[GUIDE] Android Dictionary!!
I was going through another site & came across a Terminology Guide. I couldn’t find something similar here so just wanted to take it upon myself to create a well organized post providing abbreviations & terminology so that any one, Master or Newbie, can have a quick reference guide to all things droid. I myself do not know everything but I do know some things & I believe with some help from the moderators & contributing members of xda-developers, we can throw together a one-stop-shop for all the droid info.
A special thanks to Sam Fisher at droidforums for the inspiration!!
Thanks to My_Immortal, OmegaRED^ & Spaarc for their suggestions & information shared!
: Android Development Kit, What people use to develop anything for the Android such as ROM's
The ADK (Android development kit) is divided into 3 parts
1. Android SDK (Software development Kit)
: used to make easy programs which only require touch & some sensors , e.g. Games
2. Android NDK ( Native Development Kit)
: this is used to Create apps which require Hardware or Use the native binaries & libraries of Android , eg. Camera , CyanogenMod Settings
, Oxygen Settings , etc.
3. Android PDK ( Platform Development Kit)
: As the name suggests this is the main kit which allows to make all ".mk" files (eg. Android.mk, etc) & most of the files found on github
Basically Dev's like FXP , Z , Achotjan , kxhawkins , etc. Use the PDK to make AOSP/CM7 ROMs from source
& Also use NDK to edit the system apk's etc. to make it stable
: Android Debug Bridge, a command-line debugging application included with the SDK. It provides tools to browse the device, copy tools on the device, & forward ports for debugging. If you are developing in Eclipse using the ADT Plugin, adb is integrated into your development environment.
: Android Open System Project, usually you will see this term when referring to a program or ROM. This will mean that the program or ROM was taken from Google & does not contain any modifications done by the phone Manufacturer or the phone service provider. This is Android the way Google intended.
Application Programming Interface (API)
: An interface used by applications to communicate with each other. An API is a library that may include specification for routines, data structures, object classes, and variables. APIs are particularly useful in extending a platform.
: A method of storing items and Cache on the device’s microSD card, allowing you to run apps on external memory.
: A term for a graphical representation of the boot process of the OS. Boot animation can be a simple visualization of the scrolling boot messages in the console, or it can present graphics or some combination of both. Boot animation is not necessarily designed for marketing purposes, but can enhance the experience of the user as eye candy, or provide the user with messages to diagnose the state of the system.
Baseband or Radio
: In communications & signal processing, the baseband describes signals & systems whose range of the frequencies measured from close to 0 hertz to a cut-off frequency, a maximum bandwidth or highest signal frequency; it is sometimes used to describe frequencies starting close to zero
: In literal terms, boot loader is code that is executed before any Operating System starts to run. The concept of boot loaders is universal to virtually all Operating systems that include operating systems on your PC, laptop, Smartphone, & other such devices. Boot loaders basically package the instructions to boot operating system kernel & most of them also have their own debugging or modification environment. As the boot loader kicks off before any piece of software on your device, it makes it extremely processor specific & every motherboard has its own boot loader.
Boot Loader/SPL (Unlocked)
: A locked or unlocked boot loader is what gives you access to “root.” “Root” is another big word in the Android community. If you “root” a device, it means you have “super user” access or “administrator” access to the operating system that runs on your phone. Root access of your Android device gives you the ability to flash ROMs.
One of the most popular ROMs was created by a team called the CyanogenMod(CM), & their current rom is CM7, which is built on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. What this means is that if you have a phone that has an unlocked boot loader & root access, you can flash the CM7 ROM to your phone with a couple more steps. This also means that you can get access to most of the features in the latest version of Android that is commercially available, without having to wait for your manufacturer or carrier to give you an official update.
: Simply means something is preventing the phone from completing it's boot cycle & is stuck between the boot animation & the unlock screen, creating a looped animation. This is often fixed by either reloading a NAndroid, or Reflashing a ROM from the xRecovery/ClockworkMod Recovery/Flashtool.
Brick or Bricked
: Jargon for a completely unrecoverable device, (no more than a brick or paperweight)
Note: It is my understanding that radio will boot first, followed by other systems. So it is IMPORTANT that your radio image/version will work with your SPL image/version. This is the one & only reason for phones being bricked. You cannot brick your phone by flashing a ROM or Boot image or recovery image. Once you flash the wrong radio for the SPL, the only known method of recovery is to send the phone back into SE for repair.
How do I know the phone is hard-bricked? A hard-bricked phone cannot boot into boot loader, recovery, or into normal operation modes. You cannot connect to a hard-bricked phone via adb or fastboot. You can only see one screen on the phone & it will be the first splash screen.
Bug or Software Bug
: An Error or flaw in software that produces a failure or unexpected/unwanted result. Typically created from incorrect code, this is why some ROMs are better & smoother running than others because developers have taken the time to input "perfect" code (read put in a lot of hours & hard work)
: A single multicall binary that packages the functionality of most widely used standard Unix tools, BusyBox provides a fairly complete environment for any small or embedded system.
: A drawing surface that handles compositing of the actual bits against a Bitmap or Surface object. It has methods for standard computer drawing of bitmaps, lines, circles, rectangles, text, and so on, and is bound to a Bitmap or Surface. Canvas is the simplest, easiest way to draw 2D objects on the screen. However, it does not support hardware acceleration, as OpenGL ES does. The base class is Canvas.
: (compressed caching) is, in short, virtual swap, setting aside a certain percentage (usually 25%) of your RAM as 'compressed' swap. Compcache compresses the data that would normally go to swap, then moves it back into RAM, and reverses the process when moving it out of the 'compressed' swap. However, this is a classic space-time trade-off. You effectively get more RAM from the compression, but it is slower than 'normal' RAM due to the CPU time required to compress and decompress the swapped pages.
: A recovery program that is often used to apply updates, ROMs, or create a back up or restore a backup file
: A custom ROM can range in definition from some custom code modifications to make Android run better on a device, all the way to changing the homescreen, background services, and default software.
Many software experts collaborate together in communities to build the fastest or most feature filled ROM’s. The most popular today are CyanogenMod (which supports over 70 devices!), AOKP (a lightweight ROM with plenty of customization options), and Android Revolution, a heavyweight ROM which often focusses on looking great. Just because these Android builds are made by ‘ordinary people’ and not highly paid developers at HTC or Samsung doesn’t mean they are full of bugs or risky to use. In most cases the software built by communities is ten times better. Release cycles are much shorter, fun features can be put in, and anyone can contribute an idea to the development.
: An open source, register-based virtual machine (VM) that’s part of the Android OS. The Dalvik VM executes files in the Dalvik Executable (.dex) format, a format that is optimized for efficient storage and memory-mappable execution & relies on the Linux kernel for additional functionality like threading & low-level memory management. The virtual machine is register-based, and it can run classes compiled by a Java language compiler that have been transformed into its native format using the included "dx" tool. The Dalvik core class library is intended to provide a familiar development base for those used to programming with Java Standard Edition, but it is geared specifically to the needs of a small mobile device.
A program cache area for the program Dalvik. Dalvik is a java based virtual machine that is the basis for running your programs (the ones that have the .apk extension). In order to make access times faster (because there's not JIT (just in time) compiler installed by default), the dalvik-cache is the result of dalvik doing a optimization of the running program. It's similar to the prefetch files in Windows.
: Dalvik Debug Monitor Service, a GUI debugging application included with the SDK. It provides screen capture, log dump, and process examination capabilities. If you are developing in Eclipse using the ADT Plugin, DDMS is integrated into your development environment.
: A state when the CPU is off, display dark, device is waiting for external input.
Density-Independent pixels (dp)
: A virtual pixel unit equivalent to one physical pixel on an average, “medium” density 160 dpi screen. On higher ppi screens, dp’s are scaled to retain a constant size (px = dp * (dpi/160)). For example, on a 200 dpi screen, the dp would take up 1.25 physical pixels.
Dots per inch
, or dpi
) is a measure of spatial video dot density, in particular the number of individual dots that can be placed in a line within the span of 1 inch (2.54 cm).
: Apk files have respective odexes that devs use to supposedly save space. Deodexing means you convert it back to a .dex file & put it back inside the apk. This allows you to easily replace files (not having to worry about odexes), but the main point was to deodex services.jar so that you can change all text to different colors (such as the clock color to white) & to deodex services.jar, you need to deodex everything.
Dev. or Developer
: An individual that creates, or alters a file in such a manner as to advance the program
: A compiled visual resource that can be used as a background, title, or other part of the screen. A drawable is typically loaded into another UI element, for example as a background image. A drawable is not able to receive events, but does assign various other properties such as "state" and scheduling, to enable subclasses such as animation objects or image libraries. Many drawable objects are loaded from drawable resource files — xml or bitmap files that describe the image. Drawable resources are compiled into subclasses of android.graphics.drawable.
: Protocol used to update the flash file system in Android devices from a host over USB. It allows flashing of unsigned partition images.
: Short for “force close,” meaning an app that has crashed.
: Rewrite the software/firmware on your phone using a computer to "flash" or completely rewrite the memory (ROM
) of your phone. This is done using ODIN.
: a program technology that can be electrically erased & reprogrammed
: It is a S1 flashing software that works for all Sony phones from X10 to Xperia Z Ultra. They all use the S1 protocol for flashing firmwares.
This program was originally made to flash sin files downloaded by SEUS or PCC. From time to time, sin files have been bundled into what is now well known FTF
(Flash Tool Firmwares
). That is the core of Flashtool and the reason of its name.
Flashtool can also easily unlock the bootloader of the phone using the BLU icon as far as the bootloader of your phone is unlockable.
: The ROM memory used in smartphones and tablets etc. is often same as flash memory found in SD Cards and USB flash drives, simply optimized for better speed and performance while running the operating system.
: The act of resetting your phone to its “factory” state. A hard reset erases all user data, logins, and passwords. This process may or may not erase the contents of the internal storage and/or microSD card as well.
: The Just-in-Time Compiler
, released with Android 2.2, it’s a method of greatly speeding up apps in Android. The JIT compiler analyzes an app’s code and converts it, allowing the app to run faster. It does all this while the application is running, hence “just in time.” The JIT compiler for Android functions with a very short “warm up” time; it doesn’t take very long to analyze the code before it starts working.
: The main component of Android operating system.
It is a bridge between applications & the actual data processing done at the hardware level
The kernel's responsibilities include managing the system's resources (the communication between hardware & software components
[Usually as a basic component of an operating system, a kernel can provide the lowest-level abstraction layer for the resources
(especially processors & I/O devices) that application software must control to perform its function.
It typically makes these facilities available to application processes through inter-process communication mechanisms & system calls.
Operating system tasks are done differently by different kernels, depending on their design & implementation.
: Collectively, the part of the Android UI on the home screen that allows you to launch apps, make phone calls, etc. It is built into Android, or can be purchased in the Android Market.
: An XML file that each application must define, to describe the application's package name, version, components (activities, intent filters, services), imported libraries, and describes the various activities, and so on. See The AndroidManifest.xml File for complete information.
Nine-patch / 9-patch / Ninepatch image
: A re-sizeable bitmap resource that can be used for backgrounds or other images on the device.
Nandroid or Nandroid Backup
: A file typically created in the custom recovery program, such as xRecovery, that is a carbon copy of whatever state your phone is in before a drastic change is made. The file then can be moved onto or off of the SD card for later use in case something should go wrong in the ROM or Update, or a Boot Loop occurs
: It is the program you can use to flash phones.
e.g. : 'Odin Multi-Downloader v3.95' is used to flash the Samsung Galaxy. It's usually included in firmware packs.
: Original Equipment Manufacturer, the people who actually put together electronic hardware. Also refers to any equipment original to the phone, or produced by the company for the phone
: A cross-platform API for full-function 2D and 3D graphics on embedded systems. Android provides OpenGL ES libraries that you can use for fast, complex 3D images. It is harder to use than a Canvas object, but better for 3D objects. The android.opengl and javax.microedition.khronos.opengles packages expose OpenGL ES functionality.
: Operating system, I.E. Windows Vista, LINUX or MAC or Android
: Over-the-Air; method T-Mobile, & some other phone companies, uses to update Android phones. The new versions of Android are developed by Google & then released to OEM's, Sony Ericsson in our case. The OEM then writes drivers that enable the new software to work on the phone's hardware. They also develop any specialized UI (user interface), like Timescape & Mediascape, or other software they want to include. Once this is complete, they turn it over to the cell phone company, (e.g.)Tmobile, who then have to do the final checks to make sure the update works, & then distributes it over there data network using their cell transmitters.
: Speeding up the CPU past the factory presets to achieve a faster & more responsive device (prolonged run can be injurious to your device, so be careful.
: The phone’s internal memory (not the SD Card) is solid-state (flash) memory. It can be partitioned much like a normal hard drive can be partitioned. On an Android device, the Bootloader exists in its own partition. Recovery is another partition; radio, system, Cache, etc. are all partitions.
Here are the standard partitions on an Android phone:
/misc – miscellaneous…
/boot – bootloader, kernel
/recovery – holds the recovery program (either clockworkmod or RA recovery for a rooted Evo)
/system – operating system goes here: Android, etc.
/cache – cached data from OS usage
/data – user applications, data, settings, etc.
The below partitions are not Android-specific. They are tied to the hardware of the phone, but the kernel may have code allowing Android to interact with said hardware.
/radio – the phone’s radio firmware, controls cellular, data, GPS, bluetooth.
/wimax – firmware for Sprint’s flavor of 4G, WiMax.
: A small separate operating mode you can boost your device into, used for device administration. Two popular custom recovery modes for our device are xRecovery and ClockworkMod.
: Read Only Memory, a program used to make changes to anything from the look of the home screen to icons to custom boot animation.
: Common word associated with giving a user "super user" access to their phones programming & other various aspects that would normally not be possible, also known as "Jailbroken" for iPhone's, "Administrator Rights" in Windows OS.
Shell or SSH
: The shell is the layer of programming that understands & executes the commands a user enters. In some systems, the shell is called a command interpreter. A shell usually implies an interface with a command syntax (think of the DOS operating system & its "C:>" prompts & user commands such as "dir" & "edit"). secure shell or ssh
is a network protocol that allows data to be exchanged using a s
ecure channel between two networked devices
: The act of rebooting your phone, whether intentionally or otherwise, same effect as when you remove and replace the battery.
: An embedded relational database management system
contained in a relatively small (~275 kB) C programming library. It is multitasking concerning reads. Writes can be done only one-at-a-time. It is a popular choice for local/client storage on web browsers. It has many bindings to programming languages. It is arguably the most widely used database engine, as it is used today by several widespread browsers, operating systems, embedded systems among others
: Simply means an unaltered state, such as when you first purchase your phone from Verizon/Your Service Provider or when you repair your phone using PC Companion or SE Update Service(SEUS)
: "Super user", or root permissions
: is, in short, virtual RAM. With swap, a small portion of the hard drive is set aside and used like RAM. The computer will attempt to keep as much information as possible in RAM until the RAM is full. At that point, the computer will begin moving inactive blocks of memory (called pages) to the hard disk, freeing up RAM for active processes. If one of the pages on the hard disk needs to be accessed again, it will be moved back into RAM, and a different inactive page in RAM will be moved onto the hard disk ('swapped'). The trade off is disks and SD cards are considerably slower than physical RAM, so when something needs to be swapped, there is a noticeable performance hit.
Unlike traditional swap, Android's Memory Manager kills inactive processes to free up memory. Android signals to the process, then the process will usually write out a small bit of specific information about its state (for example, Google Maps may write out the map view coordinates; Browser might write the URL of the page being viewed) and then the process exits. When you next access that application, it is restarted: the application is loaded from storage, and retrieves the state information that it saved when it last closed. In some applications, this makes it seem as if the application never closed at all. This is not much different from traditional swap, except that Android apps are specially programmed to write out very specific information, making Android's Memory Manager more efficient that swap.
: A set of icons, backgrounds & app trays that change the aesthetics of the overall look of the Android & its applications. It has a set of properties (text size, background color, and so on) bundled together to define various default display settings. Android provides a few standard themes, listed in R.style (starting with "Theme_").
: TeamWin Recovery Project – or TWRP for short – is a fully touch-based custom recovery that was initially developed for Nexus devices, but has since been made available for countless other smartphones and tablets as well, in form of both official and third-party builds.
: Refers to a network TUNnel, operates within layer 3 packets, or ip packets. Packets sent by a system via a TUN/TAP device are delivered to a user-space program that attaches itself to the device. A user space program may also pass packets into a TUN/TAP device. In this case TUN/TAP device delivers (or "injects") these packets to the operating system's network stack thus emulating their reception from an external source.
: Slowing down the CPU mainly to limit battery usage
: Basically keeping the clock speed same (or overclocking it) & reduce the voltage at each cpu cycle.
: A scripting language called Edify for all Android OS since “Donut.” Updater Script is used with recovery mode, to perform a wide range of functions on files and permissions.
: A recovery program based on the ClockworkMod Recovery sources used to apply updates, ROMs, or create a back up or restore a backup file
: An archive alignment tool that optimizes the way a .apk is packaged. Doing so enables the Android operating system to interact with the application more efficiently, and hence has the potential to make the application and system much faster. Execution time is minimized for zipaligned applications, resulting is less RAM consumption when running the .apk.
: Compiled Android application code file. Android programs are compiled into .dex (Dalvik Executable) files, which are in turn zipped into a single .apk file on the device. .dex files can be created by automatically translating compiled applications written in the Java programming language.
: Summation Briefcase File
.apk or APK's
: An .apk file extension denotes an Android Package (APK) file, an .apk file can be opened & inspected using common archive tools. Each Android application is compiled and packaged in a single file that includes all of the application's code (.dex files), resources, assets, and manifest file. The application package file can have any name but must use the .apk extension. For example: myExampleAppname.apk. For convenience, an application package file is often referred to as an ".apk".
: Similar to a zip file(derived from tape archive), a tar file archives multiple files into one file
: TGZ files (gnu-zipped .tar file) are commonly used as install packages for Slackware Linux.
This took sometime!!
Well this is all I can think of off the top of my head but as I think of more I will edit them in here & I encourage the mods to put things that I either forgot or just simply am not aware of. Also I request fellow user to suggest any terms frequently used & not added or any discrepancies found, kindly PM me!!
Thank you & happy hacking/flashing!!
X10 LED States:-
W-LOD: White LED of DEATH.
Sometimes a R-LOD is similar to a W-LOD but the LED is red instead.
Usually results in a Reboot, or a Freeze or a Crash
Flashing R-L: Red LED.
Led flashes RED 3 times.
Indicates Requirement for Charge
G-LS: Green LED Steady.
LED goes Steady GREEN while USB is plugged in.
Flash Mode Entered/Fully Charged.
CPU : -
Central Processing Unit: -
It's pretty much the heart of your device pumping data through & from all the attached devices the Kernel & Modules is its soul & it's OS is it's skin & flesh.
Core Clock Speed: -
It is the actual clock speed that the CPU is running at. "Not the multiplied speed."
It's good to remember a CPU's performance is also effected by its memory's speed.
Similar rules exist for the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit).