Unrevoked and AlphaRev, the development teams behind two popular Android hacking tools have teamed up to release a new tool called Revolutionary. It’s an S-OFF Tool that lets you flash a custom recovery image on your phone, and right now it’s available as a developer preview. That’s a nice way of saying it might still be a bit rough around the edges and it’s not necessarily meant for the general public.
Wondering what S-OFF and custom recovery means? In a nutshell, many Android phones ship with locked bootloaders or other partitions. From a manufacturer’s standpoint, this is a security measure, as it will prevent you from accidentally doing anything that will make your phone unusable… well anything software-related anyway. They can’t really stop you from dropping it in a toilet.
But if you want to replace the software that came with your phone with a custom version of Android with special features such as CyanogenMod, you’ll need an unlocked bootloader and a custom recovery image that allows you to replace the operating system with something different. The custom recovery will also allow you to make “nandroid” backups of your mobile device so you can restore your system if anything goes wrong.
Revolutionary is designed to change that unwriteable portion on your phone into something you can modify. Right now, the the utility can work with a number of devices including the HTC Desire, Desire S, Wildfire, Aria, Incredible, S, Incredible 2, Sensation, and Evo 3D. It also works with the HTC Flyer tablet and can permanently unlock the NAND write protection on the HTC Sensation and HTC Evo 3D.
The utility doesn’t automatically root your device, but once you’ve run it you should be able to manually install SuperUser and BusyBox, which will root your phone or tablet. You can find more details on the process at the Unrevoked Wiki.