Want to unlock your smartphone so you can use it on a different wireless network, but worried that a SWAT team will kick down your door the instant you complete the task? No worries… it’s legal to unlock your phone in the United States again.

Last week Congress passed a bill that would make cellphone unlocking legal, and today President Obama signed it into law.

unlocked

Here are some of the latest tech news headlines from around the web. You can keep up on the latest news by following Liliputing on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

  • You can now unlock your smartphone in the US (again)
    There are a few caveats though. The measure only guarantees your safety from prosecution until the Library of Congress reconsiders things next year. And there’s no law saying device makers or wireless carriers have to make it easy for you to unlock a device. [White House blog]
  • Ubuntu 14.10 Alpha 2 released
    The Ubuntu team doesn’t offer alpha builds of the version of the operating system with the Unity desktop environment, but you can always download the latest nightly. If you’re using Kubuntu, Lubuntu, or another version of Ubuntu with an alternate desktop environment, you can try the latest pre-release build now. [Ubuntu]
  • Google Now App launcher now available for most recent Android devices
    Want to make your Samsung, HTC, or LG phone work a bit more like a Nexus or Google Play Edition phone? Now you can install the Google Now Launcher on pretty much any device that runs Android 4.1 or later. This basically makes Google Search your home screen, and you can access Google Now cards by swiping from the left side of the home screen. [Google]
  • Casio’s new watch features Soundhound music identification
    The Casio G-Shock GBA-400 may not look like a typical smartwatch, but it’s certainly got some smart features. [Akihabara News]
  • Play GameBoy Advance titles on your iPhone
    The GBA4iOS GameBoy Advance emulator for iOS sidesteps Apple’s policies to let you play classic games on an iPhone or iPad. [The Verge]
  • Report: Google might separate its Photos service from Google+
    You may not love Google’s social network. But Google+ does have a few cool features whether you use the social side of the service or not. Chief among them are the image features that let you back up your photos to the cloud, share them with other users, and edit them manually or automatically. Soon you may be able to do some of those things without using Google+ at all. [Bloomberg]
  • Report: Xiaomi is now the 5th-largest smartphone vendor in the world
    The company trails Samsung, Apple, Huawei, and Lenovo. But with 14.5 million devices shipped in the second quarter of 2014, Xiaomi is growing crazy fast. [CNET]
  • Starcraft ported (unofficially) to run on ARM-based hardware
    This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Starcraft or other classic PC games running on an ARM-powered device… but instead of running in a Windows emulator, this time it’s the app itself that’s been recompiled to run on ARM architecture… which is pretty impressive since it’s not like Blizzard released the source code. [Hack-a-day]

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4 replies on “Lilbits (8-01-2014): You are now free to unlock your smartphone (kinda)”

    1. But unlocking mobile phones is against DMCA=Digital Millenium Copyright Act from 1998.

  1. first time Ive ever seen Obama follow the law and pass something he didn’t dictate..cause he is a dick-tater.

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