JingPad A1 bootloader unlock tool, Android ROM, and source code are now available
The JingPad A1 was launched back in August last year with the tagline: “World’s First Consumer-Level Linux Tablet.” This device, complete with its gigantic 11-inch 4:3 AMOLED display, Unisoc Tiger T7510 SoC, an 8,000mAh battery with 18W wired charging support, and a premium design, brought tough competition to other Linux-powered ARM64 tablets like the Pine64 PineTab. Powered by the in-house Linux distribution called JingOS, the JingPad A1 can also run Android apps using WayDroid. Now, Jingling Tech, maker of the JingPad, is offering more choices to users in the software department as the company has opened up bootloader unlocking on the device, published a dedicated Android ROM, and also released its sources.
Unlocking the bootloader on the JingPad A1 wipes the tablet completely, which is the standard behavior when one unlocks devices. Before requesting the unlock token, you need to extract the device ID using a special fork of the Fastboot binary. The application process isn’t instantaneous, though, as you need to email the device ID and a handful of other information to the company by following a specific template, so keep that in mind. Jingling Tech has detailed the complete steps involved in the bootloader unlocking process in a thread on their forums.
Further, the company has posted an Android ROM for the device. It comes in the form of a full firmware package, which can be installed on the tablet using the bundled Windows-only flashing utility. Jingling Tech does offer the official JingOS recovery firmware for the JingPad A1 (and the JingPad C1, i.e. the Chinese variant), so you can easily revert back to Linux even after flashing the Android ROM.
The source code for the Android ROM is up for grabs as well. Now, developers can work on third-party kernels and recoveries with much more ease. This should really help kickstart development on the JingPad A1 and make it much more attractive to developers, and in turn, to users. We hope to see the development scene for the device populated with much more activity in the near future, with perhaps better alternatives for users who want to migrate away from JingOS.