Mar 08 AT 8:33 PM Taylor Wimberly 18 Comments

Motorola Atrix 4G hacks enable webtop without dock and working hotspot without tethering plan

We knew the Atrix 4G would be shipping without some features enabled (like 1080p video capture), but there were a few surprise omissions like the lack of HSUPA speeds and the inability to access webtop without an official dock. Most of these features should be available with a future software update, but the more adventurous Atrix owners can unlock them with a few simple hacks.

Webtop over HDMI

Motorola webtop

Webtop can now be accessed without an expensive dock.

First we have webtop via HDMI without a dock thanks for xda-developers member Fenny. This hack requires root access and allows your Atrix 4G to launch Motorola’s webtop mode when connected to any HDMI display. Users can then connect a bluetooth mouse and keyboard for a full desktop experience.

I had assumed that Motorola would let you run webtop over HDMI out of the box, but instead they limited it to their $500 lapdock accessory or the $80 multimedia dock. Thanks to the desktop Firefox browser found in webtop, you can now access the full web on your HDTV with this hack.

Hopefully AT&T allows Motorola to enable this feature in a newer software version and stops forcing us to buy a dock.

Working hotspot without tethering plan

Next we have a hack that allows working hotspot without tethering by richhed. The Motorola Atrix 4G ships with an application for wireless hotspot, but AT&T forces you to buy their $20 tethering plan with 2 GB of data in order to access it. This modification requires root access, but it will allow you to tether with a normal data plan and unlock some other cool features.

Motorola’s lapdock and webtop application require the tethering plan if you wish to use them over a mobile network, but they can still be used free of cost over WiFi. If you combine this hotspot hack with the webtop hack above, you can now use webtop without a dock on your mobile connection or use webtop over 3G without the tethering plan.

Atrix bootloader still locked

Unlike the Motorola Xoom which features a bootloader than can be unlocked and enables developers to access hardware for development, the Atrix includes a locked bootloader that hackers have been unable to crack so far. This will slow the development of custom ROMs and other hacks, but both devices share similar Tegra 2 platforms so hopefully that will help the Atrix bootloader to eventually be defeated.

Overall I’m glad to see that some hackers have embraced the Atrix 4G and I hope they one day fully unlock this phone. The Atrix 4G offers best-in-class hardware and I’d love to see what developers could do with the software when they have the ability to flash custom ROMs.

Source: XDA Developers

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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