The main novelty of the Pixel 6a will land on other smartphones

this update puts Google back on the right path of Android philosophy

A few days after its launch, the Pixel 6a takes advantage of a first update allowing it to unlock its bootloader to make some changes by rooting the device or installing custom ROMs on it.

The Google Pixel 6a // Source: Chloé Pertuis – Frandroid

Kings and queens of the hack on Android, keep hope! If you are not completely satisfied with the software treatment to which your smartphone is entitled, some brands offer you a rather practical alternative by letting you install third-party ROMs or root your device.

This is also Google’s philosophy, but these manipulations require you to have unlocked the bootloader of the smartphone. This is where a smartphone update comes in that now makes this possibility available for Pixel 6a owners.

A return to the philosophy of Android for Google

A first update has been in the process of being deployed since last week and resolves an issue that made the option to unlock the bootloader not available on Pixel 6a. Early feedback regarding this issue mentioned a “grayed out” and unusable OEM unlock option in Developer Settings.

The Pixel 6a has some weirdness. I can’t unlock the bootloader even though this is a carrier unlocked variant, and it’s on the April security patch with no updates available. pic.twitter.com/PhAoPVkN5U

— Zachary Wander 🇺🇦 (@Wander1236) July 29, 2022

A Google spokesperson then came to tell Android Police that a fix for this problem was on the way with the latest smartphone update, although its patch notes did not mention it.

Pixel 6a Update OEM Unlock
Source: Frandroid

Our test unit also has this problem. This possibility should normally have been present from the launch of the smartphone, but it seems that Google has decided to include it with a small delay.

A solution that should arrive soon

This problem will only affect a small proportion of users who want to practice this procedure. According to one of the GrapheneOS developers, the smartphone would also require a factory reset for the option to work after the update.

A bootloader is software that loads the operating system on the smartphone when it turns on. Access to it can thus give full control of the system to the user thanks to a procedure called root. Be careful though, this is a procedure that risks rendering your device inoperable.

This patch only seems to have reached a few US and Japanese carriers so far, but should be hitting more people by the end of the week according to Google, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long anymore.


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