Looking forward to an Intel chipset for your Android phone? Many are, with their new 64-bit technology arriving at some point this year to Android devices. A new report suggests the chipset won’t be friendly to the modification crowd, as it will have features that can detect when a new OS or ROM have been installed, disabling some features of the chipset.
Called “Hooks”, Intel says the feature is meant for safety. By disabling things like LTE when a risky OS is installed, Intel thinks they’ll better safeguard you from whatever it is you need protection from. Stranger yet, Intel will be the ones deciding which OS is “safe” versus which is a “threat”. It seems "Hooks" has strings attached.
This is a can of worms. With the customization community often choosing to go with bleeding edge tech that is by virtue risky, there’s a very fine line to a huge gray area Intel is walking. Are launchers risky? CynogenMod nightlies? Isn’t my device my device?
Intel also isn’t sure they’ll make this feature publicly accessible, so we may not even have the choice to circumvent it. Those devices that have “Hooks” will essentially be locked into whatever OS and skin it came with unless the OEM updates it. We already know how tenuous the Android update process can be, and another hurdle is not what we need here.
It’s a scary thought to think the hardware will dictate the software choices you are able to make. Aside from the update process, it adds a sense of oversight we’re not fond of. If I want to sideload a new ROM, I should have that choice — on my phone.