In a move surely the result of Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the company has posted a new page on its web site instructing users how to unlock their device bootloaders for unfettered access to the operating system and every other aspect of the devices’ software.
There are several steps involved and, of course, warnings galore about the dire consequences of unlocking (voided warranties, possible carrier blocking, and – seriously – “bodily injury”). You’ll also need the Android SDK and appropriate drivers to begin.
There are only three U.S. devices supported at present: the Photon Q 4G LTE Android smartphone (Sprint), and the XOOM and XOOM Wi-Fi tablets. Hopefully this list will grow over time.
With Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, handsets bearing the company logo might one day be among the first to be updated to new versions of the Android OS, but not today.
Motorola has just announced that the relatively recent Droid X2 and Droid 3 Android smartphones will not be receiving updates to Android 4, aka Ice Cream Sandwich.
You can check out the full list of Motorola devices, along with their updated list of what’s getting’ Ice Creamed and what’s not, here.
If you have a Motorola Android smartphone and are looking forward to upgrading to Android 4.0, you now have an official release schedule to peruse. Unfortunately, most of the confirmed handset updates are scheduled for Q3 of 2012, which means you’ll be waiting at least seven months for Ice Cream Sandwich unless things go more smoothly than anticipated.
In addition, many popular handsets, including new releases like the Droid 4 and RAZR Maxx, are “in evaluation,” which means, well… guess that sounded better than maybe someday…
Click through to view the full chart.
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The Motorola Droid 4 was released today. It is available from Verizon Wireless with a two-year contract for $199.
The newest Android phone in Motorola’s Droid line has a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, Android 2.3.5 (Android 4 coming later), a 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen, an 8MP 1080p primary camera, and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
Amazon is already selling the new Droid 4 for $99 with a two-year contract, good for new accounts and adding a line to an existing family plan; the upgrade price is $149.
The ultra-thin Motorola RAZR was once the most sought after cell phone in the United States. And while there’s little chance its smartphone namesake, the Motorola Droid RAZR, will ever reach the same heights, the new Android phone is high on my recommendation list for early 2012.
The Droid RAZR, like the flip-phone for which it was named, is all about thinness – and it is remarkably thin, just 0.28-inches thick for most of its body. However, there is the Moto-bump, a thicker section at the top of the device similar to the Droid X and Droid X 2 smartphones. In addition to being thin, the Droid RAZR is also tough; parts of its exterior shell is Kevlar and its screen is covered in Gorilla glass.
A dual-core 1.2GHhz Cortex-A9 CPU powers the Droid RAZR, making it very snappy both in general use and with more demanding apps. 1GB of RAM also makes it responsive while running several apps at once.
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