Sunshine is a widely used application that helps users break free of restrictive OEMs and modify their phone software. It is mostly used to enable S-OFF on HTC smartphones. The developers of Sunshine recently revealed in a tweet that Sunshine now supports HTC U12+. This means that users of the new HTC flagship will be able to enable S-OFF on their phones using Sunshine.
The Sunshine software is the only tool that will allow you to enable S-OFF on the HTC U12+. It costs $25 and can be downloaded here.
What is S-OFF?
The ‘S’ in S-Off stands for security, and it protects certain partitions of the smartphone from being tampered with. It is essentially a security feature that prevents you from bricking your device while flashing custom ROMs or modifying the device.
When you unlock the bootloader of the HTC U12+, it gives you write access to /system, /boot, and /recovery. That is enough to flash a custom recovery (like TWRP) and through that, you can flash a custom ROM. For most tinkerers, this will be enough, and there will be no reason to enable S-OFF.
Some users, however, will want to go further than unlocking their bootloader. Enabling S-OFF turns off any security barriers, and allows users to tamper with any partition. This would allow users to do things like downgrading their device or changing your region. On the HTC M8, enabling S-OFF makes it possible to convert your smartphone into Google Play Edition, and receive AOSP updates.
The S-OFF is only temporary though, and the security settings on the HTC U12+ will get reset on every reboot. Once you purchase Sunshine, you will have to enable S-OFF using the application each time you restart your phone. Fortunately, though, the changes you make to the secured partitions will not be reset with each reboot.