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Motorola’s Latest Phone Comes as No Friend to Hackers

• Mike Isaac via WIRED.com
 For phone modification junkies, the Android software platform comes with a host of mod-friendly features. It’s too bad, then, that Motorola’s latest Android phone lacks all of them.

Motorola’s Droid 3 features a locked boot loader, which is a program that loads the operating system software on every smartphone when it’s turned on. The company said it planned to change the policy this year.

The news first came from a Motorola support forums representative.

“As we’ve communicated, we plan to enable the unlockable-relockable boot loader in future software releases, starting in late 2011, where channel and operator partners will allow it,” said a Motorola spokesperson in a statement provided to Wired.com. “Droid 3 is not built on a software version that includes this feature.”

Locking down the boot loader is a big pain for those who want to modify their Android phone operating systems. Essentially, it drastically limits the extent of modification and customization you can accomplish on your phone. If you wanted to install a particularly popular piece of modding software like, say, CyanogenMod — a very popular custom Android build that optimizes a phone’s hardware performance and adds a number of nifty flourishes — with a locked boot loader, you’re out of luck.

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