There are apparently two ways to swing when it comes to device manufacturers and the “tweaking” element of Android – a facet of the open source environment that has grown inevitably parallel to the OS. One is to lock your features and make it more difficult for hackers to tweak the OS to their liking. Or you could go Sony’s way and swing toward the freedom of the open source community, as they have done with their now updated bootloader unlock program.
The “bootloader” is usually the first portal towards tweaking a device – installing a custom recovery will then override the bootloader and enable hacks (like you and me) to flash custom ROMs and whatnot into your device. By unlocking the bootloader, Sony is basically giving people a free rein in flashing their devices with custom stuff, with some caveats, of course. But still, this eliminates the need to unlock the bootloader with a custom recovery.
The program started early this year, but the page and the information for Sony’s bootloader program was a long and tedious read, with very unfriendly instructions. Now the process has been made a little bit “friendlier”, a little bit more streamlined. The unlock program starts with you putting in your email information to Sony’s form, and also your device’s IMEI. Ostensibly, with the IMEI Sony is able to know where your device was bought and so run with whatever regional and global warranty considerations there would be for your device. They will most likely email you an “unlock code” for the actual unlocking of your device.
A couple of updates to the program – there is now a very obvious page for flashing back to a Sony ROM, where the old pages did not have one (or if it did, it wasn’t that obvious). Supported devices now also include the Sony Xperia Z2 and the Xperia Z2 Ultra. If you want to check out the updates to the program, go directly to the program portal HERE.