With Verizon looking to have a much more notable role in supporting Google’s new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, many potential customers, especially previous owners of the developer friendly Nexus range, have been wondering whether the phones will be rootable and support custom ROMs. Google has now confirmed that both the new handsets bought from the Google Store will be rootable and will ship with an unlockable bootloader.
Many users still like to root their phones to install applications that require additional system permissions, but the practise has waned in popularity as rooting causes compatibility issues with official OTA updates, such as the monthly security updates from Google. With Google promising “seamless updates” as one of the major selling points of the new Pixel range, rooting probably won’t be a top priority for many owners.
Even so, rooting and unlockable bootloaders are essential for those who want to install third party operating systems, or custom ROMs, on their devices. It’s reassuring to know that those who loved the openness of the Nexus line-up will still be catered for, albeit not with every model.
Pixel owners who purchased the device from the Google store will be able to root their devices. Pixel phones purchased from the Google store will ship with an unlockable bootloader. – Iska Saric, Google Spokesperson
Reports have already alluded to a completely locked down bootloader on Verizon’s version of the Google Pixel and Google’s announcement seems to confirm that this is the case. Consumers and developers will have to be quite careful about where they buy their phone from if they want to root their phone and install customized versions of Android.
So, if you are looking to root or test out some custom ROMs on your new Pixel, but sure to purchase your phone directly from the Google Store.