Tagged: boot

Apps Not “Approved” For Your Phone

For the final (for now) portion of the “Why Root” series I will discuss some other apps that are only available on a device that is rooted. Well they may be listed on here as “only available”, keep in mind that they may be install-able on a non-rooted phone but they probably won’t work, or do anything at all.

Name: Superuser
Description:
Superuser is the main app that allows you to grant Superuser rights on your phone. Any of the apps on this page, or any app that requires root will need your permission to use the seperuser ability. This app allows you to save that permission and remember it for the next time you use the app.
It is preloaded on a majority of the roms and root packages out there, but just incase it isn’t you can get it for free on the Android Market. The barcode and links on this page link directly to the Market page, so they will work on your computer or phone.
From the Developer:
Grant and manage Superuser rights for your phone.
This app requires that you already have root, or a custom recovery image to work.
Note: App and binary will have different versions. The app is updated more often than the binary is.
Install fixed for CM6 Stable
If install fails, check http://bit.ly/su2xx for a solution
Download Link: http://goo.gl/kcbX2 (Android Market)

Name: Titanium Backup
Description:
This is the first app I install after a reset or flashing a new rom. It allows you to backup your apps, mass move your apps to the memory card, and much much more.
From Developer:
EXTREMELY powerful tool. Backup ALL apps, Market links, remove bloatware & MORE!
☆Over 2 million users, 23+ languages!
☆Needs ROOT, Android 1.5-3.1+
☆PRO Key is available on Market!
☆Voted #1 TOP ROOT APP on Twitter.
☆Problem? See matrixrewriter.com/wiki
☆Internet used for Dropbox/Changelog
☆AVOID “unofficial” TB versions: they cause infamous “package signature” errors!
☆ ☆ ☆
The ONLY tool that can backup, restore, freeze (with Pro) your apps + data + Market links! Fully supports protected and system apps! 0-click Batch/scheduled backups! Can move apps (or app data) to/from SD card! The PRO version adds 0-click batch restores, Dropbox sync, conversion between user system apps, Dalvik cleaner & MORE!
Download Link: http://goo.gl/Sdd73 (Android Market)

Name: Rom Manager
Description:
Rom Manager was previously covered on this site, but is required on any list of root apps. It gives you the easiest way to download and flash a custom rom onto your phone, plus be able to make a backup of your current setup, and restore it too. This is the 2nd app that I install (after Titanium Backup).
From the Developer:
Must have app for any root user. Make backups, flash ROMs, and own your device.
*June 15, 2011* I am aware of the recently introduced force close bug, and would like to apologize. I have updated a fixed version, 4.3.1.8. Please let me know if that works!
ROM Manager is THE MUST HAVE APP for any Android root user. (Over 1.3 million downloads and counting!)
* Flash your recovery to the latest and greatest ClockworkMod recovery.
* Manage your ROMs via a handy UI.
* Organize and perform backups and restores from within Android!
* Install ROMs from your SD card.
* Install your favorite ROMs over the air!
Download Link: http://goo.gl/aQt3Y (Android Market)

Name: drocap2
Description:
Drocap fills a big gap that Android hasn’t officially incorporated, Screenshots. It gives you the ability to take a picture of your screen, which is great for sharing what is on your screen with the web, or through a picture message. As you use it you will find a million uses for it.
From Developer:
Screen Capture Utility.
WARNING: You need root permission for use drocap2.
Tap start button and shake the device or wait for timer to capture screen image. You can also make a capture trigger from Notification bar. This works well with “superuser whitelist” environment.
Download Link: http://goo.gl/mtcJx (Android Market)

Name: Root Explorer File Manager $4.87
Description:
As the only paid app on this list (unless you consider pro or upgraded versions) this is a must have app for anyone with root. there are tons of tutorials that tell you how to use this app to remove apps that are preinstalled, like all the bloatware…
From Developer:
Root Explorer is the ultimate file manager for root users. Access the whole of android’s file system (including the elusive data folder!).
Features include SQLite database viewer, Text Editor, create and extract zip or tar/gzip files, extract rar archives, multi-select, execute scripts, search, remount, permissions, bookmarks, send files (via email, bluetooth etc), image thumbnails, APK binary XML viewer, change file owner and group.
Download Link: http://goo.gl/RsYkS (Android Market $4.87)

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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Custom Rom – “Why Root?” Part 4

For this part of the conversation about Root we will talk about Custom Roms.

All of the internets are a buzz talking about Custom Roms. You may be asking yourself, “What is a Custom Rom?”  Well (put simply) it is an alternate build of the operating system for your android device.  So let’s describe it this way. Android is an Open Source operating system.  This means that the source code is all accessible to the common man.  So someone (or a group.corporation) can take the source code and make various changes/improvements.  So once installed it could have a different look, removed bloatware, added apps and features.

A couple of great examples of high quality custom roms are Cyanogenmod and MIUI. Both of these are available for a long list of devices and give you some very cool (and very different from each other) features. Cyanogenmod gives you a more Android stock look, preloaded with ADW Launcher and a bunch of preloaded features like tethering and different settings. On the other hand, with MIUI you get a totally redesigned launcher and menu system.  The software doesn’t have a menu tray, it preloads all of your apps into the expandable number of screens. You can sort them however you want, and add widgets too.
Check out these youtube videos.The MIUI videos are all in Japanese, but the software is available in English.

There are a couple ways to install either of these 2 custom roms to your phone, but today I will be covering the easy way, because if there is an easy way to do something why would you do it the hard way? So what is this easy way, you might be asking?  Well it is through an app called Rom Manager.

Rom Manager is a pretty simple looking app that gives you a few cool options. First off, to make it work you have to choose the first option at the top of the app, “Flash ClockworkMod  Recovery”.  What this does is overwrites the phones boot menu.  The manufacturer puts together a bootloader menu to give a few simple options if the phone’s software gets corrupt.  This overwrites it with a different menu that just adds a few options there.  This allows the phone to be easily flashed with non manufacturer software.

Once this is complete you can install a file downloaded from the developer’s website, or browse compatible roms right through the “Download ROM” menu.  Depending on what model phone you have it will give you a list of compatible roms, complete with screenshots, ratings and comments.

Once you choose the ROM it will download it and alert you when finished. Then it will give you the option to backup your current setup, and wipe your data (which I usually do).  Once you hitok it will reboot itself into the bootloader screen and do the options you have specified.  Then it will reboot into your new setup.  Try it out, see what you think, and if you don’t like what you see (provided you chose the Backup option) all you have to do is choose the “Manage and Restore Backups” option (Not shown in screenshots, scroll down on main menu to see it) and it will let you restore to your previous state.

So go out and try it!  Just make sure you are completely backup up before starting.  The cool thing about the recovery is that once flashed onto your phone (through the app) you have an extra step of protection on your phone for backups.  Also remember that we are not responsible for any damage or data loss.

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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Android Debug Bridge (ABD) Beginner’s Guide

ADB (Android Debug Bridge) is a fancy tool that Google has made available to Android users and developers. It is part of the Android SDK (Software Development Kit).  Basically it creates a connection (Bridge) between the Android and the computer. It was originally used as a tool to achieve root on the phone, and to be able to do some additional functions, similar to a linux command line.  A lot of the same commands can be done on the phone through a terminal emulator program (right on the phone), it is so much easier to be able to type it all on a full sized keyboard (plus it makes you feel more like a computer nerd).

Although all of this may seem a little complicated at first it is very simple to setup and use.  At the bare minimum you just have to download the software, install it (I usually install it to c:android), change a setting on your phone (See “Phone Settings” below) and plug the phone and computer into the USB cable. A very simple installer has been put together entitled ADB for Dummies by AndroidSamurai that provides an installer that puts all the files in the right places.  There is a simple command you can do to verify that everything is installed properly.  Open up a command prompt (Start -> Run -> CMD) and switch to the “Tools” folder (wherever you installed the above mentioned software) and type the following command:

adb devices

You should see a long string that will be the ID number of your phone.  You don’t need to memorize it, you just need to see it there to know that the computer properly sees the phone. If you don’t see it, it is most likely an issue with a driver.  Go to the manufacturers site, or simply search google for the manufacturer and the word driver.

Phone Settings – Another troubleshooting step is to make sure the phone is setup for the USB connection. To do this all you have to do (on the phone) is:
Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB Debugging (Make sure it is checked)  That’s it!

Once you have it installed there are a few cool things you can do with it. Let’s say you want to make a backup of all the apps on your phone.  All you have to do is key in this command:

adb pull /data/app ./

This will backup all the .APK files so you can reinstall them at a later time.  So now lets show you how to do the restore.  Put your APK files all into a single folder (c:apps), navigate to that folder and type in this command:

adb install *.apk

How about changing your boot logo?  Easy as can be…  Find a boot animation on the web that you want to use, and make sure it is a .ZIP file (that you have no need to open or modify, because it probably won’t work if you do) and rename it bootanimation.zip.  Copy the bootanimation.zip file to your “Tools” folder inside your Android SDK installation.  Finally type the following 2 commands to copy it to the phone:

adb shell mount -o rw,remount /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system
adb push pirate_bootanimation.zip /system/media/bootanimation.zipck/mtdblock3 /system
adb reboot

 Watch the phone screen and you should see the new boot logo!

So this is a brief look at what ADB does, and how to get it.  For more information check out the official Android ADB site and learn all you can on it.  Also remember to backup before messing around too much.  We are not responsible for data loss!


Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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