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[GUIDE] [NOOB] [ANDROID] Everything that You Want to Know ! !

OP prince.d.emperor

22nd October 2014, 07:16 AM   |  #1  
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This post is going to help you if you have done a fresh entry in the unending world of Android. Android being an open source operating system for mobile phones, offers limitless possibilities of optimization and customization as per your requirements. Brand new android device comes with stock ROM and locked bootloader but half the charm of an Android phone lies in the root-based apps, beautiful mods and patches, and custom ROMs. Let me first explain these terms:

BOOTLOADER:
Every Android phone has a bootloader that instructs the operating system kernel to boot normally. But you need to understand one thing here that as Android OS is an open source OS and is available on a variety of different hardware, every manufacturer has their own version of bootloader specific for the hardware present in it’s environment. In literal terms, bootloader is code that is executed before any Operating System starts to run. The concept of bootloaders is universal to virtually all Operating systems that inculcates operating systems on your PC, laptop, smartphones, and other such devices.

Why is Bootloader Locked??
A bootloader is usually locked on an Android device because although it’s an open source OS, still the manufacturers want you to stick to their Android OS version specifically designed for the device. In order to apply this concept, manufacturers lock the bootloader. With a locked bootloader on Android devices, it is virtually impossible to flash a Custom ROM and forced attempts void warranty as well as usually end up in bricks. Therefore, the first step is to always unlock the bootloader. A lot has been said about bootloaders being “locked” and even the developer-friendly Nexus devices shipped with a locked bootloader (Nexus devices and a couple tablets are easily unlocked with a single command).In fact, a lot bootloaders are locked and encrypted, meaning simple commands like “fastboot oem unlock”, won’t do a thing.

Why To Unlock Bootloader On Android Devices??
The explanation to this question is really simple. If you want root, you’d be wanting to flash Custom ROM post-root, and if you want to install a Custom ROM, you’d need to have your stock bootloader unlocked. In simple terms Unlocking the bootloader allows you to install custom Firmware on your Android phone.
Warning: Unlocking your phone’s bootloader voids its warranty. It also completely wipes (formats) your Android phone’s internal memory including applications, contacts, SMS and MMS messages etc.

ROOTING:
Half the charm of an Android phone lies in the root-based apps, beautiful mods and patches, and custom ROMs. If you have not rooted your phone yet, believe me you are not getting the most out of it. Rooting offers many advantages indeed but, at the same time it is also a little risky as it breaks into the wall of security build by the operating system.

According to a survey, 80% of Android phone users live happy with an unrooted device and the reasons for this are various- some people think of it as a sort of criminal activity, some are afraid of losing warranty, some are afraid of bricking their phone, while most people do not even know about the existence of a term like “rooting”.

ROOTING is one of the most loved and equally disdained terms in the world of Android. Android phone users can generally be divided into three sects on the basis of their opinion towards rooting stuff. First of all, there are those who are willing to unlock and root their phones as soon as they get it or update it with a stock firmware. Then there are larger class that are happy with keeping their phones in a state they bought it and keep miles away from rooting. Finally, there is a moderate group that keeps wondering- “To root or not to root!”

What is Rooting??

The term “root” comes from the Unix/Linux world and is used to describe a user who has “superuser” rights or permissions to all the files and programs in the software OS. Thus rooting is a kind of hacking procedure where you seek to obtain access to the hidden system files. It’s like seeing a tree with its roots that remain immersed in the earth. By rooting your Android phone, you can have capability to modify and change the internal files of your device which otherwise remain locked and hidden.


Why Not to Root Your Phone??

Rooting Voids the Warranty:
It may be that you skip all other harms associated with rooting, but one thing you cannot escape is that it will surely void the warranty of your phone as soon as you root it. Suppose you have rooted your device which is still under warranty period. One day it stops working suddenly or shows signs that demand repairing. In that case you will not be entitled to claim the warranty because it is void due to installing a modified kernel. However, there are methods that can uproot your device and you can reclaim the warranty.
Rooting Can Brick your Device:
Another solid reason for not attempting to root your device is the potential risk of “bricking” it. There are thousand of tech blog over the web that are full of rooting tutorial for almost every Android phone and tablet. I have known some people who, searching for a rooting tutorial for their device, stumbled upon a tutorial written by some raw-hand person and bricked or almost made it unusable. Moreover, in most cases it is the fault of the device owners, who being a raw-hand themselves, do not follow the procedure to the letter or carefully and turn their phone into a costly paper-weight.
Rooting Does not Let You Get Official Updates:
As soon as you root your Android phone, you will not be able to receive the Over-the-Air updates released by the manufacturer. It is another thing that you install the updates manually if you find the OTA update zip file.
Rooting might Threaten the Security:
Most of us store vital and private data such as passwords and credit card details on our smartphones and this has necessitated a greater need for security than ever before. According to a recent survey, one-third of Android apps contain a certain level of malware as they require our personal data to run. There are so many keyboard app apps, for instance, that store a database of everything you type on your Android phone- whether it be a common word or a password and login details. You are open to such risks even without rooting your Android device. The open nature of the Android OS is the reason why android users are more prone to these attacks.
Here are a few simple tips that might help you make your phone’s data more secure:
Install a Mobile Security/Antivirus App- The best ways to get started is to download and install a complete android Mobile Security App to protect your android smartphone or tablet. These security apps are specifically designed for mobile platform and offer browser protection and safety against potentially dangerous sites.
Granting Permissions to Apps Carefully- You should be a bit more aware when you are installing all those cool new apps and do read and grant permission to data that you are only comfortable sharing. If you are not happy with any of the “requests for permission”and feel it is information you rather not share, then discontinue using the app.
Avoid Installing Apps from Unknown Sources- While we do not say that you take a complete blanket approach towards apps from unknown sources and disallow them completely, if you want to install one, be absolutely sure that they are completely safe. Remember that no system or set of guidelines are ‘absolutely safe’, but reducing risks helps a great deal.
Advantages of Rooting:
Most Android enthusiasts or advanced users believe that it is impossible to make the most of and Android smartphone without rooting and installing a custom recovery on it. While keeping you Android device gives you a feeling of safety and insurance, rooting denotes to a state of freedom, adventure and wilderness. No doubt it involves risk, but it has big rewards too. Let’s consider them too. I see many people asking,”I have rooted my phone, now what?” Here are a few reasons why one should root one’s Android phone/tablet.

1. Truly own your device
2. Unlock hidden features and install incompatible apps
3. Boosts your phone speed and battery life
4. Uninstall pre-installed apps
5. Block ads in any app
6. Flash a custom Rom/Kernel
7. Enter into dark word of Android
8. Move all apps to SD card
9. Link SD card with internal memory
10. Choose Startup and background apps
11. Quick optimization and clean up
12. Get root explorer and terminal emulator
13. Fully customize your OS in your own way
14. Directly install apps to SD
15. Be able to use roundr, GMD, ROM toolbox
16. Get font installer and boot animations for better fonts
17. More internal storage
Rooting Opens a World of Possibilities:
There are many people who opt to root their device only to be able to install certain apps that need root privileges. Among these apps, there include some life-savers like Titanium Backup, Apps2SD, Root Explorer, Triangle Away, Juice Defender, ROM Manager, and so on. Thus on you rooted Android phone or tablet, you can backup your Apps and Games, move the apps to the external SD card, extend battery backup, unlock your SIM-locked phone and what not.
Ability to Install Custom ROM and Mods:
Another major, or probably the greatest, advantage of rooting your Android device is that it open the world of customization for you. Having in full control of your phone by rooting it, you can do what those with non-rooted device can only dream of. You may have heard of people installing custom ROMs on their devices. There are many great custom ROM’s available that can make your Android device look and perform drastically different.
Why a custom ROM is so important for many people has many reasons. You rooted phone with a good custom ROM installed on it can perform better, faster and smoother. There are many custom kernels that give you great battery-life. The stock Android ROM does not support theming, but there are great custom ROMs like the CyanogenMod and MIUI ROM that have great theming capabilities that add to the freshness of your phone.
The option of changing ROM does not let you get bored of the same look and feel of your Android device. Most Android phones see a single firmware upgrade from the manufacturer. If you buy an Android device with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, it will only see an upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Thanks to our ROM developers who bring the highest version of Android OS to the lowest-priced phones. It is only the magic of custom ROMs that we see a Galaxy Ace or Optimus One user enjoying Jelly Bean.

Best Apps For Rooted Users:
I have been using mobile phone’s since the days when it used be bulky like a walkie and had an antenna on the top. Just go back a few years ago and compare the phones of the day to the smartphones that we own today, and you’ll realize that their evolution has been fantastic. I have also been lucky enough to experience all major platforms, from java-based devices down to Symbian, Android and the newer Windows Phone too. I first, first came to know about Android during the days when the smartphone world was ruled by Nokia-made Symbian devices. For many, Android was just a thing of curiosity then.

Having got bored of Symbian, it was much later that I decided to switch to Android and bought my first device the Galaxy S. the new OS was attractive but after a few months, I was still unable to figure out why it was so popular. The difference between my old and new OS’s seemed marginal. Having spent about 4 months with my first Android phone in its virgin state, I came to know about a new thing called “rooting” that sounded to me synonymous to “bricking” my phone.

Anyway, I finally took that bold step with bouncing heart and only after after that adventure, I was able to get a deeper peep into Android. I believe that anyone reading these lines would not deny that it is impossible to enjoy Android to its full without rooting it. Voiding one’s phone’s warranty might sound a good idea to all, but rooting pays for it pretty well. Now, I own Moto E and within a month of its purchase, I rooted it ! If you wish to enrich your experience with your phone or tablet, rooting is the only way to achieve the ultimate performance and customization whether it be getting speedy response, better battery, enhanced features, tweak system or make visual changes.

Today, we’ll see some really good, and also popular, apps that can help you get most out of your Android device. As the very title of the present article makes it evident, all these apps require root access to function. And therefore, you must have a rooted device before you can use them.

So, here begins our list of some of the best apps for rooted Android phones and tablet devices:

JuiceDefender Ultimate:

The bigger the screen, the better the fun, isn’t it? We all like a smartphone or tablet with a big screen that show everything with minutest detail and vivid colors. In most cases, OEM’s use battery according to the screen size of a device. Then why it is that the bigger the screen, the least the battery runs? You’ll hardly find a guy who is happy with the battery performance. In a situation where we cannot extend the capacity of the battery of our device, it’s wise to manage the battery power to get better performance out of it. Battery drain is the biggest concern of any smartphone user but if you have root, you can enjoy better performance using a 3rd-party power-save app. While you can find hundreds of battery-saver apps at the Play Store, there are just a few that really possess the magic wand. And among such apps, JuiceDefender Ultimate is probably the king of all. It is a mighty power manager app packed with advanced functions that controls, checks and manages all features and resources that devour the battery juice of your device. The app employs a bunch of effective measures to give you the best possible battery backup, and it does so by intelligently managing the channels that suck the battery most. It features highly customizable options to curb battery drain and get it up to your expectations.

Xposed Framework:

Root access on an Android device gives you the license to do almost anything and when it comes to personalization of your device, modifying the available features and adding new things to it, Xposed Framework is an ultimate tool. It is a custom framework that replaces the default framework of your devices and adds the ability to be modified via compatible modules. The presence on Xposed framework and its modules ensure that you get the power to control the visual elements on your device in your hands. You can customize things like the statusbar items, notification panels, extend reboot menu options, enable call recording, manage connectivity features, install third-party icon packs on stock launcher and thousands of such tasks very easily without having the knowledge of editing system apps and XML codes.

Tasker:

Extending our list of best apps for rooted devices, I’m now going to talk about an app that hardly requires any introduction if you not a novice with Android. Tasker for Android is a must have app if you are an advanced or power user, but it offers much even if you are new to it. It is a kind of personal genie that is capable of granting your daily mobile wishes. Tasker is a task control and automation tool that, if used wisely, can multiply your mobile experience many times. The app has lots of advanced features that let you
program your devices by adding tasks to make your device do things according to the rules defined by you. It lets you determine the behavior of apps and features as you might wish them to behave, whether it be to assign a task based on sensors, schedule app automation, control data and network connectivity and so on. It can do almost anything you can imagine. If you are a hardcore Android user, Tasker might prove a
dream app for you.

ROM ToolBox Pro:

ROM ToolBox Pro is a perfect example that shows the immense possibilities offered by root access on Android. As its very name proclaims, it is not just a tool for rooted Android devices, but a collection of various advanced useful tools with plethora of options for customizing the performance and user interface of your phone or tablet. Here is a list of the major tools that Root ToolBox Pro combines:
App manager
ROM management
DNS changer
Terminal Emulator
Task manager
Scripter
Root file browser
SD Booster
build.prop editor
CPU control
Kernel tweaks
Font installer
Theme manager
Theme chooser
Boot animation changer
Icon changer
Reboot manager, and lots more ! !
On expanding each of the listed tools, you’ll get more options related to specific tools.
Any app that has so much to give you at the price of one is definitely good !

Greenify:

While apps like JuiceDefender Ultimate and ROM ToolBox Pro aim at giving you better battery life and enhanced performance on your Android device respectively, Greenify targets both ends at the same time. Greenify lets you select apps that remain active and run as background processes even when they are not actively running. Now, such apps not only eat your phone’s ROM, making it slow and laggy, but also keep draining the precious battery juice continuously. If you are one who is fond of installing a lot of apps, Greenify can save you from being worried about performance and battery life. It lets you identify rogue apps and allows you put them in hibernation mode so that they do not keep eating CPU and RAM resources and leeching battery power. The app is pretty easy to use. Simply add the applications you want to hibernate when they move to the background, and let Greenify do its spell.

Titanium Backup:

Good battery life, awesome performance and cool customization— we have seen one or more apps for these things. Now let’s see another must have and one of the most rated apps for rooted Android devices. If you got root privileges on your device, Titanium Backup is a highly recommended app for you. You might find a number of backup apps at the Google Play Store, but none of them does the job so perfectly and nicely. The only negative thing about the app is it user interface that feels outdated, but when it comes to functionality, Titanium Backup surpasses them all.This best in class app can backup all apps (including system apps) and games on your apps with all app settings and data. You can backup apps individually, in groups or all at once. Also, before backing up or restoring the apps, you can choose whether to do the operation just with the apps, settings and data or a combination of all three. Besides, it also lets you schedule your backups. If you purchase the Pro key, you will also be able to use some premium features like—
Data migration (important for those who are fond of switching ROMs)
Dropbox sync and restore
Multiple backups per app support
Zero-tap batch restore
App freezer for keeping an app unchanged
Backup apps without closing any app
And more.

NoBloat:

As the name suggests, No Bloat allows you to remove all the bloat from your Android device. For rooted users, the app should come in handy to remove all the useless apps and bloat that carriers or OEMs ship in their phone right out of the box, and free up some resources that should improve performance and battery life,

No Bloat is pretty simple to use, and even has an handy option to backup the APKs before deleting them, in case things go wrong.

RoundR:

The only purpose of RoundR is to make the edges of your screen rounded, instead of flat, like in iOS. While this may seem like a very minor change, it somehow ends up making a very noticeable difference in day-to-day usage.
It is very tough to explain how rounded corners can affect the UI so much, but in the end it does. RoundR is one of those apps that you must try to know the difference. The app can be downloaded for free from the Play Store.

GMD Gesture Control:

GMD Gesture Control is particularly useful for Android tablet owners. Using this app, users can assign certain gestures to perform certain tasks. For example, you can setup a four finger swipe across the screen to automatically take you to the previous app you were using as in the iPad. You can easily emulate all the gestures that the iPad has using GMD Gesture Control.
Even Note and other Phablet owners can use GMD Gesture Control for navigation purposes. Instead of hitting the back button, they can assign a gesture which they can draw on the screen to imitate the back button.

Rom Manager:

Rom manager is one great app for all you enthusiasts who want to flash new ROMs and taste new versions of android in your smartphones.This app gives you a list of all the famous ROMs available for your device.You can also download them through this app and this also saves you a lot of time searching for it on the net.The pro version of this app is worth a try.

SoftKeyZ:

Bored out of the normal looks of your navigation buttons? Wanna add some colours to your screen? Go try this app.This app can personalize your navigation buttons(soft keys) into a lot many styles.It has 150+ themes to choose from.This is an awesome app for those who want your smartphone to be just like you want it to be...

Solid Explorer:

This is the best file manager out there.The basic idea of this explorer is just awesome.This app provides you two panels when positioned in the landscape view.You can simply copy-paste any file or move any file from one panel to the other without the fuzz of remembering the path of the locations separately.It also has additional features like FTP connection,etc... This is a must have app for all the android users.

NOTE:You also need to install solid explorer unlocker to use the complete features.

At the moment it has some glitches working in android kitkat.

Font Installer:

This app comes with hundreds of custom fonts ready for you to install. Use any custom fonts just by saving it into your device and install it from your device storage.

Link2SD:

It is one of the best app you should have after rooting your phone. This app links all the files and folders to your external SD card, hence virtually increasing internal memory.

RECOVERY:
Android devices come with Google’s recovery environment, which is often referred to as the “stock recovery.” You can boot to the recovery system by pressing device-specific buttons as your phone or tablet boots or by issuing an adb command that boots your device to recovery mode. The recovery menu provides options to help recover your device — for example, you can reset your device to its factory default state from here. The recovery mode can also be used to flash OTA update files. if you want to flash a new ROM to your device — or re-flash the factory default ROM file — you’ll need to boot to recovery mode first.

The stock recovery is a minimal, limited system. It’s designed to be ignored, and it can generally only flash OTA updates and ROMs provided by the device’s manufacturer, not third-party ROMs.

A custom recovery is a third-party recovery environment. Flashing this recovery environment onto your device replaces the default, stock recovery environment with a third-party, customized recovery environment. This is a bit like flashing a custom ROM like CyanogenMod — but, instead of replacing your device’s Android operating system, it replaces the recovery environment.

A custom recovery environment will do the same things as the stock Android recovery. However, it will also have additional features. Custom recoveries often have the ability to create and restore device backups. Custom recoveries allow you to install custom ROMs. ClockworkMod even offers a “ROM Manager” app that allows you to access many of these features from a running Android system — this app requires a custom recovery installed to function.

Popular Custom Recovery:
The Android Recovery which comes installed on any device has several issues, so that’s exactly why we finally consider that a custom recovery could be a much better choice as long as it find a way to reset your device when it may be impossible to boot into it.

Clockworkmod is available for quite a while and it has managed to win the title of the most popular stock recovery replacement thanks to all its features. But another player had also entered the game being known as TeamWin Recovery Project (or simply TWRP) and we bet that you are curious about it as well ! !

This fully touch-based custom recovery was initially dedicated exclusively to Nexus devices, but things have changed and now it is available for a variety of other smartphone and tablet models too, in form of official or thirdparty builds.

But which of these apps should you choose? CWM Recovery wins over TWRP Recovery or not? Here we have a detailed analysis of the most important aspects of these two custom recoveries which will help you taking the best decision:

The Graphic User Interface:

ClockworkMod’s interface is completely different if we compare it to the interface of
TWRP. This one comes with larger buttons that make it even easier than before to spot the feature that you are looking for and select it with a simple tap. And don’t forget about the soft buttons for Home and Back here, or about the option to turn the display off after a certain amount of time. But this doesn’t necessary have to mean that the interface of TWRP is necessarily much better, but simply with some differences that can offer us a more comfortable and faster experience.

Installing ZIPs:

This is one of the most used features in a recovery, but we must admit that we cannot actually compare CWM Recovery with TWRP Recovery at this chapter. They both work flawless when it comes to installing zip files, but some of you might consider that is easier to locate the zip file you want to install it in TWRP Recovery; and the built file manager is the one that makes the difference.

Backing Up option:

If you select the backup option in ClockworkMod, the backing up procedure starts immediately for all the partitions, while TWRP proves to be ideal as long as it allows you to backup only one partition. To be more specific, it presents you several options that you can choose from, giving you the possibility to control exactly which partition you want to backup or in which storage you want this backup to take place. So here, we can definitely say that TeamWin Recovery Project can successfully replace ClockworkMod.

Restoring Backups:

This time, when it comes to restoring backups, ClockworkMod recovery comes with an advanced restore option which lets you restore just one partition, while TWRP recovery gives you the possibility to select as many partitions as you might want. Even more, partitioning the SD card in ClockworkMod is by default set to ext3 file system and you have no chance to change it. TWRP instead lets you change it to ext4. So, TWRP seems once again to have won the battle, but we must tell you that besides the interface or the backing up and restoring backups options, it actually provides the same features as ClockworkMod. But ClockworkMod comes with one click installation (via Clockworkmod’s own ROM Manager app), while TWRP can be installed with some adb commands, so this aspect comes in favor of ClockworkMod recovery.

Check the next thread for more info

Review the Risks ! !
Customize your Android

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22nd October 2014, 07:21 AM   |  #2  
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TWRP Recovery – Explored and Explained !

Most of us here are very well aware of what TWRP is, especially people who flash ROMs every
now and then. Today, I’m here to explore this simple yet very unique recovery and explain in
detail the functionality of all of its features. I will also help you on how to flash a Custom
ROM/Kernel/Mod using TWRP. To get on with that, I need to let you know, what TWRP is ! !

What is TWRP?

TeamWin Recovery Project or in short; TWRP, initiated in 2011, is an Android Custom Recovery
with full touch UI. This Recovery brought in and created a new trend of Touch-based
recoveries. It adds customization support and enormous other amazing features to the AOSP
recovery code which makes it one of the best Android Custom Recoveries available till date.
The GUI is fully XML based, so you can modify each and every aspect of this
recovery according to your desires, provided that you have appropriate knowledge of XML and
Android.

Why choose TWRP over others?

TWRP was the first to bring in the concept of touch-based UI on recoveries,
which in turn defines its uniqueness. Since the early days, this recovery has evolved more than
any other recoveries available, bringing in huge changes in the code and UI. If you choose
TWRP, you’re assured to be updated regularly with more and more features accompanied by
stability.

Exploring the Main Menu:

As soon as you boot your Android into the latest build of TWRP, the following menu will serve
you, known as the main menu. The main menu consists of 8 tabs (Install, Wipe, Backup, Restore, Mount, Settings, Advanced &
Reboot), each having its own sub-tabs and functions. Let us now begin with the first tab on the
screen.

Install:

The Install tab is simple and make its role in flashing files (ROMs/Kernels/Mods). Another thing
that is unique here, is that you can add a queue of files and the same will be flashed in the
respective order.
Now, lets get to know how simply this works.
1. Press on the “Install” tab.
2. Browse and choose the file that you desire to flash.
3. Press on Add more zips if you desire to flash another zip(s).
4. Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the flashing
process.

Wipe:

This tab serves the function of wiping the partitions on your device. Wipe-able partitions
include System, Data, Cache, Dalvik Cache, Internal Storage and USB-OTG (if any). Wiping the
partitions is necessary as a pre-flashing process and is different for Installing
ROMs/Kernels/Mods and updating them. So, before you set yourself for opening this menu,
make sure to know what you’re doing.
Here, I’m gonna mention some basic wiping steps for Installing ROMs/Kernels. Note that these
are universal for every ROM and Kernel, until and unless the developer himself states some
specific steps.
Wiping before Installing a Custom ROM:
1. Press on “Wipe” tab.
2. Press on “Advanced Wipe”.
3. Select the partitions: Dalvik Cache, System, Data & Cache.
4. Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the wiping process.
Wiping before Installing a Custom Kernel:
1. Press on “Wipe” tab.
2. Press on “Advanced Wipe”.
3. Select the partitions: Dalvik Cache & Cache.
4. Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the wiping process.

Backup:

The Backup tab holds a very important and useful function. Situations might arise when you
accidentally Install a wrong (corrupted/damaged) or may be un-desirable ROM/Kernel/Mod.
Post these situations, we find ourselves stuck. So, the Backup option gives us an helping hand to come out. This option is also well known as Nandroid Backup, but is now certainly referred
to as a common term; Backup.
TWRP offers some unique privileges in the Backup option too. A user can simply select the
partitions that he/she might want to backup viz Boot (Kernel & Ram-disk), Recovery (Present
Recovery), System (Firmware files), Data (User Apps and Information) & Cache (Dalvik Cache
and Cache).
To Backup your current ROM, simply follow these steps:
1. Press on “Backup” tab.
2. Select the partitions you want to backup (Usually, ROM backup includes System, Data,
Cache & Boot).
3. Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the backup
process.
Apart from backing up, you can also Set Backup Name (set a specific name for your backup),
Enable compression and Skip md5 generation during backup.

Restore:

The Restore option in simple words, restores the Backup. A backup made with the Backup tab
is to be restored from this tab. This option also allows you to delete a previous backup and
even enable md5 verification. Restoring a backup is quite easy:
1. Press on “Restore” tab.
2. Press on the backup you want to restore.
3. Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the restore process.

Mount:

It certainly is essential to mount partitions while flashing some specific files. Mount-able
partitions includes: System, Data, Cache, Internal Memory, SD-card and USB-OTG (if any). To mount a partition:
1. Press on “Mount” tab.
2. Select the partitions to mount.

Settings:

This tab holds all the settings related to the recovery subsystem. The following come under this tab:
1. zip file signature verification (Enable flashing only if the zip file is signed properly).
2. Use rm -rf instead of formatting (Option enables manual rm -rf command to wipe instead
of automatic formatting)
3. Skip md5 generation during backup (disables the generation of md5 sum during backup
process)
4. Enable md5 verification of backup files (enables restore of backup, only if md5 sum verifies)
5. Use military time (Use the time format followed by Military/Army)
6. Simulate actions for theme testing (enables modification of actions during theme testing)
7. Time Zone (Set time zone according to your country)
8. Screen (Enable/disable/set screen timeout)
9. Restore defaults (Restores all the settings to their default value)

Advanced:

It provides all the advance functions of the TWRP recovery. Advanced functions include:
1. Copy Log to SD (Transfers the error log generated to the SD card)
2. Fix permissions (Fixes the permissions of the System files to fix errors)
3. File Manager (In-built recovery file manager to manage files on Internal and External
memory)
4. Terminal Command (In-built terminal emulator to execute commands)
5. Reload Theme (Reloads the theme from TWRP/theme, necessary when applying a new
theme)
6. ADB sideload (Initiates sideload over ADB to flash zips)

Reboot:

This menu lists ways to reboot the device to various locations. You can reboot your device into
the following modes just with a simple gesture. You can perform the following actions within
the Reboot menu:
System (Boot your device normally into the OS)
Power Off (Powers down your device completely)
Recovery (Reboots into the recovery mode)
Bootloader (Reboots the device into bootloader/fastboot mode)
To reboot:
1. Press on “Reboot” tab.
2. Press on the desire button where you’re willing to boot.
3. Swipe the round button present on the bottom of the screen to initiate the rebooting
process.

That’s all about TWRP, that every user needs to know and understand.

Things to Do Before and After Installing a Custom ROM:
Become familiar with Recovery and its working
Ensure a decent battery level
Backup your current ROM using recovery(It will help you if in case you are stuck in bootloop in future or if you want to go back to Stock
Go to settings and do factory reset
Reboot to recovery and flash ROM zip and Gapps
Clear cache and dalvik/ART cache
Reboot

ROM: Although ROM in computers mean Read Only Memory (memory storage which once written, can’t be edited or deleted) but When it comes to smartphones and tablets, the term ROM is used to refer to the firmware stored in the internal memory of the device, rather than the internal memory itself. It can also refer to a file prepared for the purpose of replacing this firmware with another version of using a special method.

Thus, when you are told by someone to download a ROM, they are referring to the file that contains the firmware in a format ready to be installed to your phone to replace it’s existing firmware. Similarly, when asked what ROM is your phone running or when told by someone their phone is running a particular ROM, they are again talking about the particular variant of the firmware.

ROM Distinction:

Truly Stock ROMs / firmware:
This is the operating system in its default form, without any modifications made to it except for any device-specific support required to run it on the particular device. Truly stock firmware provides the standard user experience of the operating system without any cosmetic or functional changes made. These days, truly stock firmware is primarily found in cases where both the device and the operating system is built by the same company. Amongst modern mobile devices, examples of truly stock firmware can be found on Nexus and (new) Moto devices.

Manufacturer or Carrier branded Stock ROM / Firmware:
This type of firmware has had enhancements added over the default operating system by the device manufacturer or the mobile service carrier. This often includes interface enhancements, proprietary applications and in most cases, restrictions intended to limit the use of the device with a specific carrier or region. There are often further restrictions preventing installation of firmware not released by the carrier or manufacturer.

Custom ROM / firmware:
Almost all devices ship with either of the above two categories of firmware, though things don’t end there. Independent developers who like to customize their devices beyond the standard options provided often tend to release the fruits of their labor for the rest to enjoy, in form of custom ROMs. The more open the platform, the more independent development it attracts, a good example of which is the independent custom ROM development for Android.

Stock v/s Custom ROMs:

Stock firmware is the result of a lot of research and testing done by the operating system vendor, the device manufacturer and/or the mobile service carrier. Therefore, it carries several advantages:

It is usually quite stable upon release.
Almost all bugs are patched during the extensive beta testing before release.
It carries the official support by the firmware vendor, device manufacturer and the mobile service carrier.
Updates are pushed automatically to the device by the carrier.
Along with its advantages, stock firmware also carries its disadvantages and these include:

Updates aren’t frequent, as development is done mostly by corporations who have to follow a scheduled release cycle.
Updates are often released first in the United States, leaving the rest of the world waiting. (A world does happen to exist beyond the United States, we’ve confirmed it ourselves!)
Worse still, when manufacturers choose to no longer release official updates for their older devices in favor of newer ones, their users are essentially stuck with old versions of the operating system. This case is evident with many Android devices barely a year and a half old.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Custom ROMs

Custom ROMs are as good or as bad as the effort put into them by their developers. Key advantages of custom ROMs are:

First and foremost, choice! There are thousands of custom ROMs out there for a range of devices, each offering a diverse set of features not found in the stock ROM.
Update frequency – custom ROMs are often under active development and newer releases of the core operating system are incorporated in them way before updated official ROMs are released. This is particularly true in case of Android devices, where developers start porting newer versions of Android to several devices as soon as they are released.
Custom ROMs usually have all the extra restrictions removed, enabling users to sideload apps, tether their mobile data connection to their computer without paying extra for it, gain root access, use their device in any region etc. without any need for circumventing the protection themselves.
Performance enhancements and optimizations found in many custom ROMs can make them much faster than stock ROMs, enabling users to get the most out of their devices.
Overclocking options are built into some custom ROMs, further speeding up the devices.
Undervolting options found in some ROMs on the other hand result in improved battery life.
Old phones with little internal memory can benefit most from custom ROMs that allow them to use the external SD card memory for the apps exactly the way they would use the internal memory.
So with all these advantages, there should be no reason to stick with the stock ROM, right? Not necessarily! Like all things in life, custom ROMs come with their disadvantages as well:

Due to the lack of extensive testing prior to release, many custom ROMs can be buggy in the beginning and installing a ROM with missing or corrupt critical files can even brick your phone.
Several custom ROMs that are ports of ROMs from other phones can have missing functionality that hasn’t been made to work on your phone with the ROM yet.
Installing a custom ROM usually involves wiping your phone to factory settings, so you lose your data and start from scratch. Fortunately, Android’s built-in contact syncing along with apps offering message, call log and app backup/restore make this process easier, letting you retain your data.
The installation process itself can be cumbersome and may require you to root your phone and often circumvent its security features to allow for custom ROM installation in the first place.
Installing a custom ROM will in most cases void your phone’s warranty, though often the process is reversible, meaning you can turn your phone back to stock as long as it isn’t bricked.
Installing a ROM to your phone requires you to root it first in most cases. While rooting most phones is easy, some phones require a complicated procedure to be followed before you can install a ROM to it and often, such procedures involve a risk of bricking your device if things go wrong.
Making the Choice

Choosing between a stock ROM and a question ROM is really a matter of your requirements. If the stock ROM on your phone lets you do all that you ever want to do with your phone and doesn’t feel slow, there isn’t any need to go through the trouble of circumventing your phone’s security and installing a custom ROM to it.

However, if you want to take your phone beyond what it currently offers, don’t care much about the warranty and are ready to take the risk of whatever may happen if things go wrong to be able to customize it the way you want, a custom ROM is at times the only solution. Choose wisely!

Review the Risks ! !
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22nd October 2014, 07:24 AM   |  #3  
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BootLoop:
“Bootloop” is a very familiar term for smartphone users whatever OS they use, but it is definitely more familiar to Android phone users. Android being an Open Source operating system, is open to third party modifications. If you have a basic or advanced knowledge of Linux coding, you can develop a custom ROM or a modify a system file of your Android phone. Such openness has opened vistas for our great developers to cook ROMs, mods and hacks. It has enriched our experience with our phones at one hand, and posed a few problems like bootloop or a bricked phone in rare cases.

Most of phone- freaks like me spend their days doing nothing but trying almost all custom ROMs and mods available out there to tell other what is good for them. In doing so we often face a bootloop but that is not to say that only the third- party ROMs and mods are responsible for the problem. In most cases, however, it is some incompatible file imposed from outside that hinders the system files to work normally, resulting in a bootloop.

Thus, bootloop is a situation where the Android smartphones refuses to boot normally. There’s something wrong with the Android device, which is preventing it from completing the boot cycle and is stuck between the boot animation and the unlock screen. Bootloop is mainly caused when system files interfere with each other, causing instability, and crashes at the boot sequence.

While getting a bootloop on an Android phone is not a serious concern for an advanced user, it is surely enough to make a newbie or a noob tremble a little. Very often an average user begin to wonder if his phone is bricked or dead. In the present article I shall try to share with you some solutions that might help you recover your Android device from a bootloop.

Precautions to Avoid and Prevent Data Loss:

Bootloop is definitely one of the most undesirable situations a smartphone user can get into. It is shocking enough to make a new or basic user believe that he/she has bricked the device. It is true that in most cases you can recover your device to normal state but if you take precautionary steps, you could avoid it. Prevention is always better than the cure!

However, precautions cannot guarantee that you device is bootloop- proof. Therefore, it is also necessary that you always keep your phone’s data backed up. Remember, if your device gets into a bootloop, there are 90% chances that you will loose all your data, apps, settings and files stored on the internal SD of your device.

Things to be taken care of:

Before installing any stock or custom ROM, do not forget to confirm that it is made for your device and, more important, the same model number.

Before installing any custom Kernel, mod, patch or ROM, do not forget to backup your ROM. Also backup your phone’s apps, games, contacts, messages or any important data to an external storage-memory card, USB storage or your computer.

Avoid installing apps from outside Play Store and only those that are compatible with your device.
If your device is not rooted, you can use the official PC Suite from your device manufacturer.

Possible Reasons of a Bootloop on Android Device:

The reasons for getting a bootloop on your Android device might be anything. If you wish to know the reason why your Android phone is stuck on the bootloop, you need not type your problem on the Google search box. Just calm yourself for a while and think what you did just before. It could be anything! Here are some major reasons why your Android device is caught in a bootloop.

After installing an official or custom ROM
Flashing a wrong ROM or Kernel
Running an incompatible app or game
Wrong Permissions fix for an app or file
Installing a custom mod or theme

Most often we face a bootloop just after flashing a stock or custom ROM over an old one. This might be a major factor behind the bootloop issue on your device. Suppose you have flashed a new version of firmware over the old version. Your old data still remains on the device and the new firmware will use the Dalvik Cache from the old ROM that might not be compatible with the new system files and it will result in a bootloop. It mostly happen just when your device tries to reboot after you have flashed a stock or custom ROM. If this is the case, here is the solution.

If your device is on stock firmware, that also means it does not have a custom recovery like TWRP/CWM installed in it. Then do these steps:

1. Pull out the the battery of your phone, wait for about 30 seconds and reinsert it to its place.
2. Boot your device into ASR(Android System Recovery) mode. The method involves a hardware key combination and varies from one phone to another. For Samsung phones, for example, the key combination is Volume Up+Home + Power keys. The tablets which generally have no Home button, you can enter the Recovery mode bypressing and holding the Volume Up + Power keys simultaneously.
3. In the Android System Recovery, scroll down to “wipe cache partition” option using the volume rockers and select it using the power key.
4. When you have wiped the data/factory, go back to the main menu and reboot the device by “reboot system now” option.
5. If the device is still stuck on Boot animation pull out the battery again and repeat the above steps. This time also “wipe data/factory reset ” and then reboot device.
The bootloop problem should be fixed now.

If you have a rooted device with CWM recovery installed in it,and your phone is caught into a bootloop after flashing a custom ROM or mod, do as follows:

1. Pull out the battery, reinsert it after 30 seconds and boot the device into CWM Recovery: Volume Up+ Home + Power keys simultaneously.
2. Go to “Advanced”
3. Choose “Wipe dalvik-cache”
4. Now go to “Mounts & Storage”
5. Choose “Wipe/cache”
6. Reboot your phone
The bootloop should be gone now. If it still persists, do this.
1. Boot the phone again into CWM Recovery
2. Now go to “Mounts & Storage”
3. Choose “Wipe/data”
4. Choose “Wipe/cache”
5. Then reboot your phone.
Now the phone should reboot normally. Next time when you install a ROM, follow the instructions prescribed by the developer. Be more attentive to the warnings before experimenting with any third party ROM or mod. Always ensure what you are about to install is meant for your device.

If the Above Methods Do Not Work!

In case you are not able to get your device come out of bootloop, your final option should be to install or restore a previously backed up ROM by putting the device in recovery mode, or to install the official firmware/factory image to your phone your tablet.

Xposed Framework and Modules
Customization and flexibility lie at the core of Android and it is this potential that draws more and more people to it, making it the most loved platforms for mobile devices. I see Android as an assertion of freedom against some other major operating systems like iOS and Windows Phone. At the same time, it must be admitted that this liberty comes tagged with a check and can be experienced by only those who are adventurous in nature. An Android device in its maiden state is just a little better than devices from its opponents, but once rooted, its leaves all others far behind.

I do not mean that customization is not possible altogether on an unrooted phone or tablet. You can install 3rd party launchers and icon packs and decorate your home screens with a variety of widgets. However, the range of such type of personalization is limited to a certain level. By rooting your Android device, you get the key to unlock the whole next level of customization. If you have root access on your device, you can flash custom ROMs and mods to achieve not only true customization, but also improve its performance significantly not possible otherwise.

What is a Custom Framework?

In case you have a rooted device but you do not wish to install custom ROMs or mods, or a custom recovery is not available for it, there is yet another way of tasting the custom flavors of Android. And this can be done by installing a custom framework on your phone or tablet. All such frameworks modify the system.bin file replacing the original codes with those of the custom framework. The hacked system core then starts allowing changes imposed via custom modules. The best part of this whole business is that you can customize your device with stock firmware.
If you are not new to Android, you must have heard about some custom frameworks for Android like JKay, Xposed, 3Minit, etc. Developed by XDA member rovo89 is most popular of all its peers because of its potential and compatibility with almost all Android devices with Android 4.0 or above that house an ARM processor within them and are rooted.


How to Install Xposed Framework:

Download the latest Xposed Installer app. “Installing a custom framework” might sound a little geeky and complicated task to most new users. On the contrary, Xposed Framework can be installed very easily like a simple APK. All you have to do is to download the Xposed Installer app and install it on your device. Then open the app, select FRAMEWORK and tap on the “Install/Update” button. The app will ask you to grant
root permission, do it and wait for a while till you get an on-screen confirmation that the framework has been installed on your phone.

Now you have a custom base framework that can change the way you use your device with the help of compatible modules. Xposed Framework will not add any functionality to your device that can be used individually. Just search for Xposed modules and then you will be able to customize your device in various ways. The module files for the framework come as simple APK files and can be installed normally.

How to Install Xposed Framework Modules:

As I already mentioned above, it is the modules that let you customize your device and therefore, you will have to find and download the desired modules and install them separately on your device. Fortunately, the developer has now added the option to download modules right from the app’s interface. Open Xposed Installer and tap on “Download” option. You will now see a long list of available Xposed modules that can be downloaded. Just select the module you like and hit the Download button.

Besides the modules available in the app, you can find more at forums like XDA and others. After installing the modules, do not forget to select them in Xposed Installer. Launch the app, tap on “Modules” and check the newly installed module.

MultiROM:
MultiROM is one-of-a-kind multi-boot mod for Nexus 7. It can boot any Android ROM as well as other systems like Ubuntu Touch, Plasma Active, Bohdi Linux or WebOS port.Besides booting from device's internal memory, MultiROM can boot from USB drive connected to the device via OTG cable. The main part of MultiROM is a boot manager, which appears every time your device starts and lets you choose ROM to boot. You can see how it looks on the left image below and in gallery. ROMs are installed and managed via modified TWRP recovery. You can use standard ZIP files to install secondary Android ROMs, daily prebuilt image files to install Ubuntu Touch and MultiROM even has its own installer system, which can be used to ship other Linux-based systems.

Features:
* Multiboot any number of Android ROMs
* Restore nandroid backup as secondary ROM
* Use for example Ubuntu Touch (will be there in future) or Desktop alongside with Android, without the need of device formatting.

Currently, it has been ported to many Android devices !

Brick:
The term "brick" usually refers to the stone, which means: "device can only be used as paper-weight". Taken literally, there's no way to "unbrick".
However, you also find terms like "hard-brick" and "soft-brick" used, which makes the term "brick" less absolute: A soft-brick is something you easily can recover from (count it as a "temporary paper-weight"), mostly by software-based solutions (e.g. re-flash your phone) -- while a "hard-brick" is rather meant in the way the original term points to.

Still, technically spoken, even a "hard-bricked" device could be "unbricked" -- but mostly this is more expensive then getting a new device.

As for the warranty declaration you quoted: For a normal user, it's almost impossible to (hard-) brick his device. Even when flashing a custom ROM, this can rarely happen, as there are many security-layers involved. Almost always you can boot your device into some fall-back mode where it is at least recognized by some "flashing software", so you could simply flash another/the original firmware back. Which means, the risk you are taking is to "soft-brick" your device. A "hard-brick" is quite unlikely with "normal operations" like rooting or flashing custom ROMs.

Brick is a much-hyped word that gets bandied about with-out understanding what it is.

There's two types of brick, hard and soft. Lets go through this to make the distinction clearer.

Hard this is where the handset will absolutely refuse to boot at the press of the power button. Diagnostics: Dead screen, no power. That is the symptom of a hard brick. Reason: This can happen by inadvertently pulling the cable when flashing a ROM or even an update via the handset's supporting software such as Samsung Kies, Sony's PC Companion Suite etc. That is the worst case, that is why in this scenario, always, make, sure that no cable gets pulled unless told so by the supporting software in question. The other way is this, flashing in that manner when the battery power is low. Hence for that reason, it is recommended to have at least 75% of battery power in place prior to doing the update in that fashion. Its known as hard-brick, and requires specialist cables and stripping the device down to the circuitary board to revive it via JTAG cables.
Soft - this can happen through a bad flashing of the ROM in which yields the following. Diagnostics: it has power when the power button is pressed, and/or, the screen comes on. Reason: It can be a user error on this part. For example, failing to clear/wipe the data/cache, can cause Android to go into a boot-loop because of the mis-matches with the Android's virtual machine and the apps installed, or more than likely, a corrupted dalvik cache. The other, is flashing a ROM that is not designated for the handset which can cause the kernel to go into a boot-loop. This is generally easier to fix, but hangs, that is known as a soft-brick.

Review the risks ! !
Customize your Android

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8th November 2014, 08:18 PM   |  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prince.d.emperor


Review the Risks ! !
Customize your Android

Hit thanks, if helped

Thanks

Android's been here for quite a while noobs are champs now. But still a nice guide ..

I hope people using various kinds of vendor devices HTC,samsung , xperia , motorola will find this useful.

I also know this thread will be visible to few and not when needed .
8th November 2014, 10:02 PM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapil.git

Thanks

Android's been here for quite a while noobs are champs now. But still a nice guide ..

I hope people using various kinds of vendor devices HTC,samsung , xperia , motorola will find this useful.

I also know this thread will be visible to few and not when needed .

Then what is needed to be done??
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