Hackers root Motorola Droid
These are not the Droids you are hacking for
Updated Hackers have successfully rooted Motorola's Droid smartphone, allowing users to install applications or services of their choice outside the set menu offered by operators.
A hardware modder, rejoicing in the name Zinx Verituse, has developed and published a Droid rooting exploit. Instructions on how to break open Droid smartphones, along with links to the exploit were posed on an Android forum, Wired Gadget Lab via CRN reports.
Once rooted, smartphone users gain administrative privileges and thus the ability to download widgets, add applications, or otherwise customise their phone. The procedure carries a risk of rendering a device inoperable or disabling features. Attempts to tamper with the phone void Motorola's warranty and run against terms of service agreements.
An earlier version of this story compared the process of rooting droids to jailbreaking iPhones in order to bypass Apple's software lock-down and allow the installation of applications not licensed by Apple. Not so.
An option (explained here) on Droid phones already allows non-market applications to be installed.
Rooting the Droid allows users to take complete control of the smartphone. This allows users to add functionality such as tethering for free, install non-Android applications, copy applications, disable automatic updates, or add multi-touch support.
The Droid is distributed by Verizon Wireless in the US. A slightly modified version, known as the Motorola Milestone, was released in Germany and Italy last month. It's unclear whether the rooting hack works on the modified device. ®
Thanks to Karl Koscher and Jason Porter for each dropping us a note explaining what Droid rooting means and how it differs from jailbreaking iPhones.
What's the point in an Android phone you have to poke in the same way as Apple's rubbish to use properly?
Stick with my Hero, ta. Can install all I like on there with nothing more than a tickbox in the settings.
That would be paraphrased as "Rooting does allow wireless tethering and os hacks."
The N900 has an app in the main repositories that lets you get root more or less instantly. No reason to have a Linux smart phone without root : -)
What, you don't need to use cron on your phone?
Wait, it's locked down? Say it aint so!
In Europe, you might have some better flexibility, but on Verizon, it's still a closed architecture. Yes, you can get apps from more sources than JUST Verizon's own marketplace, but its still limited to apps and developers who 1) submit through a basic process, 2) comply with Verizon TOS. This is actually a less ideal system than apple's store since the apps are still restrictive in scope, but now there's no review body inspecting the apps to ensure you're not the victim of data theft, abusive practices, and more.
The phone itself feels cheaply made and bulky, the battery life is pathetic, the app availability is still limited, the OS still feels like a beta implementation (I'd have given it a 1.5 version, not 2.0), and the calling plan is $15 more than the AT&T plan without tethering, and more than $30 more with it (whern it eventually becomes available sometime in mid 2010...), and on top of that, it's a CAPPED data plan with REDICULOUS overage fees. If I used Pandora on a Droid like I do on my iPhone, I'd be in for about $60-80 a month in dataplan overages on top of thier more expensive plan and slower 3G netowkr (not to mention, AT&T 3G is awesome in my area, and Verizon is the network that dropps calls and has weak signal in many areas!) ...and between Verizon's support, and dealing with motorolla, no thanks, I'll stick with my dedicated, Apple staffed, AT&T iPhone support thank you... Oh, and the Google GPS... If you're using it, YOU CAN'T TAKE CALLS!!! Verizon does not support concurrent phone and data support on their 3G implementation!!!
On a call and want to look up directions to somewhere? iPhone yes, Droid no.
Want to send a quick SMS while downloading a big PDF? iPhone yes, Droid no.
Listening to Pandora while waiting on an imporant call? Droid won't even tell you you got a voicemail when if failed to ring...
The iPhone is far from perfect, but it's evolving nicely, new features added regulary. Coming this year will be 1) FM reception, enabled simply by a firmware patch/OS upgrade for free, 2) possibly FM transmission (the chipset is capable of it), 3) APIs for iPod plug-ins (to allow Pandora and others background operation), 4) OS 4, almost certainly including a background function for GPS and improved alert functions of other apps. If I can run Pandora, GPS, and a phone call at the same time, then all complaints about backgrounding go away...
File transfer via Bluetooth isn't an option unless you root, I'll give you that. Install an application to SD cards isn't an option for reasons I understand (pulling the card while data is in use would be bad) but I'm pretty sure that's being looked at by Google. Screenshot, there's a program on the Market that can do it but the developer appears to have abandoned it and it hasn't worked well for a while now.
Hmm I came to reply to refute your suggestions only to end up backing them up. Crud.. still, an unrooted Android is still more open than an unrooted iPhone. Root is there for users who want to try things like custom ROMs such as Cyanogen's excellent modded versions or to try out Hero builds. Granted you take a risk doing it but that's the same with jailbreaking an iPhone and you don't get to play with the next release of their OS until they release it. With Android being (mostly) open sourced you already have people building on the next version, Eclair / 2.0 before any operator has released an update to it. Android isn't perfect but I much prefer it for what it offers over the one app at a time iPhone and Apple's ridiculous policies such as being able to uninstall an app on your phone without your consent.
Not misleading at all.
"It does allow....allow wireless teather (sic)...."
I'd describe that as one of the basic fundamentals of "free, unrestricted" use myself. They can shove their expensive toy where the sun shineth not if they've got restrictions like that built into it.
That's Android off my shopping list.