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

 

Motorola Firmware Restore

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Motorola Firmware Restore Plus Unbrick

In this tutorial i will be covering restoring and unbricking your motorola device by flashing the stock fimware. We will be using RSD lite (Motorola Program) along with using fastboot and a batch file. This tutorial will be for windows user only since i dont have a mac. First lets cover the older Motorola droid devices that use RSD lite

WARNING Restoring your Motorola firmware will factory reset your device and you will loose all data on the device and have to set it back up like a new phone.

RSD Lite Firmware flash Requirements

1.  Motorola device

2.  USB cable for device

3.  Download the Motorola Drivers and install them your PC

4.  Download RSD lite Program and install it on your PC

5. Download your devices latest firmware. (NOTE) The best way to find out what device and firmware you need is to go into phone settings then about phone. Look at System Version plus build number. Between these you should be able to figure out the firmware you will need. Another good thing to find out is the device code name. Normally a quick Google search can accomplish this task. If you dont know this info and your device is bricked then start Googling it. You can get your motorola firmware from my server or Motofirmware.com

Flashing firmware

(NOTE) It is highly recommended that your device is fully charged before starting this firmware flash. Older devices have small batteries and can die during the restore which would be bad. The only way to fix a dead bricked motorola android device is with this factory cable that can send power to the device even with a dead battery. This cable comes in really handy at times and can be picked up from amazon if needed.

1. Place your phone into AP Fastboot Mode. Turn off the device then press and hold both volume up and down then hold power, now wait 5 seconds and release then buttons. You should now see a screen like this one.

ap fastboot

2. Now connect the USB cable to the device and let the motorola drivers you downloaded and installed on the PC, install for the device. This may take up to 5 minutes.

3. Open the RSD lite program and make sure it sees your device like in the picture below

RSD lite

4. click on the 3 dots where it says file name and select your firmware you downloaded. (NOTE) if the firmware is in a zip then just select it. If you extracted the firmware already, then select the XML file

XML

5. Click start button on RSD lite and sit back and wait for the device to finish the restore. Once the device has finished it will reboot and you will see the setup screen. Now you have unbricked and restored your stock firmware to your Motorola device.

(NOTE) Do not bump or unplug the device while flashing the firmware. This could cause a hard brick and your device will be dead. Also, if  the device gets stuck in a bootloop on reboot, just boot the device into stock android recovery, then wipe data factory reset the device. This will fix the bootloop. Below is a video on this process.

HERE IS A GREAT POST ON XDA THAT COVERS THIS EVEN MORE

 

 

 Fastboot Firmware Flash Requirements

1.  Motorola device

2.  USB cable for device

3.  Download the Motorola Drivers and install them your PC

4.  Download Fastboot and ADB files 

5.   Download your devices latest firmware (Note) best way to find out what device and firmware you need is to go into phone settings then about phone. Look at System Version plus build number between these you should be able to figure out the firmware you will need. Another good thing to find out is the device code name. Normally a quick Google search can accomplish this task. If you dont know this info and your device is bricked then start Googling it. You can get your motorola firmware from my server or Motofirmware.com

Flashing firmware

(NOTE) It is highly recommended that your device is fully charged before starting this firmware flash. Older devices have small batteries and can die during the restore which would be bad. The only way to fix a dead bricked motorola android device is with this factory cable that can send power to the device even with a dead battery. This cable comes in really handy at times and can be picked up from amazon if needed.

1. Place your phone into AP Fastboot Mode. Turn off the device then press and hold both volume up and down then hold power, now wait 5 seconds and release then buttons. You should now see a screen like this one.

bootloader mode

 

2. Now connect the USB cable to the device and let the motorola drivers you downloaded and installed on the PC, install for the device. This may take up to 5 minutes.

3. Extract the firmware and fastboot / adb files you downloaded to the same folder on your desktop like the picture below.

fastboot plus firmware

 

4. Click on the file in the folder ending in .bat This is a batch file that will open and flash all the firmware in this folder. Once the firmware is flashed and if you dont have any errors, then in fastboot mode on the device, select normal power up and the device will power up and be fully restored.

(NOTE) Using a batch file and fastboot to restore your device is the preferred method over RSD lite. RSD lite sometimes hangs on some steps in the XML and can be a real pain. Here is a video of me using a batch file to restore one of my Motorola Android devices.

 

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
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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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Amazon Fire TV Super Tool

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Amazon Fire TV Super Tool

Warning use this tool at your own risk i am not responsible for you bricking your device
That being said lets talk about what this does and how it works

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How it works
1. your Fire TV Must have root and busy box installed plus adb network turned on for this to work
2. click on 2 amazon fire tv firmware installer.bat
3. follow script to install everything you will need
4. if you are having trouble watch my youtube video

Tool Options
1 Root device
2. install fire tv launcher
3. disable ota updates
4. install cwm recovery
5. firmware downgrade and restore to software version 51.1.0.2_user_510058520 for CWM recovery install
6. Partially unlock the bootloader

Newest versoin V5

Amazon Fire TV Super Tool
CHANGE LOG

V1 release
V2
added root
added firedtv launcher
added ota disable
cleaned up tool
new interface
V3
total rework
added CWM recovery
added recovery restore as part of firmware restore
V4
added option 6 unlock the partially bootloader
V5
updated CWM recovery file
added Boot menu install option to tool

Link to script tool HERE
Firmware is include in the Super Tool from V3 on

Video on how to use this script tool
Amazon Fire TV Firmware installer Tool

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Chromecast Giveaway

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Chromecast Giveaway has ENDED look at the bottom of post to see the winner

chrome cast

 

One of my awesome followers, Fred, has  sent me this Google Chromecast device to giveaway!    Google Chromcast allows you to  stream youtube, netflix and your android device screen right to your HDTV.   More information on this device can be found HERE.  also if you want to order one for yourself check it out here at Google play

Giveaway instructions:

Subscribe to my youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/Tomsgt123

Comment on this giveaway Video with what was your favorite Christmas present you gave or received this year.

A winner will be chosen at random on 12/31 good luck

US residents only.

Big thanks to Fred for making this fun Chromecast giveaway happen.

 

And the Winner is…..  Gana Faze. Winner has one Week from the end of the giveaway to claim there prize.

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

Learn how to create a theme

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Learn how to create a theme for your Android device!

Way back in the old android days, people actually made their own themes in the form of a zip file. Crazy right!?! That meant you had to download the ROM, gapps (if needed) and another zip file for the theme you wanted. This also meant that when flashing, you had to flash all 3. Now keep in mind that zip themes were made primarily for stock OEM based ROMs. Your source based ROMs which were typically based off of CyanogenMod had the Theme Chooser, so zip themes weren’t needed.

So why make zip themes now? Well for the same reason they were made before. Not everyone wants to run a potentially buggy custom software. Some people would rather run their TouchWiz, Sense, LG stock or Moto Blur based stock software.(way back in the day it was Moto’s stock UI).  They preferred it simply for one reason, everything worked. You didn’t lose the functionality that made you buy the device in the first place which some times happens with custom roms.

So why are we reading this extremely long article? Well, I’m hoping that you’re reading this because you’re interested in making a zip theme. If you are, then please continue on. For this tutorial, we will be following how to get setup on Windows system.

There are some prerequisites to making a zip theme and here they are:

WinRAR – 32bit 
64bit 

7zip – 32bit 
64bit 

Apktool Files

Java JDK

Notepad++ 

Paint.NET (free image editing tool)

Download and install Java JDK 6 (make sure you get the right OS build and either 32bit or 64bit)
Download an install Winrar. After installing, your zip files will now have an icon that looks like a stack of books.
Download Apktool. After it downloads, right click the zip file and click on “Extract Files…” and extract the Apktool zip to your desktop.
Download and Install Notepad++
Download and install Paint.NET

Getting Started:

One of the first things you’re going to want to do, is take the framework-res.apk and the SystemUI.apk off your phone and put it on your computer. You can do this by various means such as a root file explorer and an sdcard.

For purposes of this guide, we are going to assume you’re editing the SystemUI.apk and the framework-res.apk because these are the 2 main files for making a theme for a ROM.

Now take whatever apks you are editing and move them to your PC.

Now let’s go back to the Apktool folder on your desktop. It should look like this:

apktool

And your folder directory should look like this;

folder directory

 

Now take the apks that you just took from your phone, and put them in the apktool folder like this:

added apks

 

Now go back to your desktop. Now we’re going to hold the “shift” key, and right click on the Apktool folder. On the menu that pops up, select “Open command window here” and you should see this:

 

commandprompt

 

Obviously, your path to Apktool will not be the same as mine, that’s irrelevant. (Note: Anything you type into the command prompt IS case sensitive! Make sure you type everything correctly, or just copy and paste the commands from here!)

In that command prompt window, type the following code:

apktool if framework-res.apk

What this code does, is install the framework-res.apk in case it’s needed to edit any other files (and it will be).

You will see a message in the command prompt that says installation of the framework was successful.

Now it’s time to decompile the SystemUI.apk for edits, for that you will use this command:

apktool d SystemUI.apk

What this command does is tell apktool to “d” or decompile, the SystemUI apk.

Your command prompt should now look like this:

 

Now go back to the Apktool folder on your desktop and you’ll notice there is now a folder in there named “SystemUI” this will be where you make your edits. A few tips: Most of the images you will edit will be in the /res/drawable-hdpi folder. DO NOT EDIT ANY XMLS OR IMAGES THAT END IN .9 THESE CAN CAUSE SERIOUS SYSTEM ISSUES! READ UP ON THEM BEFORE YOU START EDITING ANYTHING IN XML FILES OR .9 IMAGES. When editing images, make sure the image keeps the EXACT same file name. You cannot change the name of any icons, that will come later.

Ok so let’s say that you have now finished all of your image edits and you’re ready to see your own work! That’s the simple part (as long as you didn’t mess anything up lol).

So now after editing, go back to your command prompt window. If you don’t remember how to do it, hold down “shift” and right click on the Apktool folder, then select “Open command window here.”

If you closed the command prompt window earlier, you need to reinstall the framework-res.apk with “apktool if framework-res.apk”

Now in that same command window, type or copy/paste the following:

apktool b SystemUI

This command tells apktool to “b” or build what is in the SystemUI folder, DO NOT put “.apk” after SystemUI or you will get errors.

 

 

Now navigate to the apktool folder again and go the following directory /apktool/SystemUI/dist

Inside there is your newly built SystemUI.apk, however, you’re not going to use it lol. You’re only going to use parts of it.

Rename that new SystemUI.apk to something distinguishable, like “newSystemUI.apk.”

Now right click that new apk and hover over “7zip” and select the top option which is “Open Archive”

Now go back to the apktool folder and open the old SystemUI.apk the SAME WAY! Right click, hover over 7zip, select “Open Archive.”

The same kind of window will pop up.

Now here’s where things get a little tricky.

You’re going to need to put these 2 7zip windows side by side!!!

Now hold down “ctrl” and highlight the following items in the NEW apk window:

res folder

resources.arsc

Now drag and drop both of those items into the OLD apk window.

Close out all windows

Now take that OLD SystemUI.apk which has the new images in it, and place it back on your sdcard.

Use a Root File Explorer on your phone and move the SystemUI.apk to /system

Now press and hold on the file and select “Permissions”

Make sure the permissions look like this:

Now move that apk to /system/app (or priv-app, whichever folder you took it from earlier)

Now reboot

Your phone should boot backup normally and you will see the changes you made.

Now repeat this process for every apk you’re editing.

If your phone fails to boot, you messed something up, seriously you did lol.

A few more tips and notes:

SystemUI’s and framework-res.apk’s are NOT inter-changeable. You cannot take these files from other ROMs and place them in yours.
Again, DO NOT touch the XML files, or the 9 patch images (images that end in .9) until you have read up on them A LOT. There are tons of posts that talk about dealing with .9 images and XML edits.

If you have any questions, please post  comment and I will try my hardest to answer as many as I can. A little later I will write an article on making your own flashable zip file, to put your apks in that way you can flash your theme, instead of copy/paste.

NOW GET OUT THERE AND MAKE SOME THEMES!!!!!

 

Android Kanging

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Android Kanging

What is Android Kanging or to Kang a rom, theme, or mod? Lets start with a Android definition of Kanging: To have one’s developer code and work taken, manipulated, rebranded, and re-released by someone else with no credit given. In no way is this illegal or even stealing because android is open source and cant be sold. Open source is awesome :D. This practice of Kanging someones work is done quite often and is very much frowned upon by all in the Android Community. It is basically a slap in the face to the developer that originally created it. It steals the Glory and praise from the creator of the code and the coppier takes credit instead. I think many times the Kanger knows he is copping someones work but doesnt even remember or know whos it is and is just lazy or forgets to credit the right people. There is so much android code and awesomeness floating around the internet some new developers dont even know who to credit.

So really to avoid being a kanger it is simple.

1. Find out whos code you are using in your rom and credit the right person

On that note please go make the best and most amazing rom you can with as much cool code from anywhere you can find it. Us in the Android community love the work of all developers and making one awesome rom is the best.  But remember that Kanging has a bad connotation if not giving credit where credits due.

Examples:

If you have SuperSU in your rom you need to Credit Chainfire

If you have Superuser in your rom then Koush would be the guy.

really its pretty simple so lets give credit where credit is due.

Below is picture of Android Open Kang Project or AOKP which is a example of a Good Kang Rom. rhis rom takes lots of code and puts it all together to make one awesome rom but give credit to the right developers in doing it.

AOKP

CyanogenMod App Installer

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CyanogenMod App Installer

cmai1 cmai2

 CyanogenMod App Installer

CMAI is a App that you can download on to any phone / device and be able to install your favorite CyanogenMod apps right to the devices. This is a really nice option if you are stuck on a non rootable device and are really missing you CM apps like DSP manager and Torch plus many others. if you are interested in this cool app check out the XDA Thread HERE on it. Download link can be found on the XDA page. Warning some apps may not work on your device but can hurt to try it out and see for yourself.

RootJunky Out

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