The good news is that as promised phone-maker HTC has launched a new web tool that you can use to unlock the bootloader on selected Android smartphones. The bad news is that right now selected smartphones means the European version of the HTC Sensation… and that’s it.

Soon HTC plans to add the HTC Evo 3D and HTC Sensation 4G phones from Sprint and T-Mobile in the US to the list, but for now US customers are going to have to stick with unofficial bootloader unlocking tools.

The bootloader is a program that loads the operating system on your device. By locking the bootloader HTC could tighten security on a smartphone. But by giving users the ability to unlock their own bootloaders, HTC is making it easier for customers to load custom software such as CynaogenMod or other complete operating system replacements onto their phones.

While HTC is making it easier for users to unlock their bootloaders, the company is not officially supporting phones once the bootloader is unlocked. In other words, if you use the HTC tool to unlock your device you’ll void your warranty.

The unlocking process is a little complicated, and requires you to have the Android software development kit installed, Java running, and HTC Sync software.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...