Archive for the ‘Root’ Category

Good old Pete is back, and as promised, delivered the long-awaited Bugless Beast .5 ROM for any Droid 1 owners to consume.

This thing is packed full of all kinds of features most of us wouldn’t think of even wanting but will be glad to have.  A few important updates are:

  • Automatic app install after wiping data and cache
  • Apps installed to data instead of system for easy uninstallation
  • Includes 3 of his paid market apps:  sound recorder, video camera, testing menu

There’s obviously a ton more going on in this thing than those three options.  For a full writeup on the release head on over to Pete’s site here.  And for his actual changelog, check here.

Please note beforehand, you HAVE to wipe data and cache to install this since it’s basically built from source.  No questions asked on this one, BUT if you pay attention to the first highlight, this ROM will automatically search known locations for previously installed apps and then proceed to automatically re-install them.  So ultimately you’ll be losing your programs settings but the ROM should reinstall the apps you had for you.

With that, this all occurs after the first reboot once the ROM is successfully installed.  You HAVE TO let it do its thing at this point, and not think it locked up or pull the battery.  If you do, you’ll have to re-flash the ROM again.  It’s not only installing your previous apps, but also installing the system apps to your data folder so they can be easily uninstalled if you so desire, as mentioned above.

This is already up in Rom Manager, so go on and grab it now!

Also note this should stop any users from seeing the popup to update their phone to the latest Froyo build as this is built from the current FRG22D build.

Enjoy!

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Ok, So I’m Rooted. Now What?

Posted: September 14, 2010 in Root
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So you decided that rooting was the path you wanted to take with your phone.  (If you’re still undecided about rooting check out part one of this mini-series, To Root or Not to Root.)  Excellent choice!  Now there’s a whole new world opened up to you with your phone, and so much more you can do to customize, safeguard, upgrade, and just have full control of your device!

There’s really three main categories when it comes to the things you can do with a rooted phone, but trust me they are broad once you start digging into each one.

Rooted Apps
Custom Roms/Leaked Upgrades
Custom Themes

So let’s tackle these one at a time.  Please note I’m going to keep it somewhat simple just to get the idea behind each of these with a few examples, but I’m not going to go into any specifics on how to necessarily load or use anything mentioned in this post.  There will be numerous walk-through’s and how-to’s coming to explain those things in much more detail.

Rooted Apps

The first and easiest thing to start doing right after rooting your phone is to start using some apps that require root access.  A few that come to mind are:

WiFi Tether for Root Users – Free internet tethering for any device that can connect through wifi, without having to pay the monthly fee through Verizon to you their 3g Mobile Hotspot app

DroCap2 – Lets you take a screenshot of your phone’s screen and saves it as a picture file on your SDCard.

Titanium Backup – Lets you backup individual or all of your phones apps along with any related data, allowing you to full restore them to the same exact state if you even needed to recover it down the road.  This is very useful in-case anything would happen that you would need to reset your phone.  It keeps you from having to re-download and setup all of your applications.

SetCPU – Lets you set the speed of the phones processor.  This is where you’ll hear the term overclocking and underclocking used.  Overclocking is setting your processor to faster than what it was shipped with.  Underclocking is for setting it slower than what it was shipped with.

Those are just a few examples of the programs you can find and use once rooted.  To be fair you can find these even when you’re not rooted, and even install them, they just won’t function as they should (or at all really) if you’re not rooted.  It’s as simple as going to the market and downloading and installing any apps you find for rooted phones and you’ll be good to go with them.

Custom Roms/Leaked Upgrades

I combined these into one category because they are basically the same thing when it comes down to it.I’m sure if you have an Android of have been looking at them, at some point you’ve heard someone mention Froyo.  The newest official version of Android from Google.  With that you may have seen some sites saying you could download a leaked copy of Froyo, or the latest updates even before they were made official for your phone through your carrier (hence it’s a leaked copy.) These are (usually) the real deal, and you’ll come to learn a certain following of people you can trust to release these in a somewhat routine manner as they become available.  Most the time it comes as a .ZIP file download that you just copy to your phone and run with a few special button or key presses on your phone. It’s usually a very easy and painless process to install an official leaked update.

Custom Roms on the other hand are far from “official” but at the same time are very valuable to have for any power-user (or regular user for that matter.)  A custom rom is when someone (or a team of people) take the most current official build, and then hack and modify to run smoother, faster, and more stable on your device.  With that, there’s a lot of development that needs to go into these, especially if they’re built from scratch, so there’s a few floating around with some bugs in them, but for the most part there’s a ton of quality roms out there each with their own specializations and tweaks.  Some of the major ones you’ll see are the Cyanogen and BuglessBeast roms.  These actually require less work than a leaked update to install because there is a program called Rom Manager that lets you search for and download custom roms specifically for your phone.  It does the whole process for you.

So basically either of these options will put a new or tweaked out version of Android on your phone.  It would be like going from Windows XP to Windows 7 on your computer.  Or going from Windows XP to a completely streamlined version of Windows XP tailored to fit your needs.  There’s plenty to choose from that there’s bound to be one that is “right” for you. Again we’ll have more specific posts highlighting specific roms and exactly how to install them.

Custom Themes –

These can be a little bit more tricky, but they give you the most customization.  Just like a theme for a Windows PC, a theme for your phone will drastically change the look of your phone but won’t affect the system or how it runs.

A theme can be as simply as changing the notification bar to black, or putting a custom border on any widget, or changing the default system font.  There are full themes however that do all of that in one and then some.  Some go as far as to make their own widgets to fit in with their theme better.  To top that off, a lot of custom roms will have themes specifically for that rom that can be loaded to make it look different while using the under the hood tune up from the custom rom.

Luckily in all of that confusion, these as well can be found in Rom Manager.  I will point out however on some of the newer phones (Droid X, Droid 2, Samsung Galaxy S phones) you’ll find a pretty limited number of options in Rom Manager for roms or themes combined as they’re still new.  Over time you can expect a lot more content to be added for those devices.  You can however find exponentially more content out on the web at various forums between alldroid.org, mydroidworld.com, droidforums.net, droidxforums.com and the forums at droid-life.com.  These’s way too much to even try to list here or anywhere, but we’ll slowly bring you highlights of some of the best along the way.

Lastly, one minor category that isn’t as popular yet is editing config files, specifically ones such as build.prop which controls A LOT of the little features and settings on your phone. Please PLEASE do not touch this file if you don’t know what you’re doing, and more importantly make sure you have a backup of it.  You can’t just get a copy from another phone on this file as it has unique identifiers specific to your phone inside.  So again these files hold the key to all the details of controlling things on your system, like wi-fi time-out settings, the time it takes to put the screen to sleep when put up against your ear on a call, or come to life when pulled away, etc.  But again, this is getting into very risky territory and can cause a lot of late nights and headaches (Sound like I’m speaking from experience? Well I am.)

So I hope that helps clarify the possibilities of what you can do after you would root your phone.  I know there were a lot of teasers in here if you’re ready to take the plunge, but stay tuned and we’ll be getting all the guides up this week with the how-to’s on rooting and where to find and how to install the latest custom roms, themes, and updates for your phones!

Enjoy!

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To Root, or Not to Root? (Updated)

Posted: September 14, 2010 in Root
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One of the questions I get asked most often is “Should I root my phone” followed by “What can I do differently with it after I root?”  This post aims to answer the first question for all of you by focusing on simply rooting. (The second, and more sought after question will be answered in its own post shortly after this one)  What I mean by that is this post won’t be talking about custom roms, or editing config files or any of those things.  We’re here to clear up what rooting really is and does on your phone so you can be more informed in choosing whether or not it’s something you want to try with your device.

If you’re already lost, fear not, this is a very simple concept to grasp.

When someone says they have a rooted Android phone or they are going to root their phone, they’re simply saying they’re going to allow complete and unrestricted access to all the files on the phone.  Even the ones Google and the devices carrier don’t want you to touch.  When I say they’re going to allow this access, I don’t mean that anyone that writes a program or touches your phone will have complete access to everything on it (or more importantly know what to do with that access) but it places something on your phone that in turn does have complete and total access to every last file and folder on your phone.  That’s called the Superuser app (pictured above.)

For anyone on a PC that has used Windows Vista, or Windows 7, you should be familiar with a dialog that pops up on your screen at times asking “Are you sure you want to allow this program to run?”  When you click yes at that point, you’re essentially allowing that program on your PC to open, look at, edit, and modify any files it sees fit to properly run.  Of course you don’t have to do anything more than simply click the “Yes” button and it grants access behind the scenes.

Rooting a phone has a similar effect.  And I emphasize similar.  Unlike Windows Vista you won’t be prompted to allow access to something every single time you tap any button on your screen, but you will see the screen pictured above the first time you try to use a program that requires root access.  As you can see from the picture you have the option to click “Remember” so you won’t have to keep allowing it access again in the future, which makes this a very simple and easy feature to work with.

The plus side to this, is since it does pop up initially and ask you if you want to allow access, you can still control what has full system access to your phone even after rooted.  So basically if the screen above popped up randomly without you initiating anything, then you more than likely would want to deny it access.

So ultimately again, to recap so far, rooting simple opens the gates to all the possibilities on your phone, however I must stress that simply rooting your phone in itself does not make your phone magically start to do something, or automatically have the latest version of Android, or that cool custom rom or theme you saw someone post on a forum.  What it does do is give you the option of now being able to do any of those things.  They would all each then require their own set of instructions, files or whatever the case may be, but they would all be possible now.

So again, one last time, rooting gives you full system access to your phone, which in turn gives you the option to use apps that require root, load custom roms and themes, or edit configuration files that would normally be locked out, but it does not change or do any of those things on its own simply by rooting the phone.

So we’ll end this post here, and keep it focused just on rooting as promised.  I’ll be getting ready to put up a post digging deeper into all the things you can do if and when you would decide to root your phone, as well as getting revamped guides up for all the phones we’re currently tracking, as a lot of them either have once click apps or are a few simple steps at this point and you can be rooted.

UPDATE: I forget to mention one of the most important parts dealing with rooting that is one of the biggest deciding factors in going through with it or not.  Rooting your phone WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY, so make sure you’re comfortable with that before doing this.  With that said, if something did happen on you phone, you do have ways to restore it to how it was when you first took it out of the box, however this is not a fun process to go through.  So please make sure you’re very comfortable with all the steps and procedures involved in rooting and recovering your phone if you decide to root your device!

Stay tuned for more!

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First Roms For Droid2 Surface!

Posted: September 7, 2010 in Droid 2, Root
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We had two roms for the newly released Droid 2 pop up over the weekend.  Basically these will clean up your Droid 2 and either remove bloatware and add performance while leaving the Motorola overlay, or there is one to go to a (pretty much) vanilla Android experience on your phone.

Please note: For both of these you need to be running Koush’s Droid 2 Bootstrap app to get into ClockworkMod recovery properly. Also make sure to read and follow ALL the instructions for either rom before attempting to install them.  As always you do this at your own risk!

First up is EPIC ROM, from Matt 4542, the same developer behind the Droid 1’s EPIC rom.  This one will leave the Motorola overlay with the three large buttons at the bottom, but it will remove a lot of the bloatware, as well as clean up some under-the-hood aspects of the phone. It has also been fully deodexed and comes loaded with custom scripts.

If you want to give Epic a try check it out over on the droid-life forums, here.

(The gray bar up top was a glitch in the screenshot, it does not appear on the phone)

Next up is one you will know the name of, if you frequent droidXstatic, which is Tranquility.  Yup, P3droid has brought his newly released rom for the Droid X to the Droid 2.  This will give you a (pretty much) vanilla Android experience on your Droid 2.  So basically if you came from a Droid 1, this is what you’d be familiar with.  Please note on this rom, it comes with the stock 2.2 launcher as well as ADW launcher. They have noted the phone application doesn’t function properly in the 2.2 launcher so I would stick with ADW until they figure it out. (Or you can also always download launcher pro if that’s more your taste.)

If you want to get some Tranquility on your Droid 2, then head on over to the My Droid World forums, here.

Enjoy!

Source: Droid Life / My Droid World

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Tranquility Rom Is Here! (Updated)

Posted: September 2, 2010 in Droid X, Root
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P3Droid is rolling out a “vanilla” 2.2 rom for the Droid X right now to some testers.  If all goes well he plans on releasing this to everyone tonight!

This should be a pretty basic build getting rid of all things MotoBlur and leaving you a clean running phone.  Hence the name Tranquility.

We’ll be sure to update you as soon as this is available, but take note on a few things beforehand:

1. This is for Rooted users only!

2. You must be running the leaked version of Froyo for the X. System version 2.3.9  (Not Android version which will be 2.2)

3. You must be using Koush’s Bootstrapper for ClockworkMod recovery.

We’ll let you know when it’s released! Check back soon!

Update: P3Droid said final testing is done and he’s uploading.  Should be available in about ten minutes!  This will need to be installed via the recovery menu in ClockworkMod by choosing install SDcard .zip

Update 2: It’s here! Go ahead and grab it now! http://bit.ly/bVZaag Make SURE to follow the instrucions in the post from P3Droid on their! (Don’t say we didn’t warn you if you don’t!)

Source: P3Droid

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First Custom Rom Hits Droid X!

Posted: August 31, 2010 in Droid X, Root
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Birdman delivered yesterday as promised with the first custom rom for the DroidX, titled FlyX.  This rom is in RC status meaning there WILL BE BUGS.  So far a known issue is the physical search key not functioning properly, however most people are not having many issues with it for being a release candidate.

A couple of notes before taking the plunge on this.

  1. You MUST be rooted to do this
  2. You MUST be running the leaked 2.2 version that is in the wild (or you can get it from us here)
  3. You have to install the Droid X Custom Bootstrap app, available from the market for $2.00
  4. You must have Rom Manager installed, available from the market for free, or a premium version for $3.99
  5. By doing this your forfeit your chance to receive the official OTA Froyo update from Verizon and Motorola

With all that said, you could always roll back to the stock 2.1 on your phone and then get the OTA update that way. We have a guide for that as well, here.

Please note, if you’ve already installed the 2.2 leak, you’re good there.  If you already had the Bootstrap app installed, especially if you downloaded it from Koush’s website, and you get an error reading your SD card when you boot into recovery, go to the market and download the updated Bootstrap app, it resolved the issue for most users.

So with all the warnings and heads up out of the way, if you’re ready to dive in and install this Rom, here you go!

(more…)

Apparently Koush’s Droid X Bootstrapper was a sure fit to work on the Droid 2 as well.  (Is anyone really surprised with how similar the hardware and software is between the two?) And with that Koush has tweaked it slightly and released a straight Droid 2 Bootstrapper app.

You can get it off his site, or in the market for 2 bucks.  I would suggest the market app as there have been updates I missed out on and caused me issues with Rom Manager using this on my Droid X.   So buy the guy a beer for his hard work, and get ready for some custom rom’s to be headed your way!

Note: You MUST be rooted to use this!

Simply download the app.  Install it.  Open it.  Tap Load Bootstrapper, grant SU permissions, and it will say done!

If you want to, at that point you can tap boot into recovery to see that it works, and make a nandroid backup of your device, however the real fun will come when someone start’s to develop some custom roms for the device.

Enjoy!

Source: Koushikdutta.com

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