Developers Beat Motorola to the Punch in Unlocking AT&T Atrix 4G Bootloader


We heard that the ATRIX 4G’s bootloader would be unlockable once the Gingerbread update from Motorola was headed our way, according to recent leaks. Motorola has committed to working with the development community to find middle ground in the war against devices being locked down, and while their efforts are only on a case-by-case basis, we were happy to see at least one phone about to get some official developer-friendly love from Motorola.

That’s not even the best part, though, folks. It seems the developers have actually beaten Motorola to the punch in unlocking the Atrix 4G’s bootloader. This means you won’t have to wait until the Gingerbread OTA update comes out to free your phone from its chains. This one’s only for AT&T, I should stress, so those of you outside the United States shouldn’t attempt this until a method for your phone has been achieved (which may not happen until Moto delivers the OTA update to your side of the globe).

Anyway, XDA thread’s here with all of the instructions, links, support and excitement you need to get started. It won’t feel like much at first without any truly custom ROMs yet, but you’ll still feel a warm sense of “ownership” once you’re all done. [XDA, Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. “Ownership” as in, “Your warranty is toast, so you own it now, for good or bad.” 

  2. no, actually. one would merely want to install RUU or restore original backup for warranty services. People do this every day.

    1. Previous rooting wasn’t traceable.  Unlocking the bootloader is.  

      1. Bootloaders have been locked (therefore unlocked) probably since G1 day 1 (Android D-Day), this was and is common practice. The difference w/ Moto is crypto signed boot loaders. But  If Moto is going to provide unlock in OTA update, what’s the difference?How would they differentiate? Never mind carriers don’t make a habit of doing these sorts of checks as on a macro production level, they are time and cost consuming, so long as the phone is factory reset, boots into OEM rom and looks the part.

        I’ve never heard of a single person w/ rooted phone being denied warranty coverage IF they flashed back RUU. The chance is microscopic, unless you make it obvious and even than, they might not care, unless said rep is a d1ck.

        Frankly, it’s a silly reason to not root when there are so many advantages to it.

        1. Seeing if warranty was void is simple, at least in XOOM: just fastboot getvars and it’s shown.

          1. and when has this ever been done to void someone’s warranty in and of itself? meaning person A comes into shop, or sends in phone, complaining of unrelated problem B, and shop/response is, ‘aha!’. I would guess hardly ever to never, unless you give them a reason to. More likely they are looking for signs of physical damage like the litmus paper for water damage detection (I had T-Mo pull this suck and jive on me one time, even though there had been no water damage done to my handset), cracked screens, and what not.

            I know quite a few people that have sent in previously rooted phones for a variety of unrelated reasons. No one that I know of was ever denied a replacement phone.

            more so, if OEM start unlocking the boot-loaders themselves, then what difference does it make doing now?

            manufacturers on the other hand are becoming more and more dev friendly. samsung gave galaxy s IIs to the mod community. HTC is really dev friendly too. Moto doesn’t seem to like it as much but is following the PR bandwagon…

  3. Whats most important is the custom kernels that should now be able to be installed. Allowing things like wired tethering and super overclocks.

    1. Possible, absolutely.  Advised?  Not.

      Carriers will still crack down on tethering.  
      Manufacturers don’t clock down to annoy customers.  They do it to conserve battery life and CPU life.  Overclock if you want, but poor battery performance and a fried CPU on an out-of-warranty phone will leave you an expensive brick.

      You got the keys to the car, but you still need to drive responsibly.  Know the consequences of the mods you make, not just the benefits.  Be informed, not starstruck.

      1. alarmist hogwash, as long as you practice common sense i.e. my 528mhz ARM11 processor probably won’t run at 1ghz (runs 791mhz great tho!), but then… most OC tools won’t allow you to set that high anyway. Dually, wireless tether probably won’t be noticed as long as usage is reasonable. But if one is that worried, they could simply change user agent ID to whatever webkit browser of their choosing.

        -OCed Phone unabashedly running wireless tether.

        1. Telling users to know the consequences of what they’re about to do and make informed decisions isn’t alarmist.

          Blanket comments that’s “It’s great! Just do it.” on the other hand, is irresponsible unless you’re willing to cover the warranty of all those people you advise that way?  No?  I thought not.

          1. But that’s not exactly wht you said, you advised against it, you didn’t say, ‘just in case’ or ‘be warned’.  Then you went on w/ some tether crack down and OC hyperboles. 

            I’m pretty sure J Dub knows what hes talking about and is well aware of the worst case scenario. The irony is I didn’t make a blanket statement, merely responded to yours.

            Lastly, if one were to actually ‘fry their cpu’, that would almost certainly be perceived as a hardware issue – covered, as the phone would not boot at all – and warranty replaceable. 

          2. Bone up on reading comprehension.  Saying something is not advised is different than advising against it. 

            It’s well-documented that carriers are cracking down on illegal tethering (technically theft of service makes it illegal). 

            Overclocking causing CPU damage: not hyperbole, sorry.  Also a known fact. 

            And it’s not about issuing a caveat to the person whose post I happen to reply to.  It’s about letting readers in general know that the cheerleading by the “Got to haz da uber” crowd is only one side of the story, and it’s a side that shows a disregard for consequences whether for themselves, or (especially) for others that they’re “helping”.  It’s a side that pushes their own agenda on others without taking the time to discover or even care what the others actually want or need in a broad sense.

            The counterpoint is me saying, “Take a moment; there’s more to this than the perceived benefits. Know what you’re doing.  There are risks: be advised of them.  Not all the risks are even known right now.  Make an informed decision rather than following the crowd.  If you want to go ahead, you do so wholly on your own responsibility.”

            Who could possibly have a problem with that approach, unless they have something to hide?  When is being informed not a good thing?

          3. To Comment BELOW:

            Dude, you’re so glib, haha. You’re not advocating informed decisions, you’re saying tsk, tsk, don’t do it OR ELSE, so STFU.

            2nd, what exactly did I say about wireless tether. Re-read what I wrote, and than realize how moot your point is. i.e. Unless you are DUMB, there will be no ‘cracking down’.

            Overclocking does NOT necessarily cause cpu damage (this is in fact very hard to do), but it CAN, I don’t expect you to discern the difference. Regardless, it would be covered under warranty without question, unless someone said, ‘yeah… caused this’.

            That’s an uninformed knee jerk response based in absolute zero reality. I have been overclocking various cpus for YEARS, never had a problem, and never affected the longevity of my components inc. my two year old Android device. 

            You can not brick a phone unless you are flashing Radio/SPL packages. And it’s so easy to root now it’s rediculous.
            Everything else you said, similar to your original comment is not and was not warranted. OP was merely making in informed point, and you’re a debbie downer, pure and simple. Get bent…

  4. Amazing, simply amazing.

    Congrats to devs community!!

    1. Engadget are calling these developers brilliant. What a load of shot. Motorola finally does something right and these turfs get the credit.

      For what? They didn’t do anything. You should be thanking Motorola those half ass developers didn’t do anything yet engadget called them brilliant. What a load of shit. I’ve been very critical of Motorola but they redeemed themselves and deserve credit for unlocking the bootloader not revs.

  5. Saying that “developers beat Motorola to the punch” is not true.  Motorola created a ROM (for Chinese markets) with an unlocked bootloader for testing purposes.  This ROM was leaked.  So it’s not like developers figured out how to unlock it apart from Motorola.  The unlocked bootloader is indeed Motorola’s doing.  It was simply released to the general public before Motorola released it themselves.

    Source (your own article): http://phandroid.com/2011/06/22/gingerbread-update-for-the-motorola-atrix-4g-brings-fully-unlockable-bootloader/

    1. Its explained in the article.They did beat Moto to the punch for
      officially unlocking it. Just like devs beat manufactures to the punch
      with official OS updates.

      Unless this article was worded differently before I posted.

      1. That’s not true. Developers did *not* beat Moto to the punch for unlocking the bootloader.  Developers got access to Motorola’s ROM with an unlocked bootloader.  Motorola’s ROM was leaked.

        1. good info, thanks.

        2. How is that different than when devs beat Moto to the punch for bringing OS updates to the Droid X?

          Its not an official update, but from a leaked ROM. Whats the difference?

          Its not like the article says Devs Crack the Bootloader!!!

          Then the article says AT&T Atrix. I dont think there has been an official update on AT&T yet.

          Are we really debating over semantics.?…lol

          1. devs don’t beat Moto to the punch for bringing OS updates to the Droid X.. they beat the carriers. How does one beat the creator? Cry semantics all you want.

  6. or fastboot getvar (I never recall it correctly)

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