Originally Posted by Az Tek View Post
I've done some research but many sources seem to either use the terms interchangeably or as separate items. I figured no better place than get the info directly from xda users. So basically I am trying to figure out what the differences are between an android app, and android OS, and android firmware. Your explanation will be much appreciated.

Also while i'm here if anyone could tell me what the difference in unlocking a phone, rooting a phone, and flashing a phone is that would be great.

Thanks in advance!

What a bunch of questions All informations are already written doen on XDA but i'll post a short overview

app = installable appliction e.g. a camera app or messenger app

OS = operating system ~ the installed Android version (e.g. Gingerbread 2.3 or KitKat 4.4). Can be preinstalled "stock rom" or a manually installed "custom rom"

firmware = all system partitions bundled in one archive. Can be used to restore phone. Every manufacturer has its own firmware format.

unlocking = Either sim unlock for using all providers OR unlock the "bootloader" which is needed for some phones if you want to install modified software e.g. a "custom rom" or "root acces"

"root access" means ability to read/write/delete to all partitions even e.g. system

"flashing" describes the installation process for e.g. a firmware or custom rom or any other system parts that can't be installed via Android itself.
HTC One S @ PAC-man 4.4.2 [ALPHA1] [12/5/2014] + IceCode Kernel v4.0 // HBoot 2.15 - unlocked BL - S-OFF - NO "tampered & warning text" // TWRP mod

Samsung Galaxy W @ ParanoidAndroid 4.3 [BETA3] [6/5/2014] + KhaN Kernel v2.0 // Base: I8150XXLMI // PhilZ CWM 6.01.4

"REVIVED" HTC Wildfire S @ CyanogenMod 11(AWESOME!!!) [6/5/2014] //HBoot 1.09 - unlocked BL // TWRP

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