HTC, makers of smartphones and tablet computers like the Rezound, myTouch 4G, Sensation and Flyer, will now allow user access to the unlocked bootloader on their devices. That means anyone with the technical know how or desire to highly customize their device can now do so with a new software tool from HTC. You'll need to download it from HTC's Developer Center (htcdev.com), but first you must register on that Web site.

HTC heard enough feedback from its customers that it decided to allow people to root their devices, but the move is the exception rather than the rule. Most smartphone makers don't sanction the rooting process because there are plenty of side effects that are too numerous to keep track of and offer support for. HTC is basically saying, 'okay, we get that you want access to the bootloader, but you are on your own because there are too many things that could go wrong.'

By unlocking access to the roots of the operating system, users can endlessly tweak the software and add more functions, but also run the risk of disabling one or more functions with no way to recover them. Additionally, this type of unlock is not the same as a carrier unlock where a user can switch carriers from say, AT&T to Telephone Systems International, T-Mobile. Also, older HTC devices like the EVO 4G have not yet been supported, so if you have one of those devices you'll have to wait for HTC to add them. The unlock should work on the Amaze, EVO View 4G, Design, Flyer, myTouch 4G Slide, and the Sensation (officially), plus the Rezound, Vivid, Rhyme, and Thunderbolt (unofficially). The unlocked bootloader is what you need to install custom Android builds, and those can add new features or change the look and feel of your phone's user interface.

Most people will not pay any attention to this news because they like have HTC on their side and don't mind using the Andorid software as is. Tell us in the comments if you have a custom ROM on your HTC device or if you plan to use the new unlock tool.