Answer : Simply put, this is the thing that can do magical stuff to your phone. They need to be flashed to be used.
Question : Flash? WHAT?!
Answer : Consider flashing as 'installing' the particular ROM. It is like installing a new Windows version on your PC. Flashing a ROM is one of the ways to upgrade your android version.
Question : How do i flash stuff?! What all is flashable?
Answer : Well, any system files zipped up in the correct folder structure and with a proper meta-inf can be flashed.
Flashing can be done via CWM.
Question : Meta-inf? CWM? What?
Answer : Meta-inf considers 2 very important files. update-binary which should never be messed with, and updater-script. Updater-script is like a set of instructions to the phone on how to flash the zip file selected. Recommended not to mess with it unless you're sure what you're doing.
CWM : ClockWorkMod Recovery. One of the most popular recoveries. It can be used to flash stuff, backup your entire data as is, and even wipe all of it
Question : Recovery?
Answer : Let's just say it is like entering the setup screen for installing a software. Where you select your options and let the program do its work.
There are a few recoveries, some offering a few unique features too, but the basic premise is the same.
Question : Wait...magic needs spells, what does all this require?
Answer : Root access.
Question : And..?
Answer : Root access is somewhat similar to gaining administrator access on your PC. Depending on the type of root, you can either gain full fledged access to everything on your device, or only enough privileges to allow the basic uses of it, like ROM flashing.
Answer : No. With root access, you can use your device as you wish. It is completely up to you what you do with it. No catches, but rather, a disclaimer : We at XDA are NOT responsible if your device ceases to work, or a iOS vs Android war breaks out because you suddenly feel Android is way too awesome. We will, however, try to help in resolution if you ever run into problems.
Question : Anyway, how do I root and flash them stuff?!
Answer : Please check the Useful links post right above this one. Link number 6, btw.
Question : Wait...you mentioned kernels..what is a kernel?
Answer : In a somewhat generalised way,it is a bridge between applications and the actual data processing done at the hardware level.
Question : Done? FAQ completed?
Answer : Nope. Rather, PM me if you have genuine questions to be added here, and it shall be done
META-INF : For simplicity and best understanding, let's just say this is the instructions manual for the recovery on how to deal with the provided zip file.
i) Update-binary : Not to be messed with, wrong update-binary can hard brick your phone.
ii) Update-script : The actual instructions list.
- ui_print : Prints the given text on the screen.
- set_perm : Sets the required permissions for the installed apps to function properly.
- set_perm_recursive : Sets the required permissions of a directory or set of directories and all files and folders within them.
- package_extract_file : Extracts a single file.
- package_extract_dir : Extracts a folder to the specified location.
- symlink :
- assert :
System folder : Contains all the files required for the Android OS.
**adding details soon**
Boot.img : The boot.img is a small(ish) file that contains 2 main parts, the kernel (the brain of the Android system) and the ramdisk (a core set of instructions and binaries that begins the boot process and controls base aspects of the system, such as mountpoints, memory management and startup services.
***This guide assumes you already have Apktool 1.5.x set up and working, If not please set up Apktool first.***
i) Setting up :
- Copy the apk you want to modify and twframework-res.apk/framework-res.apk from the ROM's framework folder to your preferred folder.
- In the same folder, Hold "shift" key, right click and select the "open command window here" option.
ii) Installing framework
A) If the ROM has TouchWiz(stock ROM and it's derivatives) :
- You can change the newly compiled apk to whatever you want, or if you keep it the same as the original apk, the new apk will replace your original apk.
ROM flash method (For ALL ROMs)
***This method works for all ROMs, if you follow this procedure, you will NEVER have improper/incorrect ROM flashes.***
I) Reboot to recovery.
II) Select "Wipe data/factory reset"
III) Go to "mounts and storage"
IV) Select "wipe system" and "wipe data" and "wipe sd-ext" (NOT sd-card)
V) Go back to the main menu.
VI) Select "install zip from sd card"
VII) Navigate to folder where ROM zip is. Select it and let it flash.
CyanogenMod : CM is a custom built aftermarket firmware for Android. It is one of the most popular Custom ROMs series for almost every modern device. It is based on pure Android, but with many useful performance boosting tweaks and enhanced usage additions. The latest version of CM is CyanogenMod10.1 based off the latest Android 4.2.2.
AOKP : Android Open Kang Project : The second of the 2 most popular Custom ROMs series. While CM aims to optimize and tweak yet keep it as close to AOSP as possible, for the people who want to customize almost everything they see on the screen, there is AOKP. From the lockscreen to the status bar, AOKP offers a plethora of customization options while also maintaining great performance. The latest version of AOKP is AOKP JB mr1 based off the latest Android 4.2.2.
ParanoidAndroid : Another emerging and very popular custom ROMs series known for its unique customization options. PA lets you set custom status bar and navigation bar colors for individual apps while also allowing to change the size of every app installed. Feel the Note 2 is too huge to use it in phone UI? Switch to Phablet UI and make full use of the huge screen size. How about a blue status bar for facebook, while a green one for WhatsApp? PA lets you do that too. Though usually the performance is not affected, it does tend to slow down sometimes. The latest version of ParanoidAndroid is 3+ based off the latest Android 4.2.2.
P.A.C. : So you want CM, but love AOKP's customization options and PA's color splashing fun? Till recently, such a thing was only a dream. But then, PAC ROMs emerged. Combining the awesomeness of all 3 ROMs in 1 package, PAC could possibly be called the ultimate ROM. PAC satisfies all your customization needs in one single package, no need to switch between ROMs. The latest version is 20.1.0/21.0.0. based off CM10.1, AOKP JB mr1 and PA3+
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