[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.
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 includes 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.
: (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 tradeoff. 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
: 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 & 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.
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.
: 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. For more information about drawables and other resources.
: Protocol used to update the flash file system in Android devices from a host over USB. It allows flashing of unsigned partition images.
: 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
: 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.
: 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
: 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.)
: 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
: 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 fromVerizon/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 programed 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_").
: 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 recovery program based on the ClockworkMod Recovery sources used to apply updates, ROMs, or create a back up or restore a backup file
: 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).