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XDA Developers' Android Hacker's Toolkit by Will Verduzco, Jason Tyler

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Chapter 11: Nexus S: An Unlocked Device

In this chapter:

• Information about the Nexus S

• Rooting the Nexus S

The Nexus S is Google’s second flagship vanilla Android smartphone. Periodically, Google releases one phone in conjunction with a device manufacturer. These phones feature “Nexus” branding. Nexus phones are vanilla Android installations, with no interface or operating system customizations. Unlocked or unlockable bootloaders and freely available driver binaries make the Nexus phones highly prized by the hacking and hobbyist communities.

Unlocked devices are usually locked from the factory but have firmware in place that allows them to be unlocked with Fastboot commands. The Nexus S follows this pattern. Unlike the Google Nexus One, the Nexus S allows the bootloader to be relocked as well. After unlocking the Nexus S, it is fairly straightforward to use native Fastboot flashing functionality to flash the recovery or firmware of your choice.

Nexus phones are unlocked because Google sees them as developer devices. Developers need to be able to access the Android operating system at a very low level. When a developer is creating an application, there needs to be a common device that can be considered to be the reference device for a particular version of Android.

Connecting the Device to a PC

The Nexus S may require some special attention to connect to your PC so that ADB and Fastboot commands can be used. Be sure to download and install the correct drivers for your ...

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