handset once their service contract with their carrier expires, allowing them to take the device to another compatible carrier if they so choose. 
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Team Win Recovery Project adds support for Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch

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Team Win posted its official custom recovery for both the Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch today, giving users the ability to add customer ROMs to the devices.

Once you’re in custom recovery, the options on the screen are a bit small for a smartwatch screen, so an upcoming interface update will most likely resize the buttons. Otherwise, everything works fine. Of course you’ll need an unlocked bootloader before you do anything.


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Bootloader unlock issue for Xperia Z1 confirmed by Sony

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Owners of the Sony Xperia Z1 who unlock the bootloader will discover an unfortunate side effect to doing so, the loss of their camera’s functionality. Sony has acknowledged the issue, going so far as to post a message on their unlock bootloader web site to warn individuals about the problem. A workaround does exist that involves backing up the TA partition, which holds Sony’s DRM keys, before unlocking the bootloader. If the camera is needed, users then have to go through the trouble of restoring the backup and re-locking the bootloader in the process. Hopefully Sony’s developers will have a fix for the problem in short order.

source: Xperia Blog

White House pushes FCC to mandate that carriers must unlock future devices

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In a move that would certainly boost competition, consumer choice, and overall happiness in the mobile device community, the Obama administration is pushing the FCC to mandate that US carriers must unlock some of their future devices. According to the Washington Post, activists devised a petition to garner support, and they were able to collect 114,000 signatures.

Lawrence Strickling, assistant secretary of the NTIA made a comment regarding the petition:

“Americans should be able to use their mobile devices on whatever networks they choose and have their devices unlocked without hassle.”

However, the move would likely only affect GSM devices, leaving CDMA phones alone in the dark. However, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Source: Washington Post

Verizon HTC One bootloader unlockable, custom recovery already available

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In unexpected news, Verizon’s brand new HTC One actually has an unlockable bootloader. No, we aren’t joking. the HTC Dev bootloader unlock process works on Big Red’s version of the phone, and even though that means it isn’t a full S-Off unlock, it’s still going to give you enough room to flash custom ROMs and the like. As a cherry on top, there are already easy root files available and a version of CWM recovery has already been ported.

Knowing Verizon, this was probably not intentional and it could very easily be patched up relatively quickly. If you have a new HTC One, you may want to consider following the links below to go ahead and get your device unlocked before Verizon patches anything up.

source: XDA

HTC Dev

via: Droid Life

New Cover Algorithm app enables sensor-based lock/unlock actions

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Android phone users who enjoy automating smartphone functions using features like NFC with tags or IFTTT or Tasker for Android for applications have a new option thanks to XDA Developer member Akshay (Aky), who released Cover Algorithm to the Google Play Store. Cover Algorithm uses a smartphone’s sensors as the input to trigger the lock and unlock functions of a device. According to Akshay (Aky) the app can use any of a device’s sensors – light, proximity, accelerometer, magnetic field – to trigger an action. For the trial version that was released, only three actions are available, lock, unlock, and lock/unlock. 
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Verizon and AT&T Galaxy S 4 gets bootloader unlock method

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Since the Verizon S 4 is officially available today, we’re also getting the official bootloader unlock method today. Dan Rosenberg, who has been responsible for unlocking many Snapdragon powered devices lately, was waiting for Verizon to drop their variant of the S 4 before releasing his work so Verizon couldn’t work a patch in. This method works on the Verizon and AT&T models, but now that the exploit is out in the open, a patch may come with a future update.

Right now, the tools aren’t really easy to use. Fortunately though, we can probably expect some friendly tools to show up for the less tech savvy soon. In case you do want to get your hands dirty and unlock your new S 4, you can check out the links below to download the tools.

source: XDA

More details about Samsung Galaxy S 4 bootloader hack revealed

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As promised, Dan Rosenberg aka djrbliss on the XDA Developers forum released some additional details about his attempts to unlock the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Yesterday he posted a pic showing the unlocked bootloader that seemed to indicate he had recovery capabilities. He confirmed that in his latest post on the subject where he reports his work will allow custom kernels and recoveries.

Rosenberg also confirmed he had achieved the unlocking on an AT&T variant of the Galaxy S 4. However, he is not planning to release any details until Verizon starts to ship their version later this month. If you think you will be interested in unlocking your new Galaxy S 4 using Rosenberg’s tools, he does recommend that you not accept any OTA updates prior to his publishing his release despite the risk of missing out on security updates.

source: XDA Developers forum

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