Yesterday, we reacted — angrily — to a report that Motorola was “bricking” the Droid X if it detected unauthorised software.
The story stated that users who loaded an unapproved version of Android — such as the recently released Froyo — would have their phones deactivated in such a way that they would have to return them to Motorola for a hardware fix.
MobileCrunch, which ran the original story, appears to be sticking to its guns, but reports from Engadget and elsewhere, as well as statements from Motorola, suggest that this was half wrong. Your Droid X will be kicked into a recovery mode if you load an unapproved OS, but you won’t need a hardware fix; you can simply reload Motorola’s version of Android.
Bricking the phone entirely would be an unprecedented bit of nastiness on Motorola’s part, and we apologise for jumping the gun.
Unfortunately, for the consumer, this situation isn’t any different. Some other phones are protected in the same manner as the Droid X, but, unlike the protections on most Android phones, no one has found a way around this. So if you buy Motorola’s awesome piece of hardware, you’re still going to be stuck with Motorola’s widely panned piece of software.
We still really want the former, and really don’t want the latter.