With the Samsung Galaxy S4 Verizon variant slated for release on Thursday, trusty developers are already hard at work cracking its bootloader to let tech-savvy fans modify their S4 handsets as they wish.
Developer Dan Rosenberg took to Twitter on Monday, announcing that he has successfully booted a custom recovery on to the Verizon Galaxy S4. Enthusiasts have been waiting for this ever since CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik discovered that AT&T’s Galaxy S4 sold with a locked bootloader. While Rosenberg quickly created a bootloader bypass for AT&T’s Galaxy S4, he decided to wait until the release of Verizon’s Galaxy S4 to release any bootloader unlocking firmware. Many suspect this was so Verizon would not have an opportunity to correct whatever flaw allows developers to crack locked bootloaders.
Successfully booted a custom recovery on the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 (thanks to a helpful tester). Look forward to a release soon.
â€” Dan Rosenberg (@djrbliss) May 20, 2013
There is no word on when a bootloader unlocking tool will be available to the public, but we are certain it will be compatible with both AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S4 handsets. Rosenberg says the tool will be released “soon,” but gives no further information. Most suspect that we will have a fully functional bootloader unlocking tool within days of the Verizon’s May 23 Galaxy S4 launch, after which many custom ROMs will likely soon follow.
We have already seen developers create firmware for the Samsung Galaxy S4 at lightning speed. T-Mobile’s Galaxy S4 notably sells with an unlocked bootloader. Just one day after the carrier made its Galaxy S4 variant available online, Kondik had a CyanogenMod build up and running on the device and made the first CM10.1 nightly build available to the public just days later. He also created custom ROMs for Canadian variants of the Galaxy S4, available for devices on the carriers Rogers, Bell and Telus. In addition, Rosenberg himself cracked the AT&T GalaxyS4’s bootloader promptly after it was discovered locked.
While Sprint has confirmed that its Galaxy S4 sells with an unlocked bootloader, there have not yet been any custom ROMs made for the device. We expect there to be an explosion of custom ROMs for various Galaxy S4 variants once the bootloader unlocking tool for the AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S4 is available.
Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.