Archive for the ‘Android’ Category

This post is about, What, Why and How regarding Custom ROMS.

What
As I have explained in my previous posts, the term ROM in Android terminology is not the hardware which we knew (Read Only Memory).
An android ROM is an image consisting of Kernel,Andoid Firmware,Bloatware(default system apps).
The default ROM given by vendors like LG, Samsung are called Stock ROMS(Customised Googles stock ROM).
Stock ROMS might have some crapware which will not be able to uninstalled and hence the wastage of resources, which makes you feel, you dont have complete control on your phone. Since Android is open source, so many developers are working on making of ROMs specific to a device, by building from sources. These are the Custom ROMS, having only essential apps, tweaked kernel for best performance and Overclocking CPU, customized android firmware to make it look awesome and work smoother.

Why
Having Custom ROM in your device makes you the complete owner(superuser) of it. You wont see any app unnecessary, customizations will make your phone perform fast and smooth and prolonged battery life too. And more over there are so many flavors of ROMS being developed, like gaming, performance, and battery etc., choose the right choice of yours and flash it. So there is nothing that you need to be compromised of, as your phone looks fresh,clean and robust always.

How
Most of the andoid devices have yaffs2 filesystem(NAND based flash memory). Each device flash memory is partitioned mainly as /system, /data, /boot, /recovery, /cache.
I will explain the significance of each partitions in my next post. I told about these partitions as they play the major role while installing.

First step after rooting is to have custom recovery. Custom recovery is a tool to manage all your partitions, to take backup of rom, restore old roms, and lot more.
ROM manager(root app) can flash the ClockWorkMod, a well known custom recovery.
Once you have chosen your ROM to flash, following are the steps.

  • boot into custom recovery
  • wipe /data, /system, /cache and wipe dalvik cache too.
  • select “install zip from sdcard” and choose your ROM.

It installs and takes time for the first boot, and Voila you have a custom ROM.

Note:  These steps are specific for devices and different ROMS. So make sure you follow the right instructions for your device. Mine would give you a rough idea of what needs to be done. After checking mutiple posts, reviews and understanding completely, take this risk.

Disclaimer: As you are playing with the flash memory partitions, any wrong step can brick your device. After that if you point finger on me, I will laugh at you. So understand what your are doing and take responsibility if you screw up.

Advertisements

Friends,

Rooting is the process of getting super user access on your device. When a vendor launches an android smart phone, they customize the stock ROM (Google’s android build ) and install few crappy bloatware which are also called as crapware.

Note: The term ROM here is not the hardware component , Read only Memory. In android terminology ROM refers to the image file of android OS comprising of kernel modules, system files and customized apps. Earlier even I had the misconception of this term.

Why rooting?

  • Everyone hates bloatware coz, they cant be uninstalled, though we don’t use it henceforth wastage of resources. In a rooted device these apps can be removed.
  • You can control your cpu clock speed by overclocking it or underclocking it using setcpu app. Overclocking is of course risky, as we are trying to increase more than the threshold given by manufacturers. But it can improve performance while playing 3D games or during multiprogramming. Underclocking cpu will reduce the voltage use so that you can gain more battery juice.
  • You can perform more OS level hacks and tricks for better day to day usage. For e.g everyone gets annoyed with ads in our apps. A smart app called adsfree for rooted devices, can block ads in you apps. The way it achieves this is very simple. As we all know domain name resolution will be done in /etc/hosts file in linux. Making an entry of “ipaddress hostname” in that file will direct all requests with hostname to the ipaddress specified. This app for each ads puts an entry of “127.0.0.1 adsdomain.com” so that all requests are sent to localhost. So no ads will be displayed. But unfortunately only root users can install this app as only root users have write access in system files.
  • Once rooted we can try flashing different custom ROMS(Google android ROMS in different flavors ) using ROM Manager. Selection of ROM is depending upon nature of the users . Few ROMS are developed for good performance, few for long battery life etc..
  • Few phones which do not have wifi hotspot option can be turned into a portable wifi  hotspot which can cater around 10 devices using wifi tether.
  • Regular backups of system and user apps can be done in a schedule manner for recovery purpose by Titanium Backup.

There are lot more fun being root user. Root your mobile carefully, coz its not strictly legal as in the process we are trying to execute an linux exploit. If that fails you might even brick your mobile turning it into an expensive paperweight  :).

Scaredddd? Even I was scared long back with the same statement 🙂

How to root your device?

Aim of the rooting might be common but not the process of rooting. Rooting process varies depending on your linux version, android build, your device model etc. There are plenty of methods to root includind z4root, Gingerbreak, SuperOneClick etc. But you need to find the right method applicable for your device. Watch closely xda-devlopers-forum and search around other websites to find the right way for your device.

I believe no user will avoid rooting after learning how to root his device :). Root your device soon and have fun 🙂

Me @nd My /-\ndroid

Posted: January 18, 2012 in Android, Tech Stuffz
Tags: , ,

Friends,

After 3 months I am here to blog again :). I was thinking to blog something other than puzzles , and I came up with this idea. Yes its about my experience with my Android.

As we all know Android is the open sourced mobile operating system launched by Google. I was too late to know about Android. After spending some time in searching about it, I decided that my next phone is gonna be running on Android. Though I was not aware of the complete architecture and working of an Android phone, I had a feel that this is something awesome.

I started exploring mobile vendors who support for Android and found that HTC,Samsung, and LG are the leading vendors. After few weeks I came across LG P500 Optimus One which exactly had what I want in an affordable price. It was around Rs 13K when I bought one year back but I felt it was worth it.

Few drawbacks are

  • No front camera
  • Rear camera was just 3mp
  • No shutter
  • No Led flash

It was not a limitation for me as I don’t use camera much. But i was attracted with the RAM (430Mb) and screen resolution (320*480) which no other mid range models had for that price(One year back 🙂 ). HTC Wildfire was running on Eclair(Android 2.1) but P500 was running on Froyo (Android 2.2) and Lg promised for Gingerbread update (Android 2.3.3). So I had a clarity in what I was gonna buy.

Frankly the moment I got it in my hand, I had no idea how to use it. It was my first smart phone with touch technology. I had very vague idea about the working of the phone. Then slowly exploring Google market, trying out different apps, I realized the awesomeness of it.

I liked the SAAS concept, hosting apps in cloud and accessing it as services. That too more than 3 million apps were free and if we liked we can buy the pro version of the same app. This is an awesome way by which provider and consumer get what they want.

Another strength of it is its an open source OS. So any interested developer can contribute to the market by developing his own apps. This is the only reason why android market grows exponentially.

All vendors release their mobile in a way the user has only limited access to it. User wont have complete privilege with the system files. The reason is to prevent novice user from bricking the mobile by changing system files. But if you are an advanced user, you can root it and gain the super user access and do awesome things with the phone by making changes to system files wisely.

Once you root it, you can install custom roms, customize boot loaders, and install few smart apps so that you can remove ads from free apps, underclock cpu to gain more battery, Overclock cpu to gain more performance while gaming, and lots and lots.

If you don’t root your phone, I would say, you don’t have it. But if you are not a techie then don’t risk until you learn what it is all about.

I rooted my froyo and loved it, now I upgraded to 2.3.3 and I have root access on it. Loving my phone everytime i use it.

Truly, no android user will get bored of his phone, if he has interest in exploring new apps,OS tweaks and trying out new things.

I would say if you are not an android user, find your phone and have fun. 🙂

My next posts will be about rooting , partitioning and flashing custom roms for novice users. So keep following 🙂