Sunday, 22 April 2012

Things to do with a new rooted Android phone - Beginners Guide



So welcome to the world of being rooted, you now have a nice shiny new rooted Android phone, but what can you do now. Lets see here...





Super User
When you have a rooted phone you will need this little app called super user that has a massive job. When you rooted your phone it will have more than likely come with this app, if not then you can download it here. The basic idea behind super user is to control the root access to you phone. Your phone must have this app before you continue with the rest of this guide. Using Super User is easy when you open an app that needs root access a prompt will come up asking if you want to allow this app super user access, giving you two options deny or allow.

Clockwork Mod Recovery (CWM)
Once you have rooted your phone one of first thing you need to do is make sure you have Clockwork Mod Recovery. All phones have a recovery mode that can be accessed when turning on your phone or some root access apps allow you to access recovery mode through them. What CWM recovery does is modifies this recovery mode to make it better, allowing you to flash nearly anything you want or need, such as roms, themes and kernels. Also through CWM Recovery you can create a nandroid backup, which is a backup of your whole current rom, you can also carry factory data wipes and more advance features.
So how do you get CWM, well the first thing to do is check, depending what root method you used you might have it all ready (power off your phone and then hold the power, home and volume up buttons together until you enter recovery mode). You will know if you have CWM Recovery by looking at the top of the screen is should say “Clockworkmod Recovery”; if it doesn’t then you need to get it. The easy way to get CWM is by downloading the app Rom Manager (talked about below), open Rom Manager and there is an option to flash Clockwork Mod recovery, select that select which phone you have and it will do the rest for you.
Controls for CWM Recovery – Then volume buttons allow you to move and the power button is used to select.

Apps
Right there are a number of apps that will take advantage of you root access, and I am going to cover what I believe are the basics.
Remember when using any app that uses the root access of your phone it can come with risks.

Rom Manager – So Rom Manager and CWM sort of go hand in hand, being that Rom Manager is the nice user friendly app, giving you control of CWM from your phone home screen. Just like in CWM you can backup and restore your rom, flash new roms, fix permitions and partition SD card. As said above you can use Rom manager to flash CWM for you straight from the app, you can download this app here.

BusyBox – Trting to keep this simple, when you have a rooted phone there are sets of commands that you do not have, installing BusyBox will give these. This is required to run some apps that require root access. I think that was simple enough, oh and before I forget you can get it here.

Titanium Backup Root – Titanium Backup is an enormously useful app. Not only can it backup apps, but it can backup apps and all their data, and it can delete apps—even system apps or bloatware (bloatware are apps that come with your phone that you normally can’t remove like Games hub), making regular backups of all your apps and their data. You can download Titanium Backup here.

These are the very basic apps that you will need to see you of into the future of a android custom android experience, I will include other cool apps that use root access in post 3.

Roms
So the best part about having a rooted phone well for me anyway is the massive list of roms out there. If you don’t know what a rom is then here we go. When you get your android phone and turn it on, you’re faced with this impressive software that allows you access to apps throught the market, make phone call, txt, maps, voice commands, email and the list is never ending. This is all done through the software known as the Rom, the rom you get when have your phone is known as a Stock Rom. Now it this stock rom that we can change to improve our Android mobile experience known as a Custom Rom, and there are lots of custom roms out there. Some are made to give you a better battery, better custimization, improved features, so to provide a vanilla experience and some try to make a balance of them all, but the main idea is to make android better. So roms are broken down into different categories, here is a breakdown of them for you.

Stock Rom – As talked about before stock roms are the software that comes with the phone, some people prefer the stock experience but I don’t. The main problem with stock roms is that manufactures will place an extra layer of software on top of the rom known as a user interface (UI), such as Samsung wither their touchwiz UI and HTC with HTC Sense UI. The problem I have with these UI are they are power hungry and well not to sound mean but touchwiz is not very well made.

AOSP – Android open Source Project is the android rom in its basic form, so it has no bloatware or power hungry UI’s. This is where you will get most of your custom roms from, there are devs within the android community most found right here on XDA, that will use AOSP and make their own custom roms with this adding to and improving it to make the best rom they can. Just as a note there is no best rom and you will never get an answer as to which is the best. Each rom is to their own and suit different people with different needs, but as a starter rom to get use to the idea of flashing roms and learning everything that is needed then I would recommend a Cyanogen Mod Rom, as this is the most popular and you will get the most advice from the community is it is the most used. You can find the Cyanogen Mod website here. The best way to find roms is to look through the forum and look in the Development and Original Development threads.


This guide will be continued....


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