T-Mobile G-Slate Android 3.1 Update Introduces Locked Bootloader?

T-Mobile’s G-Slate Android 3.1 Honeycomb update is rolling out now and brings a host of goodies with the introduction of Google Videos, Homescreen resizable widgets and USB accessory support just to name a few. Unfortunately all the news isn’t good as there is one additional “improvement” delivered in the form of a locked bootloader. The move doesn’t seem to be accidental and it may just be the way LG is moving forward, locking down the bootloader. This is a stark contrast to HTC’s recent moves which have garnered huge amounts of support from the Android rooting community by announcing unlocked bootloaders.

The previously mod-friendly T-Mobile G-Slate will now a lot of hoops to work around if hackers and developers want to hack, tweak and improve the device. Consider this fair warning that unless you really need one of the improvements Android 3.1 brings forth, you might want to consider waiting on this update.

DroidDog

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  • Anonymous

    LG, go suck a fat one. Idiots.

  • Anonymous

    LG, go suck a fat one. Idiots.

  • http://www.dolphinfree.net Tenkely

    Never buying another LG product. Never again.  

    • http://darnell-chat.myopenid.com/ Darnell

      Agreed, my first LG device and my last!

  • http://www.dolphinfree.net Tenkely

    Never buying another LG product. Never again.  

  • http://MobileGenius.wordpress.com JM

    So, instead of waiting for the update it would be better to root and try a custom ROM? Are there any for the G-Slate?

  • http://twitter.com/crankmosh Doc Mosh

    eh, there’s no source for Honeycomb anyways… by the time it’s released I’m sure there’ll be plenty of ways around the locked bootloader or even LG might implement a unlock policy…

  • http://twitter.com/crankmosh Doc Mosh

    eh, there’s no source for Honeycomb anyways… by the time it’s released I’m sure there’ll be plenty of ways around the locked bootloader or even LG might implement a unlock policy…

    • Prod1702

      you don’t need the source for everything. Look at the other Android tablets and see the Dev work on them. Take a look at the Xoom and see how much has been done to that with no source.

    • Prod1702

      you don’t need the source for everything. Look at the other Android tablets and see the Dev work on them. Take a look at the Xoom and see how much has been done to that with no source.

  • http://twitter.com/crankmosh Doc Mosh

    eh, there’s no source for Honeycomb anyways… by the time it’s released I’m sure there’ll be plenty of ways around the locked bootloader or even LG might implement a unlock policy…

  • scuzzbag87

    with the G2x fiasco and now this LG is gonna see a drop on their shares

  • Anonymous

    at least we know to stay away from the gslate now

  • D Griffin

    Screw it.  Grid 10 for me.

  • D Griffin

    Screw it.  Grid 10 for me.

  • D Griffin

    Screw it.  Grid 10 for me.

  • http://MobileGenius.wordpress.com JM

    I guess since I have never actually rooted a phone myself, and only had a rooted G2 because I traded with someone, I am very unlikely to root my G-Slate either. Though I would like to have the freedom to make a change like that easily, should I choose, I am pretty sure the locked bootloader won’t really affect my use of this tablet.

    I know many of you would never be happy with a device that hasn’t been customized in every way to your liking but I am usually pretty happy with what I have as it is.

    • Tortionist

      Rooting and flashing a ROM is actually pretty easy on most devices. Each device is different. The only exception I found was flashing a ROM on my Motorola Defy, which was hard, but the root procedure was simple. It now acts like a high end smartphone instead of a mid level one, what with it running CM7 with android 2.3.4, smooth transitions, and overclocked at 1.2 GHZ. If i’m not using it it runs at 300 MHZ, which helps with battery life and I got rid of bloatware and Motoblur. These are among the most common reasons for rooting a phone, as well as flashing a ROM.

    • Tortionist

      Rooting and flashing a ROM is actually pretty easy on most devices. Each device is different. The only exception I found was flashing a ROM on my Motorola Defy, which was hard, but the root procedure was simple. It now acts like a high end smartphone instead of a mid level one, what with it running CM7 with android 2.3.4, smooth transitions, and overclocked at 1.2 GHZ. If i’m not using it it runs at 300 MHZ, which helps with battery life and I got rid of bloatware and Motoblur. These are among the most common reasons for rooting a phone, as well as flashing a ROM.

    • Tortionist

      Rooting and flashing a ROM is actually pretty easy on most devices. Each device is different. The only exception I found was flashing a ROM on my Motorola Defy, which was hard, but the root procedure was simple. It now acts like a high end smartphone instead of a mid level one, what with it running CM7 with android 2.3.4, smooth transitions, and overclocked at 1.2 GHZ. If i’m not using it it runs at 300 MHZ, which helps with battery life and I got rid of bloatware and Motoblur. These are among the most common reasons for rooting a phone, as well as flashing a ROM.

  • http://MobileGenius.wordpress.com JM

    I guess since I have never actually rooted a phone myself, and only had a rooted G2 because I traded with someone, I am very unlikely to root my G-Slate either. Though I would like to have the freedom to make a change like that easily, should I choose, I am pretty sure the locked bootloader won’t really affect my use of this tablet.

    I know many of you would never be happy with a device that hasn’t been customized in every way to your liking but I am usually pretty happy with what I have as it is.

  • Anonymous

    Whew, dodged a bullet there. I’ve been thinking about buying a tablet for a while now, and the G-Slate was on my short list. Not anymore! 

    I’ll probably end up buying an iPad, I’ve kind of got all my eggs in one basket with Android right now and I’d like to see what the Apple application ecosystem has to offer. The tablet’s really for the wife anyway, and she’s not an Android freak like me :) (Although I really dig the iTunes university and it would be cool to be able to watch lectures in bed without having to haul the laptop upstairs.) I’ve heard good things about the Asus Transformer, so if we get a second tablet down the road for me, that’ll probably be the one I pick up. 

    Heh, now to other point I was going to make… I can see where LG is coming from with this. Tablets are pricey, and I’m sure that warranty replacements aren’t cheap for the manufacturer. (Yeah, I know that rooting technically voids your warranty, but that doesn’t stop rooters from unrooting or bricking their devices and sending them in for warranty replacement anyway)
    Playing around in non-user space is dangerous, to steal a phrase from Koush. If you don’t know what you’re doing, and you’re just rooting because you think it’s the cool thing to do, there’s a lot of potential there to cause possibly unrecoverable damage to your device. (Unrecoverable might be the wrong term here, because most things that can go wrong during rooting or installing a ROM can be resolved, but it takes some know-how and the ability to follow directions exactly, which is something that a lot of people don’t seem to possess.) 

    Either ways, I can see how, from a business standpoint, locking the bootloader on an expensive tablet makes sense. Smartphones, and the potential warranty claims associated with them, benefit from economics of scale that tablets haven’t really achieved yet.

    Now, before you pull out the pitchforks, let me say that I personally think this decision is asinine and as somebody below said, LG can go suck a fat one. I’ve got a rooted G2, I’m reasonably active in the android development community (purely as a spectator, I couldn’t code if my life depended on it) and I’ve donated to the Cyanogen project. I’m not an anti-rooter by any means, I’m just saying that I can see where they are coming from, even if I disagree with it. 

  • Bumrocky

    I rooted my G-Slate already, and love this device, but with the locked bootloader now, I won’t DL the update. I don’t need the extras anyway. So sad, though. I’ll keep an eye on XDA and see what they come up with.

    • Faye

      XDA Actually has no part in our current development, I suggest coming to #G-Slate on freenode irc, we’re the ones who have been pushing it out and doing all the work. 

    • Faye

      XDA Actually has no part in our current development, I suggest coming to #G-Slate on freenode irc, we’re the ones who have been pushing it out and doing all the work. 

  • Mcarey66

    I jumped on the update before hearing about this.  I’ve only had my Slate for a little over a week and planned to use it stock for about 2 weeks before rooting. 

    The thing that sucks is XDA wont give us a forum so all the devs can collaborate. I know there is a Google Project page that some have started but it’s just not the same as having our own XDA sub forum.  This is such a shame because it has SOOO much potential and could be improved greatly if there was a place for developers to put their heads together. If there was a forum this update locking the Bootloader would be a non issue. 

    Regardless the G Slate is a very underrated device. 

    I’m super picky about my Android Devices.  I only change if there is something drastically better than what I have. My Android lineage: Pre-release G1(worked in T-Mobile upper management during Android development) > MyTouch 3G > Hero > Nexus One > Sensation > G Slate.  The only thing that will get me to move to a new tablet will be when a Kal El based one is released.

    I have to say I’m more than happy with the G Slate. I’ve used the Xoom and I honestly thing 10 inch tablets feel a  little too big.  I’m a big dude, 6’4″ with big hands and the G Slate is at the limit of what’s comfortable to hold in all positions. If I only used it in my lap something bigger is fine but that’s simply not the case.  

    • serpentor

      Does the Slate have Android’s Mobile AP enabled?

      I was surprised tmo left it untouched on my Galaxy Tab.

      • Anonymous

        Its called “Wifi Hotpsot” instead, but yes, the ability to use it is there.

      • Anonymous

        Its called “Wifi Hotpsot” instead, but yes, the ability to use it is there.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PPTWQFTJZ4BB3666VRG64OL3XA Kent

    A locked bootloader? Yeah, like that won’t get cracked in about two days, like all the rest have before.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PPTWQFTJZ4BB3666VRG64OL3XA Kent

    A locked bootloader? Yeah, like that won’t get cracked in about two days, like all the rest have before.

  • Nick

    LG just doesn’t get it

  • Krisyizar

    LG really butt ef’d my soul with this one.

  • Now_onTMO

    I tried to root my g slate, nope.. Won’t work.. Arrrghh

    I wanted to least have root..

    And I wonder why xda won’t make a forum for the device? Ya probably because the g slate is too expensive and some would end up bricking and then sending back for replacement blah blah.. Maybe it was requested by whoever.. Lol.. Idk..

    • Pbrigade

      Head over to #g-slate on freenode IRC. We’ll help you out. We’ve circumvented most of LGs new security measures already. But still, for shame LG. They’re becoming the worst company out there for android, even calling in it’s clear that all their customer service people have no clue what’s going on and will blame T-Mobile and Google for everything when the problem is with their in house staff. (The bootloader lock is actually signed by an LG Employee, so there’s not much defense they have in trying to blame other people.)

    • Pbrigade

      Head over to #g-slate on freenode IRC. We’ll help you out. We’ve circumvented most of LGs new security measures already. But still, for shame LG. They’re becoming the worst company out there for android, even calling in it’s clear that all their customer service people have no clue what’s going on and will blame T-Mobile and Google for everything when the problem is with their in house staff. (The bootloader lock is actually signed by an LG Employee, so there’s not much defense they have in trying to blame other people.)

  • http://MobileGenius.wordpress.com JM

    So, is this really rolling out? My girlfriend’s G2x hasn’t been updated, my MyTouch 4g hasn’t either, and my G-Slate hasn’t been updated. I have never received any updates on any device from T-Mobile I’ve owned actually.

  • Ghostman34

    What a big FAIL with the ‘update improvement’!

  • Ghostman34

    What a big FAIL with the ‘update improvement’!

  • blahh

    this is ridiculous. just sent a letter to lg. Suggest you all do the same. fuck this keyboard sucks