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LeapFrog Epic part 2: An open letter to the company (bootloader and ROM development)

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OK, so a bit of a rant, though for one I gotta give LeapFrog some credits to this. Sure, repairs are a service centre away, and the main market for this device are kids and their parents, but what about the more tech-savvy parents (e.g. geeks or tinkerer types) who'd certainly re-purpose or service their kids' Epics either because it broke down or gone on a boot loop for some reason?
You see the main thing with this is the preloader, or other words the bootloader, is locked from tampering, making it next to impossible to use custom ROMs or kernels. You can somehow subvert this by editing just the system.img offline assuming you extracted it off your device, or in the case of backups, backing up the whole ROM image, boot/recovery and other images included, to a single ROM_0 file, and flashing it back using the hidden Write Memory feature in SP Flash Tool.
The problem is when you need to replace boot.img with a different one - you simply can't. Flashing unsigned images give…

LeapFrog Epic part 1: The hidden Lock Screen.

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So I got my hands on a pair of these units from a friend of mine who was generous enough to donate for free. While getting these in-store demo units to work as a retail device is a pain and a half to do (more on that in a later post), I've had fun modding and poking into the internals to see what can be done with it. There are actually a LOT of hidden and/or dummied out features in the tablet, most of which can be accessed through the open-source Activity Launcher.
For instance, LeapFrog dummied out access to the lock screen settings by removing menu references to said options in Settings. They disabled the AOSP lock screen presumably to save children the (supposed) frustration of having to unlock their device upon using it. It is however possible to re-enable it and add a lock pattern or a simple slide to unlock prompt in case you need one:
On the home screen or the parental controls menu, go to your browser and download this APK: https://f-droid.org/repo/de.szalkowski.activityla…