If you’ve been operating Android for a prolonged period of time it’s likely that you’ve heard the word ‘Bootloader.
What is it and what role plays in your phone?
In this article, we’ll examine what a bootloader is and the reason why it’s crucial.
Bootloader In Android: What Is It?
A bootloader functions similarly to the BIOS on a computer. It is used to initialize your bootloader and installs all components needed to boot your Android OS on your device efficiently. In simple terms, you can imagine it as an ignition switch for cars, but more flexible (allowing you to decide the actions you take after you have unlocked your bootloader).
Most Android devices, including Google’s own, ship with a combination of free and open-source and proprietary software, with the software required for accessing Google services falling into the latter category.
Each Android phone comes with locked bootloaders, however, it is not always the case that they are able to be unlocked (more on this in the future). The bootloader can be accessed by pressing a series of phone buttons.
However, accessing the same can be different from manufacturer to manufacturer. It is a buffer between the user and kernel. It is the one responsible for securing its foundation of trust.
When you have unlocked the bootloader this trust will vanish and you’ll be risking the security of your device. Locking the bootloader also allows you to reset your device’s factory settings.
What Can You Do By Unlocking The Bootloader?
In the process of rooting your Android smartphone to setting up third-party Android OSes, there’s no limit to what you can do once you have unlocked the bootloader. Rooting is among the main reasons that people unblock the bootloader.
But, it’s important to mention that rooting can come with some limitations, such as the majority of apps, particularly banking apps, are able to determine if your device is rooted. If it is, it will stop working completely.
Magisk (Used to Magisk (used to root Android) resolves the issue by utilizing a feature known as Magisk hide. If you’re interested in learning more about the ins and outs of Magisk be sure you read our ‘What’s Magisk? How do you hack your Android device with the Magisk article?
One of the things I love about unlocking the bootloader is that you can install a variety of custom ROMs for your device. If you’re interested in Linux distros it’s like being able to pick from a variety of distros, and then selecting the one that you consider to be the most suitable.
If you’re not sure the basics of what Linux distros actually are, this is the perfect opportunity to find out more about them. In that case, be sure you read our extensive guide on how to select the most suitable Linux distribution for your requirements.
We at Fossbytes enjoy custom ROMs due to the fact that they’re created by people committed to AOSP (Android Open Source Project) and open-source as a whole. They include the most sought-after Android features that create extremely customizable customized ROMs.
We understand that not all users are massive person who likes to customize. Some prefer the minimalist appearance of their OS and this is why the “Choice” aspect is in. Certain custom ROMs are fluid and easy to use with customization kept to a minimum.
Before we begin to unlock the bootloader in your device, we will be aware of the potential negative consequences. The first is that unlocking the bootloader could remove the warranty from your device; however, some manufacturers such as OnePlus do not mind the possibility of unlocking the bootloader. So, be sure to confirm this with your manufacturer.
Additionally, certain manufacturers such as Nokia and Samsung aren’t able to access to the bootloader. The bootloaders in their devices are locked permanently and there’s nothing you can do to change it.
Then, last however If you’re just beginning to learn about rooting your phone it is crucial to take your time with each step otherwise you could be left with a device that is akin to the weight of a paperweight.
If you’re interested in learning more about unlocking the bootloader or installing root on your smartphone, XDA Developers Forums are a good starting point. Find your device using the search bar and download the information you need to complete the procedure.
Have you removed the bootloader lock on your device before? What are your thoughts on manufacturers locking their bootloaders permanently? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.