Sprint OTA for HTC EVO will block rooting

A warning to anyone wanting to root their HTC EVO 4G today: don't accept Sprint's OTA (over the air) update when you receive the phone. It will block access to systems that allow users to complete the rooting process. 'Rooting' your phone is the process by which you give yourself full administrative rights over all of your phone's functionality, much like jail breaking an iPhone. It's a way for people to install custom versions of the pre-installed OS or to install unsupported third-party applications. More important to Sprint, though, is the ability to activate the 4G hotspot feature free of charge. After charging $30/month for the service, Sprint will likely do anything in its power to stop users from accessing the feature for free. The update, which, according to MobileCrunch, comes at the heels of last minute bug found in the functionality of the SD card reader in the EVO, doesn't just fix the storage bug; it also restricts you from rooting your phone.

The tip comes from Unrevoked, one of the development teams responsible for the root package that was completed weeks before official release. The small amount of time it took developers to produce a working root package for the EVO was nothing short of staggering. Much of that likely is tied to the fact that Google gave out 1000 of these devices to developers at their annual I/O conference in May. Allow that much development talent free access to a device, and it's no wonder that a root package was developed posthaste.

Unrevoked is vowing to dig in to the OTA and wrangle out a solution when they get access to it, but for now they urge potential rooters to reject the OTA when it hits the airwaves.

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24 Comments

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It does amuse me that Sprint (and previously AT&T) offer these unlimited data plans, yet still want to charge you extra for using the "unlimited" data in different ways, such as tethering or hotspots. If the data is truly "unlimited", why should anyone pay extra for simply using different methods of consuming that data? My ISP doesn't charge me additional fees depending on whether I use an iMac as a standalone machine or share its Ethernet connection to other WiFi enabled devices.

chaos_disorder said,
It does amuse me that Sprint (and previously AT&T) offer these unlimited data plans, yet still want to charge you extra for using the "unlimited" data in different ways, such as tethering or hotspots. If the data is truly "unlimited", why should anyone pay extra for simply using different methods of consuming that data? My ISP doesn't charge me additional fees depending on whether I use an iMac as a standalone machine or share its Ethernet connection to other WiFi enabled devices.

They technically aren't unlimited, Sprints 3G plan for example has a 5GB soft cap, and if you run over that during 3 connective rolling months you are in term violations.

T-Mobile doesn't charge for tethering. It's included in their numerous and affordable everything unlimited plans.

Sprint, AT&T, etc, can blow me for this ridiculous overcharge game. You're already paying for the data via the data plan! Don't let them get away with this.

excalpius said,
T-Mobile doesn't charge for tethering. It's included in their numerous and affordable everything unlimited plans.

Sprint, AT&T, etc, can blow me for this ridiculous overcharge game. You're already paying for the data via the data plan! Don't let them get away with this.

Exactly! These greedy companies should receive a clear wake up call!

If T-Mobile in the US is anything like in the UK then it would have by far the best plans. Although, after looking at the websites the idea of affordable in the US seems to equate to expensive in the UK so....

This ota fixes a pretty serious bug with writing to the sd card. Given how serious it is, I think anyone who has an EVO should choose data integrity over custom roms, the EVO can always be rooted again.

Or wait for a day or two at most until devs get their hands on it, then install the same version that doesn't hinder rooting possibilities. While Android is easy enough to customise, you can have your phone exactly as you wish once it's been rooted. Therefore for the majority of 'Rooters' who have seen zero issues with data integrity, it's a worthwhile risk

They should brick any phone that has been "rooted", and these loser "development teams" should be sought out and prosecuted.

RichardK said,
They should brick any phone that has been "rooted", and these loser "development teams" should be sought out and prosecuted.

Because increasing the functionality of your phone is illegal.

The only abuse of Sprint here is in the tethering hotspot charges. Other than that, rooting your phone just gives you more flexible options as far as customization and applications.

RichardK said,
They should brick any phone that has been "rooted", and these loser "development teams" should be sought out and prosecuted.


who ****ed in your Wheaties

Unrevoked i read his twitter and i do0nt see where it says this will un root your phone its a possibility sure

RichardK said,
They should brick any phone that has been "rooted", and these loser "development teams" should be sought out and prosecuted.
Prosecuted for what exactly?

RichardK said,
They should brick any phone that has been "rooted", and these loser "development teams" should be sought out and prosecuted.

What the hell for breaking a warranty and breaking the law are two completely different things, plus Android is open-source anyway.

RichardK said,
They should brick any phone that has been "rooted", and these loser "development teams" should be sought out and prosecuted.

You've obviously had a sour experience with modding a phone. Sucks for you. Don't blame the community for your problems.

RichardK said,
these loser "development teams" should be sought out and prosecuted.

LOL. Try 'teams who dedicate a ton of time into bringing the most out of your hardware well past what the manufacturer originally supported'

RichardK said,
They should brick any phone that has been "rooted", and these loser "development teams" should be sought out and prosecuted.

This post was brought to you by Sprint.

It will interesting to see far Sprint is willing to take this. For them, there's a pretty big monetary loss on the tethering fee they will lose from many people rooting the phone.

Tzvi Friedman said,
It will interesting to see far Sprint is willing to take this. For them, there's a pretty big monetary loss on the tethering fee they will lose from many people rooting the phone.
Couldn't you have just written that in your post? LoL I kid...

Initial bug fixes for the phone are probably more worthwhile than root right out of the door...but maybe thats just me

SkyyPunk said,
Initial bug fixes for the phone are probably more worthwhile than root right out of the door...but maybe thats just me
Especially when one of the bugs is not being able to access the included 8GB MicroSD card.

Elliott said,
Especially when one of the bugs is not being able to access the included 8GB MicroSD card.

To be fair, it was only issue in a few of the units given out at I/O. And a few complaints on Android forums. None of the major reviews so far have seen any issues. I would wait to see if there even is a bug in my unit before blindly upgrading.