Tagged: why

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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Over(Under)clocking – “Why Root?” Part 3

Me: Age 7

For the 3rd installment of Root – The “What?” “Why?” “How?” I will be covering an option for root users called overclocking (or underclocking – depending on what you are looking to do).  Overclocking is the process of speeding up your processor.  In the case of a lot of phones the manufacturer will underclock the processor, essentially slowing it down a tad to give you the benefit of better battery life.  A couple of examples of this are the original Motorola Droid (Verizon) and the HTC EVO Shift (Sprint).

With overclocking you have the ability to undo what the manufacturer has done and then some.  On some devices where the manufacturer has set the speed at 500MHZ you have the ability to overclock it to 1.2GHz, or even faster.  Therefore you end up with a crazy fast phone that would have the ability to run the latest cutting edge game without having to shell out the money for a new device.

So you are probably asking what the downside to this is?  Well aside from the possibility of ruining your phone (as with anything root) you will notice a drastic decrease in the battery life. Which is why I mentioned that the manufacturers will underclock the devices to give them a battery boost.  So for the people not looking for performance, and just want to make it through the day without needing a charge on their way home from work, underclocking is a great option.

BUT: What if you could have the best of both worlds?  The ability to jump the speed up for your games and slow it way down when it’s not in use.  Well you can do that with the below apps.  Just mess around with the profiles and you can set it to do whatever you want.   Well check out the below recommended apps.

Name: Android Overclock by JRummy16
Description:
Make your device blazing fast and save battery life by using this user friendly app! You can overclock to increase speeds or underclock to save battery life. Set custom profiles to increase performance to the max.
Android Overclock also includes tons of extra tweaks and hacks to make your device truly your own. As shown on droid-life.com and other popular android news sites it is the user-friendly and easy way to fully customize your device.
Download Link: http://goo.gl/kiBRq

Name: SetCPU for Root Users
Description:
SetCPU is a tool for changing the CPU settings (capable of overclock and underclock) on a rooted Motorola Droid, Nexus One, G1, G2, Samsung Galaxy S, myTouch 4G, Motorola Xoom, or one of many other devices to improve performance or save battery.
SetCPU also allows you to set up powerful profiles to change the CPU speed under certain conditions, such as when the phone is asleep or charging, when the battery level drops below a certain point, when the phone’s temperature is too high, or during certain times of day. See the screenshots for examples of how you might set up profiles.
Download Link: http://goo.gl/hQOpU
PS:  Another thing to remember.  If you are rooted and you can’t get this to work you are going to have to do  some research on Android Kernels.

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

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Enhanced Apps2SD – “Why Root?” Part 2

So with Froyo (Android 2.2) and up you have the ability to move some of your apps to the memory card to save that precious storage memory on your phone. But what if you could move ALL of your apps to the memory card? With a rooted phone you have a couple more options with Apps2SD.

First you have the ability to “force” apps to go to the memory card.  Therefore, if the developer hasn’t set it’s permissions for it,you can movie it over to the card anyway.  This works great in most situations, unl;ess you are dealing with a widget, or a home replacement app (like ADW or Launcher Pro) because they typically stay in memory, and you could break the app by doing this.

The second option is to actually re-partition your SD card (which does erase your data) and create an android partition right on the SD card,so you could move ALL of your apps over to the card and leave the internal memory for your android installation.  This option can significantly speed up your phone because you will have a tone of free space for the system to run in.

For information on either of these options I recommend doing some research on some of the various message boards out there, especially  XDA Developers, because that’s where all the experts tend to hang out.

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

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Wireless Tethering – “Why Root?” Part 1

As discussed in the article “Root – The "What?” “Why?” “How?” Article", the first mentioned reason why you would want to root your phone is to be able to share the phone’s internet plan with your computer(s).  Computers love internet access. They almost need it anymore, with the increased popularity of apps like Google Docs, and other web based software.  Plus you humans with your addictions to things like Facebook you need the internet access as much as the computers do…

So you have a couple of options.  Pay your carrier an additional fee to use the same internet plan on another device, or take matters into your own hands and unlock the phones capability to do it on it’s own.  This process is called rooting and is discussed briefly in the above mentioned article “Root – The "What?” “Why?” “How?” Article".  Remember the disclaimer portion too, that the process is a software modification that can cause damage to your phone if you don’t know what you are doing.  You can’t blame me if you mess up your phone doing this.

As you can see from the program screenshots, the main program is pretty simple. The far left image shows that the  app loads up to a screen where all you have to do is press on the center icon and it will create and stop a WiFi network right from your phone.  The 2nd and 3rd screens are images of the settings available to the program where you can set up passwords and adjust things like the channel. The final partial screenshot is an example of what the widget looks like, so if you just want to start and stop the network, you just have to click the widget – kinda like turning te built in switches on and off.

A couple of disclaimers:  Speeds will very based on your carrier’s network. I have seen as high as 12MB on 4G, or 2 or 2MN on 3G. Also, this might not be available in the market through your carrier. Carriers have been blocking this app left and right.  Obviously because if you are using this app they aren’t getting their money from you for the “extra” service. Depending on your carrier, you may also get a message asking you to stop.

So check out their website and if you have any questions, post them in the comments.

Download links:

Android Market Link:
https://market.android.com/details?id=android.tether

Remember: If this doesn’t work try the below link for the Google Code site to download it directly.

Google Code Website Link:
http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/

Remember: To install the downloaded .APK file follow the directions at: http://www.oldandroid.co.cc/2011/07/installing-non-market-apps.html

In Use Photo:

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

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Root – The “What?” “Why?” “How?” Article

(Me in my younger days.)

So you bought yourself a nice little android phone and are wondering what more you can do with it?  I mean you are probably already bored with the hundreds of thousands of apps that are available to it, let alone the amazing built-in capabilities it already has, like the calendar and email and browser.  So what more can you do with it?

Before I get ahead of myself and jump into the “Why?” portion of the article, I want to tell you a little about what rooting your phone actually is. The wonderful humans that put together Wikipedia define Rooting as:

Rooting is a process that allows users of cellphones and other devices running the Android operating system to attain privileged control (known as “root access”) within Android’s Linux subsystem, similar to jailbreaking on Apple devices running the iOS operating system, overcoming limitations that the carriers and manufacturers put on such phones.

Therefore Rooting would be the equivalent of that little popup you get in Windows 7 (Or Ubuntu/Linux) when you want to make a change to something.  The difference is that in the world of cell phones you can’t just accept a change and be done with it, because it is blocked by the manufacture. I don’t think that it is blocked to take away you humanly freedoms, or to take away the fun of it.  It’s there because people are dumb by nature and if phones came out without any sort of security on them they would all get messed up by the end user…

So now onto the “Why?”.  Although it seems like I have a million reasons, I have it narrowed down to the 5 greatest things you can do with a rooted phone.  I will look at each of these in more details over the next few days.

1. The ability to use your phone’s internet on your laptop. (for FREE)
2. Enhanced Apps to SD.
3. Over/UnderClocking
4. Custom Roms.
5. Get apps not “approved” for your phone.

Sounds pretty cool, huh?  You are probably asking yourself, “How can I do this to my new shiny Android phone.  Well before you just jump right in, keep in mind.  Doing this may void your warranty, and/or disable your device – and by disable I mean brick your device.  And yes, the name means just what you would think. Turn your phone into a brick.  Also keep in mind that I have seen a lot of you humans attempt to root your phones successfully. As long as you follow the specified directions for your make and model you will probably be fine, but either way I am not liable for any damage – besides… I am a robot anyway. Who takes advice from a robot…

So the moral of this article is that you will need to do a little research on directions for you specific make and model.  A great place to search is the XDA site. There is a section for a majority of all phones released in the US, and around the world. So do up the research and post any questions you might have.

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