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.

Dum_Dums_Lollipops

 

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.

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

Sony Firmware Restore

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Sony Firmware Restore

Today we will be talking about using FlashTool-0.9.18.4 to restore your Sony android device to stock firmware also to unbrick your device if needed.

Flashing Firmware with Flash Tool Requirements

1. Sony phone or tablet

2. USB cable to connect device to your computer

3. Sony Drivers downloaded and installed

4. Download FlashTool-0.9.18.4 and install

5. Some time. I would plan on 1 hour depending on your internet speeds of course.

Instructions

1. Open FlashTool-0.9.18.4

Flashtool start

2. click on devices then check updates scoll through the options and pick your device family

pick device

3. look thought this next list for your model. If you right click on branding you can check release and it will show you the version

model 2

4. once you have the version you want then click that file and it will download

downloading firmware

5. After downloading and extract the firmware along with some decryption you will see this page

extracted firmware

6. select all files and click arrow moving them all to the other side like the picture below then click create. once the FTF restore file is created you can flash it.

create firmware button

7. click flash button on the tool that looks like a Lightning bolt. then choose Flashmode. pick your newly pulled firmware from the list and click the flash button.

flash firmware

8. the flash tool will tell you to unplug your device and plug it back in while you are holding the volume down button. keep holding volume down until the flash starts. once 100% the device will reboot it self or you can unplug and manually boot it back up and you will be restored and unbricked. NOTE: if you dont want to wipe out your apps and data uncheck the wipe section boxs.

 

Will add to this post as i learn more.

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.

 

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

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

see picture
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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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LG G Watch Super Tool

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LG G Watch Super Tool

Hi Guy this is RootJunky again with a nice little tool i made up to help you out with your LG G watches
here are some pictures
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Things this tool can do
List
Install the drivers needed and test them.
Unlock bootloader
Relock bootloader
Flash stock recovery
Flash stock boot image (note if you flashed rootboot.img instead of booting it. this will fix your device)
Restore the device if bricked. (or if you just want stock back)
Root the G watch
Flash TWRP Recovery to the G Watch
Install a Reboot to Recovery App

Lastest Version V9.3
That is it and here is a Link
DOWNLOAD HERE

VIDEO
How to use this tool video

Change Log

VERSION 4
based on wear version KMV78V
Added linux and mac support
VERSION 5
Updated TWRP recovery which fixed the offset screen in twrp
VERSION 5.1
Hopefully fixed the ota update problem please let me know thanks
VERSION 6
All restore files based on new OTA update KMV78Y
removed linux and mac tool until i can fix it
ota update failure fix with version 5.1 and should be good from now on. sorry about that
VERSION 6.1
Added Linux and Mac back into the tool
VERSION 7
Updated to KGW42Q
updated newest TWRP recovery 2.8.0.0
VERSION 8
Updated to KNX01Q 4.4W.2
VERSION 9
Updated to LWX48P Android 5.0.1
Updated to New TWRP Recovery
Root option doesnt work at this time but if using the restore feature it is pre rooted. you can even use it to root then just dont wipe data at the end.
VERSION 9.1
Added Linux and mac script back into the mix
VERSION 9.3
Added Root for Lollipop.

Thanks and Enjoy
LINK TO MY VIDEO THREAD ON THE LG G WATCH
Hopefully More To Come
Please Let me Know if there are any errors. Note (Now Works with Mac, Windows, and Linux Thanks to John Hale)
NOTE dont forget to chmod +x the .sh file for mac and linux. I dont run mac and linux myself so testing the tool is difficult for me.
RootJunky Out

Thanks to
Chain fire for Root
Dees Troy for TWRP
Matt groff for Teaching me Batch Scripts

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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