Two Droids in One!?

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That’s right…two OS versions now available on one Android device, from the FACTORY! You may or may not have heard of either of the devices I’m about to discuss but that matters not. The real issue here is the movement towards an even more personal, enjoyable experience throughout. With the option of making your phone easier to navigate for those who don’t need all those “bells and whistles”  OR choosing a custom UI designed by the OEM, this raises the bar for flexibility out of the box. Next, a tablet that boasts dual booting capabilities utilizing the SD card to boot Linux. Say you’re at home, playing your favorite game on your tablet, then suddenly realize you need to finish that report for tomorrow. No need to get up just boot from Android into Linux and get to work! All available to the user, no MODs needed. Awesome.

The Pantech flex has features that are actually quite nice for the price, if you’re on contract. Not here to sell anyone on this device, I am hoping to sell the devices capabilities and hope other OEMs follow suit! It offers both a standard and easy experience, the first being Pantech’s custom UI, the second a minimal UI with one homescreen. Maybe other manufacturers could simply make their own UI and include a standard “vanilla Android” option that Google could update as they see fit. Therefore relieving the droves of Android users with bitter tastes in their mouths from botched OEM updates, or no updates at all. This would allow ALL devices to run the latest version of Android or the custom manufacturer UI. An undertaking for Google coders no doubt, but possible if they weren’t a billion different Android devices.

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With tablet PC’s taking over the market, the demands for them to do what a  laptop can do increased dramatically. So Android and Linux to the rescue, for around $100 US. PengPod is now available for pre order and should hit shelves shortly I assume. With a price like this and the ability to go from a playground to a work horse, the tablet era has emerged as a front runner in Android technology. Probably not a fore runner in the Specs department, however being able to access Linux from the SD card on demand sure would be nice. Not sure about updating the Linux version or what all it WILL boot from the SD, but rest assured this device will be in the forums soon if not already! As soon as i can I’m picking one of these up fearing they may be few and far between.

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Two in one, the new Android revolution is upon us, embrace it!

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Want the latest version of Android?

Want the latest Android version on your phone?
It’s that time of the year again. Google announces the next version of Android with a host of new features, and gets everyone talking excitedly about it. The user breathlessly reads about the new features, and sweats with wondering wether he’ll get it on his brand-new phone. After all, it’s a two-year contract he has signed, so no wonder he will get it, right?
Wrong. There’s a very less chance that he will get it, and it’s not because he does not have the the very top-of-the line flagship model of the company he has bought it from. After Google announces a new version of it’s OS, it is made available after one or two months to the manufacturers so they can release it to their customers as soon as possible. So our user-in-question should get it as soon as after a month, right? But what happens actually? Why do manufactures delay so much in providing an update to their users? Why is it always that all Apple users get an update around the globe, wherever they are, leaving Android users leaving in fury and shame?

The Android fragmentation

The Android diversity
Back in 2010, when Google announced its operating system, codenamed Android, there were not many oem’s who wanted to take the risk of trusting Google and making a phone based entirely off it. There was HTC, and then there were, well none. But Android began to grow at a very exponential rate, and now there are literally hundreds of oem’s making and selling Android devices. So how do the bug guys like Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG differentiate their products from others and make something that truely stands out?
These oem’s have no option but to skin what Google provides them and give their own user interface to it. This is the reason why,lets say, a Samsung phone and an HTC phone, both based on Ice Cream Sandwich, look complety different. If you have seen a nexus device, that’s how the original Android looked like before it landed to the manufacturers.

Skinning is hard
Making Android look how they want is not an easy thing. If you think it’s just a matter of copying a code and replacing it with what Google provides them, you’re entirely wrong. Skinning with their own UI is a tremendous task, and this takes months to complete. After that, they have to ensure that it is bug-free, so the user can actually enjoy instead of spending time solving the problem and cursing the manufacturer. If you are a Galaxy s3 user who recently upgraded to jelly bean, you know the problem of opening the app drawer from the homescreen- the smooth animation of ics is replaced with a hard, un-sophisticated animation if you open the app drawer after a long time. And make no mistake –  the end user is not forgiving. Even small mistakes like this ruin the feel and aesthetics of the device for him, making him hate the oem more and more. So, giving Android their own UI and ensuring that it is bug free is a daunting task, which takes months.

The carrier problem
After months of hard work, when oem’s are actually ready with the update, they have to give it to the carriers(if you have a carrier based phone) to ‘pass certificates’. Carriers will never be fast. And there will be no one to blame except yourself to have bought a carrier based phone. Things begin to take an evil turn if the phone you bought isn’t a nexus phone.

The ‘worrying sick’ problem
What drives these manufacturers to go crazy in dealing with all this hard work, when the updates are free of cost, is that users are becoming aware of technology and knowing that their device isn’t up to date with the latest innovation. The moment Google announces a new OS, forums, threads, blogs get filled with the same thing – which phones will actually be able to upgrade to it. Users search like crazy and hope that their phone will make it to the list. And when their manufacturers declare that their phone wont be receiving an update, users get frustrated – and promise never ever to buy from that manufacturer again. People turn to the absolute last option they have – custom ROMs, and without proper researching, they end with a big paper bill.

The solution
The fact is that – no one can change all this. The one thing, however, that you can do about it is change how you think. You must understand that it is really tough for oems and carriers to co-operate with one another to finally bring up the update to you. Ask yourself this question – does my device serve the purpose for which it is bought for? If the answer is yes, then most probably you don’t need an update. Or if you are the one that must be at the top of the Android version, straight away buy a nexus device. You’ll be ensured a speedy delivery of the updates, delivered straight from Google.

Nexus devices

What do you feel? Reply in the comments section below!

Ready, Set, FLASH?

Custom ROMs. It’s a loosely used term here in the world of us Android enthusiasts. Yet most of the people I talk to about their awesome Android devices don’t know their OS version. Let alone what a Custom Rom is. WE can change all that.Let’s get excited about our chance to share what we have so much confidence in. Android.

Truly the best way to spread the word is do just that. My mother in law just bought an iPhone 5 but was completely blown away by the functions of the custom software installed on my HTC One V (HOV) and wished she had bought an Android device after seeing one in action. So please brag, show off your devices and the power of Google and Android. Now this is not a call to arms for the whole droid universe to be running custom ROMs. Yet an attempt at letting the world know how to maximize their experience with Google. We know these devices better than anyone, and we should share the wealth so to speak. Hey, maybe along the way make an iPhone jealous. So go grab your mom, cousin, boss and show them the joy of what we know Android to be!

With our concentrated efforts pointed in the right directions, we can make this happen. From the knowledge we pour onto these pages to that helpful hint you gave to the “noob” in your favorite Android forums; share the passion and let others see what we see when we unlock that screen!

Understanding Your Android better / Glossary

Have you been in a position in which:

  • you want to show off an application on your phone and your phone refuses to respond
  • you wanted to call/message some one and your phone refuses to help you

and you abuse the hell out of your phone?

Well, I guess what we have all been in that particular situation and then we google out remedies to fix our phone revealing the other side of the medal: Rooting. Curiosity is known to humans so you just click on the first and second link, download a file and run it and 2 things of the following happens:

  • You were lucky enough to root it without screwing it.
  • Boom your phones screwed, it wont start.

So now you’re searching for a solution for this problem (unless you are the kind of person who is willing to spend a ton of cash to replace the motherboard)

Now for people searching for a solution, usually end up putting a question in the forums. In there, people post all these terms which you have no idea off, and when you ask them they get pissed (well i am one of them :p)

So i created this post with all  the terms you will ever need to know about rooting and a brief explanation about them, so that next time when some one says you have to flash your phone you wont ask whats flashing.

The Main Question- what is ROOTING

Android is based on Linux. On Linux and other UNIX-like operating systems, the root user is equivalent to the Administrator user on Windows. The root user has access to the entire operating system and can do anything. By default, you don’t have root access to your Android device(to prevent us from screwing with our phone), and certain apps won’t function without root access.

With root access, you can disable the bloatware(Samsung fun,htc skins,Motorola stuff,etc) that comes with your phone, manually deny app permissions, run a firewall, access the entire file system, or tether your device, even if tethering functionality has been disabled. You’ll find many apps that require root access in the Google Play store ,Even if they install on your unrooted phone they won’t function until you root your device.

The Most Basic Terms(they are in alphabetical order)

ADB:Android Debug Bridge

It is a versatile command line tool that lets you communicate with an emulator instance or connected Android-powered device. It is a client-server program that includes three components:

•A client, which runs on your development machine. You can invoke a client from a shell by issuing an adb command. Other Android tools such as the ADT plugin and DDMS also create adb clients.
•A server, which runs as a background process on your development machine. The server manages communication between the client and the adb daemon running on an emulator or device.
•A daemon, which runs as a background process on each emulator or device instance.

Android

A Linux-based operating system for mobile devices(smart phones).Versions are alphabetically codenamed after deserts:- Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly bean.

APK

Android application package file (APK) is the file format used to distribute and install application software and middleware onto Google’s Android operating system.

Bootloader

This small program’s only job is to load other data and programs which are then executed from RAM.Often, multiple-stage boot loaders are used, during which several programs of increasing complexity load one after the other in a process of chain loading.Bootloader increases the security of the phone preventing us from rooting, although companies like HTC provide a devloper site to help us unlock the bootloader

Bootloop

When your system recycles over and over without entering the main OS.(when u cant get pass the welcome screen)

Custom(ROM,KERNEL,APPS)

Independent developers who like to customize their devices beyond the standard options provided often tend to release their labor for the rest to enjoy, in form of custom ROMs,etc

Cache

Cache is used by the central processing unit of a device to reduce the average time to access memory. The cache is a smaller, faster memory which stores copies of the data from the most frequently used main memory locations. As long as most memory accesses are cached memory locations, the average latency of memory accesses will be closer to the cache latency than to the latency of main memory.

Dual Core

A dual core processor is a central processing unit (CPU) that has two separate cores , each with its own cache. It essentially is two microprocessors in one. This type of CPU is widely available from many manufacturers. Other types of multi-core processors also have been developed, including quad-core processors with four cores each, hexa-core processors with six, octa-core processors with eight and many-core processors with an even larger number of cores.

Dalvik

This is The Android platform’s virtual machine.The Dalvik VM is an interpreter-only virtual machine that executes files in the Dalvik Executable (“.dex”) format, a format that is optimized for efficient storage and memory-mappable execution.

Dalvik Cache

Writable cache that contains the optimized bytecode of all apk files (apps) on your Android device. Having the information in it’s own cache makes applications load faster and perform better.(its where the apps store their stuff)

FC/FC’s

Short for “force close,” meaning an app that has crashed.(like when firefox closes unexpectedly)

Fastboot

A diagnostic protocol used primarily to modify the flash filesystem in Android smartphones from another computer over a USB connection. It is part of the Android Debug Bridge library.
Utilizing the Fastboot protocol requires that the device be started in a boot loader or Second Program Loader mode in which only the most basic hardware initialization is performed. After enabling the protocol on the device itself it will accept any command sent to it over USB via a command line. Some of most commonly used fastboot commands include:

  • fastboot reboot (reboots)
  • fastboot devices(displays the devices connected)
  • fastboot flash boot boot.img(installs the kernels)
  • fastboot flash recovery recovery.img (installs the recovery)
  • fastboot erase cache (Erases the cache partition)

Flashing

It basically means installing.The ROM memory used in smartphones and tablets etc. is often same as flash memory found in SD cards and USB flash drives, simply optimized for better speed and performance while running the operating system

Hboot

It’s mainly responsible for checking and initializing the hardware and starting the phone’s software. It can also be used for flashing official software releases, as well as a few other things. HBoot can be compared to the BIOS on a computer.

Kernel(a link between the hardware and OS)

A kernel is a layer of code that allows the OS and applications to interface with your phone’s hardware. The degree in which you can access your phone’s hardware features depends on the quality of code in the kernel. The homebrew (rooting) community for HTC has made several kernel code improvements that give us additional features from our hardware that the stock kernel does not. When you flash a custom ROM, you automatically get a kernel. But you can also flash a standalone kernel ROM on top of the existing one, effectively overwriting it. These days, the difference in custom kernels is less about new features and more about alternate configurations. Choosing a custom kernel is basically choosing one that works best with your ROM.

Nandroid

Nandroid is used to backup or restore backups from Recovery.Its a must for first time users,Cause if anything goes wrong u can just restore it.

Recovery

The recovery partition is a boot-mode for your phone that allows you to wipe your settings from the Data partition of the phone, or perform an update using an update.zip file on the root of the microSD card. It is common  to flash a patched Recovery image, such as TWRP or ClockworkMod Recovery. This allows you to run Nandroid backup from the device, and flash modifications, such as files to the device, essentially becoming a means to install software to the device. Recovery mode is separate from ‘normal’ mode, and can be entered by holding down home whilst turning the phone on.

ROM

A ROM is a modified version of Android. It may contain extra features, a different look, speed enhancements, or even a version of Android that hasn’t been released yet

RUU and SBF

ROM Upgrade Utilities(RUU) (for HTC phones) and System Boot Files(SBF) (for Motorola phones) are files direct from the manufacturer that change the software on your phone. RUU and SBF files are how the manufacturers deliver your over-the-air upgrades, and modders often post leaked RUU and SBF files for flashing when the updates haven’t been released yet. They’re also handy when downgrading your phone, if a rooting method isn’t available for the newest software version yet. You can flash RUUs right from your HTC phone, but Motorola users will need a Windows program called RSD Lite to flash SBF files.

Superuser/SU

On many computer operating systems, the superuser is a special user account used for system administration. Depending on the operating system, the actual name of this account might be : root, administrator or0 supervisor.

S-ON AND S-OFF

S-On:Security on,means no access to the phones operating system.

S-Off:Security was exploited,now have access to the operating system.

Ok guys, these are the most basic terms you should know about before you go ahead and root your phone. If you have doubts, questions, ask in the comments section below!

Suggest this BLOG to other users if you found it useful. Thank you!

Most credits go to

  • Google
  • Wikipedia
  • How to geek
  • Lifehacker
  • Xda forums

Android Kitchen – Dsixda ( all in one rom customization)

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             Compatible with Windows (Cygwin) / Linux / Mac OS X

Who is this kitchen for:


Those who are brand new to creating custom ROMs and want an easy place to start learning.
Those who just want to modify shipped ROMs or someone else’s custom ROMs to their liking.
Those who are confused by all those scripts and complex commands required for building and extracting.

WARNING!

This is NOT a tool to automatically turn you into a full-fledged ROM developer. ROM development normally involves work from the ground up and involves time, research and patience. I am just giving the tools to help the average person get things done quickly from an existing base.


This kitchen is mainly intended for HTC devices 

WARNING: If you have a newer HTC device that is not LISTED ON THE SITE, do not attempt to flash a ROM that you built with this kitchen. Instead, you must do the following if your device is NOT listed below:

Create a file under the kitchen’s /tools/edify_defs folder, with the name being the same as the value of ro.product.device (found in your device’s /system/build.prop file).
See the template file in the edify_defs folder to see how to set the mount points inside the file you created. Look at the other files in that folder for example

There is also support for  non-HTC devices (and perhaps more that are not mentioned on the link):
NOTE: If your device is not mentioned here, then I don’t know the extent of its support – please don’t ask.

note – a custom recovery is needed to flash these custom rom’s!

kitchen download and help

for setup instructions; for problems using the kitchen
for ROM issues, such as your device not booting

download kitchen- Here

release notes – Here

help and frequently asked questions and their answers – Here

Optional – Download User – Contributed Plugins (used in Advanced Menu of Kitchen)

android builder – Here Downloads the Android open source code for use with the kitchen)

application verifier for data partition – Here  ( Fixes issue where certain apps under /data/app folder of ROM cause force-close)

update hosts – Here ( generates an ad-free host files)

some quick hints on what file is what

boot.img – This file is a binary representation of the root file system of the device. It contains the system kernel and all files required to start the core part of Android
system – This is a directory containing all files found under /system on a running Android device. It has exactly the same layout.
META-INF – This is directory containing the update manifest and script. The manifest is a file which lists all file included in the update, with their SHA1 checksums. The update script is used to apply the update on a device

A simple debriefing mission

I think it is fair to say that we all heard of Android by now, sure as hell we already know what Google is and its products. From the world’s #1 Web search engine to world’s #1 OS for smartphones in just a couple of years. ANDROID!

If you are living under a rock and you didn’t understand what is all this Android stuff, have no fear, I will try to break it down for you in the next few lines. Here are a few facts about Android:

  • Android is a Linux-based operating system (OS), originally developed by Android, Inc. – a company which was later on bought by Google.
  • The first Android phone was sold in October 2008, the HTC Dream.
  • Android is an open-source OS, Google releasing the code constantly, under the Apache License.
  • Android had a world-wide smarth phone market share, with 75% points, back in 2012, with 500 millions devices activated in total.
  • Android, Inc. was founded in October 2003 by Andi Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears and Chris White.
  • Google took Android, Inc. into custody on August 17, 2005. Key employees of Android, Inc. remained at the company.
  • Major releases are named in alphabetical order after a dessert or sugary treat (i.e version 1.5 was Cupcake, 1.6 was Donut etc.).
  • First version of Android was 1.5 a.k.a Cupcake.
  • Current version of Android is: 4.2.1, the very well known “Jellybean”.

Our team consists in Android enthusiastic fans, who are daily at the task to enjoy what Google created at first, but carried on by millions of people all over the world.

We are requesting all passengers to join us as we discover the Android experience at its finest!