Rooting: Advantages, Disadvantages and Myths

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Rooting: Advantages, Disadvantages and Myths

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So you got a new phone and you’re wanting to delve into the world of Android rooting. A lot of questions are probably going through your mind. Should I root it? Should I not root it? What could happen if I do? These are all very logical questions that I’m sure the majority of us have asked ourselves at one point or another. So in this article, we’re going to dive head first into the world of Android root, and hopefully make things a little more clear for you.

 

Some of you may be asking, “Well what does root really mean?”

To root your phone basically means to have administrator rights over the system partition on your phone. It can somewhat be compared to having administrator rights on your Windows PC. Basically this means that you can install, and uninstall whatever you want on your phone. Sounds good right? It is. However, there are a couple valid reasons why your phone does not have this access right out of the box. Supposed you’re new to Android and notice that upon turning your phone on, you instantly have access to every system app and system file that is available on your phone. Woah! Careful though, you have no idea what you can or cannot delete without messing something up. You’re smart though, you can use common sense to get you through this. Next thing you know your phone no longer boots up, it won’t even charge! This is one of the many valid reasons that your phone does not come out of the box with superuser access. Believe it or not, it’s disabled to actually protect you!

So now that we’ve got that out of the way, you’re probably thinking “Well should I or shouldn’t I?” The answer to that question is entirely up to you. So let’s go through the advantages AND the disadvantages of rooting your Android device.

Advantages:

Debloat. Bloatware apps are usually carrier specific apps that come preinstalled on your device. They can be helpful, or they can be a nuisance. Keep the ones you want, get rid of the ones you don’t, permanently. NOTE: permanemtly deleting apps bloatware from your device can some times make ota updates fail.

Install and use those “root required” apps. Such as MyBackup Pro, Root Explorer and many more! These apps can become very useful tools in the rooting world and give you so much more control over your device.

Mods, tweaks and themes. Want to have your clock centered? Well that requires root to be able to install or flash a modified SystemUI.apk.

Custom ROMs. ROMs are basically packages of custom made Android software that you can install on your device to have all the nice little features that custom ROMs come with. Rooting is the first step in being able to flash ROMs.

Control “startup apps.” With root permissions, you can even control what apps start automatically when you turn your device on!

These are just some of the very very many advantages to rooting your Android device. Now let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages. (Yes those actually exist.)

Disadvantages:

You may soft brick, or perma brick your device. “Bricking” has 2 forms basically. Softbrick, which is where your phone either bootloops or won’t boot at all, but you still have access to Recovery and/or Fastboot. “Permabrick” or “hardbrick” is exactly how it sounds. You’re phone is a paperweight. It will not boot, it will not charge, and you have no access to Recovery and/or Fastboot.

You’re opened up to making a lot more mistakes, such as deleting your phone.apk, your Settings.apk. You’d be surprised at how much it actually happens. (However, this is why we have websites such as Rootjunky.com and XDA!)

Ok so now we got those out of the way as well, let’s get into some rooting myths!

Myths:

“Once you root, you will no longer receive OTA updates.” – This is simply not true at all. You will still receive the OTA update on your phone if you’re still on the stock software, and you can still install that OTA update as well. However, you WILL lose root access. This can be a pain if your bootloader is not unlocked. You will have to wait for someone to verify that root access is still possible on the new software version.

“Rooting voids your warranty.” – No. No. No. Rooting absolutely does not void your warranty. The absolute only way that root voids your warranty, is if it can be proven :-), that rooting was the direct cause of your issue. However, this is also a confusing subject. Some carriers don’t really care what you do, and some do. Those that do, will not hesitate to deny you any service or replacements if your phone is rooted. Some do not check at all and do not care. Then again, this also varies between OEMs (Motorola, LG, HTC, Samsung). Some OEMs follow the rule I posted above, and some will not grant you any repairs if your device is rooted. The main reason that some places do not care is because of one simple thing, rooting, can in now way at all, damage your device. All rooting does, is install 1 app (Superuser app of choice) and install 1 file (usually in /system/xbin). That’s it. It can in no way cause your touchscreen to stop working, cause your wifi to stop working, cause you to lose mobile data, none of that. It simply can’t do it, unless YOU mess with something after the fact. Keep in mind what I said before though. This is exactly why we have websites like Rootjunky.com and XDA. If something happens, you have a very good chance of recovering your device.

So there you have it. Some advantages, disadvantages, and even some myths about Android rooting. The choice is always up to you if you root or not. That being said, let me leave you with some tips!

1.) Always always always do your research first! Find out what Android version your device is on, find out if it has been confirmed to be able to be rooted.

2.) Try to stay away from Toolkits and “one-click” methods. I’m not saying that the people that make such methods don’t know what they’re doing. What I’m saying is, if you’re going to get into this world, learn the way it used to be done! Learn your adb commands, learn your fastboot commands! Don’t take Android modding away from it’s roots.

3.) When you find a guide about rooting your device, FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS TO THE “T!!!” Do not cut corners, do exactly what the guide tells you to do!

4.) Last but not least, always make sure you perform backups before flashing ROMs. Always make sure you have a recovery plan before doing ANYTHING to your phone.

Well hopefully this article helped you learn something, and hopefully it made the decision a little easier on you. The Android community is very amazing community that is just filled with people willing to help others out when they’re in need. We’re a community that you absolutely WILL NOT find anywhere else. On that note, be safe, be smart, read, read some more, and have fun!!

 

BY

Gary H

 

Android 5.1 Launches On Nexus Devices

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Android 5.1 Lollipop Arrives

This week on the Official Android Blog, Android Lollipop 5.1 was announced with some minor, but well deserved modifications to Lollipop 5.0.

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A small list of some of the changes:

  • Voice-Over-LTE (Currently supported on T-Mobile and Verizon)
  • HD Voice (Currently supported on T-Mobile and Verizon)
  • Device Protection (Remote locking similar to iCloud lock on iOS products)
  • Better Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Quick-toggles
  • Support for Multi-SIM devices

Android 5.1 is currently being pushed to Nexus 5, 6, 7, 10. If you want this latest firmware the best place to download it is from HERE

Source from Official Android Blog

A couple things i have noticed with android 5.1 are that it runs much smoother on my Nexus 6. Apps and browser windows load quicker which I really like. It also seems like the encryption on the Nexus 6 kind of slowed down the device but with Android 5.1 it is working normal again even with the encryption.  There are also a lot of little animations that make it a much nicer experience.

Samsung “Next Is Now” S6/Edge

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Samsung Galaxy S6 and Edge

Plastic.

Band-Aid.

Cheap.

Just some words that many have used to describe Samsung’s Galaxy line of phones in the past. This year, Samsung has changed that notion and flipped the tables on its design philosophy.

 

The Samsung Galaxy S6 in the flesh.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 in the flesh.

 

 

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge are made out of metal and gorilla glass 4, which wraps the front and back sides of the devices, with the metal around the sides where one would hold the phone. Obviously to most, the name isn’t the only difference between Samsung’s flagship variants, but two curved edges come with the S6 edge. Unlike the recent Galaxy Note Edge which was slanted on one side and took away button real-estate, the S6 edge also is only partway skewed, giving the user room on the sides to hold the device comfortably along the metal sides.

It’s not just the outside that changed though; Samsung has opted for their own silicon this time around using an 2.1 Ghz 14nm Exynos Octa-core processor (64 Bit of course). They’ve also become the first smartphone to include DDR4 memory and UFS 2.0 storage. Without getting nitty gritty in the nerd speak here, this means insanely fast storage with speeds never before seen in a smartphone’s flash memory, faster operations, and much improved battery usage overall.

Samsung has stuck with a 16MP shooter, but are now using Optical Image Stabilitzation (OIS) for un-shaking those photos and an F1.9 lens. Again, not getting down and dirty with specs, the low light quality on this should be insane, and the camera a noticeable improvement over the Galaxy S5. The same lens is also on the 5MP front facing wide-angle camera.

Real life battery usage will take time to see. The Galaxy S6 rocks a 2550 mAh battery while the S6 Edge a 2600 mAh, only a trivial  50 mAh difference. The big change this time around, Samsung has built in a competitor to Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology. They are claiming 4 Hours of battery life in only 10 minutes on the charger, quite a claim to make! Another inclusion is Wireless Charging and not just one, but two technology are inside. What this means for the end user, is any wireless charging station is going to work just fine, and no more worrying about what a “Qi” is.

Some other additions are Samsung Pay, a serious competitor to Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Not only does it support NFC payments, Samsung Pay supports MagStripe Transfer. Any place that accepts sliding a credit card, will accept Samsung Pay. This is amazing news, with many locations blocking NFC payments for nefarious or unknown reasons. The other addition a new fingerprint scanner, now touch based rather than swiping. This is a key part of Samsung Pay, since it encrypts everything with your fingerprint stored locally on your device, never going to some untrustworthy server.

Overall, Samsung has made some serious strides, but as you may have noticed they have discontinued external storage, water resistance, and removable battery support. This may seem like a deal-breaker to some, but with new charging methods and 3 storage options the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge seem like the phone to want, as of today.

 

 

Specs List:

2.1 Ghz Octa-core Exynos Processer (14nm Process).
16MP F1 w/ OIS back facing. 5MP F1 front facing.
3GB DDR4 memory.
UFS 2.0 storage in 32GB/64GB/128GB configurations.
Wireless charging and NFC.
2550 S6/2600 edge mAh battery.
5.1″ 1440p SuperAMOLED display.
Fingerprint scanner (touch based).
Colors: White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz.

The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge are planned to launch April 10th, 2015 in 20 countries initially.

Xposed Framework Lollipop

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Xposed Framework Lollipop Alpha

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NOTE: That this is still an alpha version and for Lollipop on ARMv7+ devices only. Please install it only if you’re willing to take the risk of boot loops. Just because it’s working fine and stable for me doesn’t mean it will work for everyone the same way. If this brakes your device you may have to flash the firmware to fix it make sure you know how to do that before installing.

How to Check out ARM Version and see if it is 7 or above

  1. Install Android Terminal Emulator  app on your device and open it
  2. Type the followng: getprop ro.product.cpu.abi  OR getprop ro.product.cpu.abi2
  3. It will return with your Arm Version. see picture below

Screenshot terminal

Downloads: Get all files need HERE
xposed-arm-20150213b.zip: Must be flashed with a custom recovery to install the framework.
XposedInstaller_3.0-alpha1.apk: Must be installed to manage installed modules.

Screenshot_2015-02-15-16-20-11Screenshot_2015-02-15-16-20-16Screenshot_2015-02-15-16-20-22

Known issues:
– It seems to boot loop on Samsung stock ROMs. I have received a file which I can use to analyse this issue, but it might take some time.
Update: There’s a difference in the format of *.oat files on Samsung ROMs. I’m trying to find out more

– If everything is working fine, but the app_process version is not displayed, it’s just a display error that can be ignored (will be fixed later).

– Nexus 6 only works if you set selinux to permissive and soft reboot from within the xposed framework app. you can us this Google Play app to change the selinux to permissive.

XDA XPOSED FRAMEWORK OFFICIAL THREAD

CyanogenMod 12 Lollipop

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Official CyanogenMod 12 Lollipop

CM12 roms are starting to show up on CyanogenMod.org which means many Android enthusiast with be getting there hands on one of the best Lollipop custom rom experiences. I recently installed CyanogenMod 12 Lollipop on my Motorola Nexus 6 and it is running nicely. Something new that i noticed in this version of CM is that Root access is turned of by default. Come to find out you can turn it back on by entering developer Options in the devices settings and then selecting Root access mode. here you will find a couple options: enable for apps only, enable for adb only, or enable root for both apps and adb which is the option i selected. Having root mode off by default i think is a really bad idea since most Android fans that install CM12 really want root. But i guess that is up to CyanogenMod.

Here is a little Video i made talking about how to turn on said Root access mode

So if you are looking to install Official CyanogenMod 12 Lollipop on your android device then check out there download page HERE If you cant fine your device listed you may want to check XDA developers site because there are many unofficail CM12 roms in the forums that work just fine. Good luck and lets start rocking some Lollipop Android 5.0

Moto E Super Tool

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Moto E Super Tool

This is a little script tool I made up for the Moto E XT1023 The Firmware restore will only work on the XT1023 but all other options should work on all the variants of the Moto E
It is really simple. But requires a unlocked bootloader video HERE If you need help with bootloader unlock
Click image for larger version</p><br />
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Download the Moto E Super Tool
extract the tool to your desktop
Turn on usb debugging mode on the device
install the Motorola drivers
Run the Moto E 1 Moto-E-Restore-XT1023.bat file
then just select what you want to do
1. Root your Moto E
2. Flash TWRP Recovery
3. Flash Stock Android Recovery
4. Flash CWM recovery
5. Remove the unlocked bootloader warning
6. Fully restore the Moto E to stock
7. Fully restore plus Relock the bootloader

Newest release V2
Change Log

Vision 1 first release
Version 2
updated TWRP
Updated Supersu.zip

DOWNLOAD SUPER TOOL

Hope this will help out some noobs

Inateck Bluetooth Keyboard

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Inateck Bluetooth Keyboard

HOME OR ON THE GO AND COMPACT SIZE

I was looking for a light weight/compact and if possible a inexpensive bluetooth keyboard for my tablet (nexus 10) and at times my Galaxy S5 and this inateck mini wireless bluetooth 3.0 keyboard fit my needs perfectly. Inside the box was ●A Bluetooth 3.0 keyboard ● A Charge Cable ●A owners Mannual so just what you need to get up and running. The size of the keyboard was perfect for home or on the go and comes in black or white and i am reviewing the black unit as you can see in pictures. The keyboard uses Bluetooth 3.0 module chip and has speeds up to 24 MB/s so speed wont be a factor no will battery life as the unit has Super-efficient built-in 200mA lithium battery, replaceable, works for up to 4 months in standby without charging with 8 hours of continuous use every day. The unit is also compatible with 3 operating systems of Apple, Android and Windows so no worries what operating system your on and my Galaxy S5 and nexus tablet has android 5.0 operating system which is new and i had no issues there. I used the unit on a 15in macbook/W7 and android tablet as well as a android phone and never a issue with any of them and the overall ability to prop up my tablet and type out my emails or post on facebook a much better experience. .Another factor i liked is there is no noise on “key strokes” and that may seem like a non factor but i do alot of catching up on emails ect late at night so that was a added feature im sure others will like. i was able to be over 30ft from tablet and still keyboard functioned perfect.The curve-shaped design of the individual keys shortens the distance between finger movements while typing for fast results and just seemed to flow really great in my first week of testing.As i get older its getting very hard to use built in keyboards on devices so if your like me and need a better way to type on your device without straining your eyes this is a perfect unit for you. I was very impressed with the overall ease of pairing devices to the keyboard and the compact size and really impressed with the price at under $27.00. HERE AT AMAZON

By: Darren W.

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Android 5.1 Rumors

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Android 5.1 Rumors

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Android 5.0 (Lollipop) isn’t even available for most Android phones yet, but Google may already be working on an update for the software.

A new version of Android called 5.1 is reportedly coming in February, according to the blog “Android Pit

The blog claims to have spoken with two “trusted sources” familiar with the situation.

Based on the reported list of new features coming in the update, it sounds like some minor improvements and bug fixes are coming.

One notable fix, for example, seems to be the addition of a silent mode to Lollipop.

When Android 5.0 was initially released in November, users complained about the lack of a “silent mode” for notifications. Rather, users can choose from three options when it comes to notifications: None, Priority, or All.

“None” keeps your phone entirely silent, which also means your screen doesn’t light up when you get a text or notification. “Priority” mode silences almost everything except for alarms, and only allows notifications from certain designated contacts to come through. And “All”, as you can imagine, just allows all notifications to come through normally with sound.

Here’s a list of features and bug fixes that will supposedly come with Android 5.1.

  • Silent mode added after missing on Android 5.0
  • General improvements in system stability
  • Improved RAM management
  • Fixes for sudden app closures
  • Improved battery management
  • Excessive consumption of network devices when used Wi-Fi fixed
  • Issues with wireless connections fixed
  • Problems with Okay Google function solved
  • Notifications problems solved
  • Some sound problems experience by certain devices fixed
  • Other improvements and changes
  • Changes in the Material Design color palette (after users complaints, possibly for a higher version though)

Keep Following closely as we will update you on any Android 5.1 rumors and News

By: Gary H.

LiveBoot App

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[ROOT] LiveBoot

Live boot

 

LiveBoot is a boot animation that shows you logcat and dmesg outputs on-screen as they happen. Output configuration includes logcat categories, whether to show dmesg, and the amount of lines that should fit on your screen. For Pro users there’s also the option to make the output transparent and overlay the default boot animation.A feature is built-in to test your current configuration without rebooting. The lines shown in test mode may be limited and relatively static, this does not reflect exact boot time behavior as much as it just shows you that it works and how big the text will be.Note that LiveBoot will only show up after the data partition is mounted. If you need to enter a decryption key or pattern at boot, it will not show up until you have done so.RootThis app does not only require root, it requires specifically SuperSU version 2.40 or newer, due to how the boot-time code is launched.

Compatibility

Officially the app supports 4.3+ and newer, but really it is aimed at 5.0 firmwares. Regardless of 4.3, 4.4, or 5.0, the app may work on your device or it may not. I’ve gotten it to work on a bunch of my own devices on various firmwares, but not on all. Even if the test run functionality works, this does not necessarily mean it will actually work during boot. It usually does, but not always.

This does indeed also mean I cannot guarantee continued operation – even if it works for you today, it may fail your next firmware update. If that is an issue for you, then you should definitely not update to Pro.

The risk of bootloops is extremely low, but not completely non-existent. Should a bootloop occur, removing either the app’s APK or /system/su.d/0000liveboot through recovery should fix the problem.

The app writes to /system, as such your firmware must allow this. There is no recovery-based install option at this time.

Pro

There’s an in-app purchase to upgrade to Pro, which supports my developments, and unlocks the transparency option.

Of course, if you have one of the paid variants of the old live logcat or live dmesg boot animations from all those years ago installed, this will also enable Pro mode.

Like some of my other apps these days, if you don’t have Google Play but still managed to install the APK, this will also enable Pro mode.

Last but not least, if you simply don’t want to pay for it, there’s also a button to enable Pro mode.

Script

If /system/su.d/0000liveboot.script exists (chmod 0644, not 0700 like other files in /system/su.d/ !), this script will be run instead of logcat and dmesg, and its output will be shown in white (stdout) and red (stderr).

Discussion/support/etc

Please see the official app thread on XDA-Developers.com here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/android/apps-games/liveboot-t2976189

Also check out Chainfires post on Google Plus here: https://plus.google.com/+Chainfire/posts/G4GjETEQhR1

This is one really cool Liveboot App that will be really helpful for developers to use. Go check it out for yourself

Download the app here from Google Play LiveBoot

T-Mobile’s Latest Uncarrier Move: Data Stash!

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Uncarrier 8.0 is the latest in a line of T-Mobile’s brand of trying to fix the wireless industry for all consumers, not just their own. CEO John Legere spoke with David Progue of Yahoo Tech today for this latest event, which you can find here.

Keeping in mind, that on T-Mobile’s tiered post-paid data if you run out of data you are never charged an overage; instead, you’d be slowed to lower speeds for the rest of the month.

This latest move, is rollover data! “Data Stash.” It seems as if you’re on a 2 GB for example, and use 1 GB in a month, the rest would rollover to your “data stash” of extra high-speed data so next month you’d essentially be on a 3GB plan, and so on and so on.

When you pay extra for data you should keep it! All Lines 3GB and above get Data Stash, only from @tmobile. Also 10GB free data to start.

T-Mobile will be giving 10 GB free for new customers in their “data stash.”

Source: T-Mobile Newsroom