Intel’s 64-bit chipset may have “Hooks”, big trouble for Android customization

March 17, 2014

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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.

Via: Softpedia

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  • Chahk Noir

    Reason # 673 why Intel’s mobile chip division is circling the drain, while Qualcomm, Nvidia, MediaTek, and other ARM-based manufacturers are eating their lunch.

    • DS

      You make it sound like everyone and their grandma has rooted phones.

      • Chahk Noir

        What dies rooting have to do with ARM dominating in mobile space?

      • DS

        If rooting has nothing to do with ARM domination, then this article has nothing to do with ARM domination either because this “issue” only affects people who want to root their devices (read: “modification crowd… or did I “read” the article wrong?)

      • bubbagump

        Custom launchers don’t require root, and A LOT of people use them…

  • Firefox OS is looking better and better.

    • Mike Ennamorato

      Intel is looking worse and worse!

      – I’d take Ubuntu over Firefox OS.

      • @OmegaWolf747:disqus @mikeennamorato:disqus Except this is a hardware issue, not an OS one. Any OS an Intel device ships with will have this restriction.

      • Mike Ennamorato

        I’m aware of that.

  • DS

    A subset of first-world problems is “Geekworld problems”.

  • Intel’s only doing this because carriers won’t allow said devices on their networks otherwise.

  • Hilko

    Last. Intel. chipset. Ever.
    if this becomes thruth, never Intel again for me.

  • Jonathan

    “Isn’t my device my device” The answer here is no. That’s kind of the point. That’s why Moto phones have locked bootloaders. That’s way iPaidTooMuch.. well I’ll just leave it at that. Even the Kindle devices are locked and Amazon gets to decide when and if they want to yank a book off of “your” device whenever they want!

    Your provider and/or the device manufacture doesn’t want it to be “your” device.

    Long live CynogenMod! Long live the user!

  • mostlydigital

    The network providers will love it and most consumers will be unaffected. Non-standard users will look for another option as long as another option exists.