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Basic generic questions for n00bs

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by DeadDude, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. DeadDude

    DeadDude Android Enthusiast
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    Forgive me if I am stepping on toes, am unknowingly reposting, posting to the wrong forum, etc.

    I'm a n00b to android terminology and best practices. As such, I've become friends with the search command. Problem is, most answers I find are for specific phones. I'm hoping this thread will accumulate the constants between all (or most) devices.

    My questions and answers are in no particular order as of now, but may be at a later date.



    What is root?

    Administrator God-Mode Access. No safety-net. You know better than your OEM and carrier, so you want root. If this doesn't sound like you... maybe you shouldn't root.



    What is unlocking?

    Unlocking could mean unlocking your bootloader. This is a needed first step to load a custom recovery.

    Unlocking could mean Carrier Unlock. Take AT&T phone over to Sprint.



    Why unlock the bootloader?

    This will be a long answer. Android runs on Linux. There are multiple partitions and the bootloader is the first one accessed. It directs the boot process. To my knowledge, it is basically analogous to the BIOS or more closely the new UEFI scheme on PCs.

    The bootloader is locked so no program can screw it up.

    Unlocking it will remove user data.



    What data is lost?

    Unlocking the bootloader, when it wipes the device it wipes all user data so its in its factory state (but with an unlocked bootloader)



    What are the different backup options available so I don't ruin my device? Explain what the heck is a Custom Recovery\Clockworkmod\TWRP\etc.

    Some devices come with a backup app from OEM. These apps only backup individual applications- NOT A SYSTEM BACKUP.

    A Custom Recovery will let you boot into an OS that allows you to undo most SNAFUs you encounter. It also allows you to make a 'ROM Image' backup (VITAL IF YOU TWEAK). This backup is exactly identical bit for bit to your original device. Without this, certain threads can be missed, causing all sorts of strange inconsistencies.

    Custom Recovery Explained:
    As mentioned before, your Android uses multiple partitions. One is analogous to the recovery partition on your PC. By default, the OEM recovery is apparently useless for us. It requires crypto keys and other difficult to traverse territory. So we load a Custom Recovery.

    Clockworkmod and TWRP are distributed Custom Recoveries. Individuals volunteer to make the edits on these base files so that they work on more devices. These Custom Recoveries help users not need a PC all the time to make tweaks and edits.


    What is flashing? Does it have anything to do with flashing a BIOS upgrade on the PC?

    Sort of. Flashing in this sense means altering data in any otherwise read-only location. You want to edit root type stuff? Someone else already did it? You got their zip file to flash? You can stay dumbish and still make your phone elite with a custom recovery and someone else's tweaks in flashable file format.

    Screw up your ROM? Boot into your Custom Recovery and flash back to stock (or any backup you made).
     

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  2. Thom

    Thom  
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    What device are you using. If you identify it we can move your thread to the forum dedicated to it.

    At the beginning of each forum there are a collection of Sticky: that contain many of the answers you are looking for. I suggest that you check them out in Android Lounge and the forum dedicated to your device.

    ... Thom
     
  3. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    That all looks fine to me :beer:
    Unlocking the bootloader, when it wipes the device it wipes all user data so its in its factory state (but with an unlocked bootloader)
    Flashing, im not sure of the actual definition but its the process of putting firmware into the /system of the phone so it could be a custom rom, custom kernel, radio firmware (modem) etc.
    That can be done using computer software or in custom recovery (cwm/twrp) on the phone :thumbup:
     
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  4. DeadDude

    DeadDude Android Enthusiast
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    That is why I put this HERE. To accumulate the consistencies. This specific info is intended to be nearly 100% cross-device. Specifically for people brand new with 0 knowledge on their phone.

    I.E.
    I just got a WippeeDoDa 9000. No one else does yet. And I've never had an android. But I'm want to be elite RIGHT NOW. :banghead:What do I need to know for the basics?:thinking:
    I couldn't wait and bricked it. :banghead:
    Now I got a POS #2. No one can be bothered with it. What is still applicable? :thinking:

    You see, most cut their teeth on obscure devices.
    Or... the device is too new for this type of basic knowledge to be easily picked up when you pidgeon-hole the info to only specific phone forums.

    I'm still pulling more info to expand this endeavor.

    Feel free to move this to any non-device specific forum you feel it should be in. :)
     
  5. Thom

    Thom  
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    Sorry I don't know what a "WippeeDoDa 9000" is.

    There was a second paragraph to my message that you quoted. There is a LOT of basic information in the Stickys. A LOT in those in Android Lounge and there are some basics in each device forum. A volunteer took the general advice for those and customized it for the specific device.

    A simple example is the term "SD Card". It has multiple definitions even within the same manufacturer. The meaning of a sentence the uses the term can be VERY misleading as a result.

    There are 600+ phone models out there and the words used to discuss each one of them is either slightly different or very different.

    ... Thom
     
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  6. dibblebill

    dibblebill Android Expert
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    I think WippeeDoDa 9000 is related to Thingamajig and Thingamabob branded Android phones.

    I certainly cut my teeth on off-brand carrier phones :D
     
  7. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    I cut mine on a
     
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  8. DeadDude

    DeadDude Android Enthusiast
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    Well I decided to do this because of my inability to drill through the multitude of search results quickly.

    And because now I've got your attention I can ensure the info is valid. :D

    I'm figuring out a lot more every hour. I'm a tech fiend with my first android... first new OS device in 6 years. I want to catch up RIGHT NOW. :p

    And I *need* this device, so I gotta be smart. Thank you ! :cool:
     
  9. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    Lol what other things do you need to know mate?
     
  10. DeadDude

    DeadDude Android Enthusiast
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    I think the rest of my questions may be device specific...

    Thom mentioned SD cards... I hadn't thought that would be too terribly specific...

    How about;

    I got 1 gig free and can't install a 30meg game.
    what's the deal with different storages in the android world? IPhone has a system partition that you can't touch and a user partition for everything else. How does the OS change with expandable storage? Any common misconceptions?

    What the hell is internal SD? External SD? If I rip apart my phone, is there another SD card inside I could upgrade??? Yes, I'm thinking of this. :thinking:
     
  11. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    There is the same kind of chip inside (flash memory) but its soldered in.
    "Sd Card" now refers to a partition of that internal storage chip. And External Sd refers to the one in the card slot.
    This varies on android versions/devices though which is what Thom meant :thumbup:
     
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  12. dibblebill

    dibblebill Android Expert
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    Which specific device do you have?

    Android 4.1.x and later have wierdness shunting an app to an external SD card (think of it like installing small programs on a PC to a flash drive), but can still do it. Typically they just use the same model you mentioned w/ iOS now. Older devices almost ALWAYS used external storage for apps and data.
     
  13. DeadDude

    DeadDude Android Enthusiast
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    What is dex and odex?

    ?deodexed? What?


    My actual device is Huawei Valiant (y301a1), MetroPCS.
     
  14. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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  15. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    An odex file is an optimized dex file, precompiled for easy loading into the Dalvik cache. Deodexed files are assembled at runtime and allow modifications to the contents. It's really something that themers are interested in since it's near impossible to theme odex files. Just think of it this way ... odex = more efficient, deodex = more flexible.
     
  16. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    Cool. Ive used android for a couple of years now and just learned something new :)
     
  17. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    There's a quiz on Friday. ;)
     
  18. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
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    are there cheatsheet?

    you can not take an unlocked phone from ATT to Sprint.. because they different wireless chips.

    GSM: ATT and Tmobile
    CDMA: Verizon and Sprint.
     
  19. Thom

    Thom  
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    The device-specific attempt I made for the Droid Bionic is at ... http://androidforums.com/motorola-droid-bionic/438060-bionic-reference-terms-links.html.

    Agreeing on what to call internal stored, SD cards, and SD-Ext cards was a real problem at that time. It is starting to smoothen out.

    ... Thom
     
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  20. DeadDude

    DeadDude Android Enthusiast
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    I'm got another question for you guys. Why does my music player program now see all my ringtones? How can I fix this? Thank you for all responses.

    What prompted the change was me trying to create a theme by hand.

    I have only had a similar problem one time in the past, and what I ended up doing was wiping out my SD card.
     
  21. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    I dont know what caused it mate but most music players have an option where you can choose what folders they "see".
    Have a look in the players settings :thumbup:
     
  22. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    There should be an empty file in your ringtones folder called ".nomedia" which will prevent the folder from being scanned. If it's not there, create one and stick it in the folder. Then reboot your phone.

    If it is there, then you might have a duplicate ringtone folder hanging around somewhere. Did you backup your ringtones recently?
     
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  23. DeadDude

    DeadDude Android Enthusiast
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    Check settings? Google music doesn't seem to have that option...
    Any suggestions for music app with options?


    While I didn't back them up, I did just remove some ringtone making apps.

    Thanks for the heads up about extra folders...

    .nomedia empty file? I might just put that in every folder to be safe... lol
     
  24. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)
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    Lunatic's advice is sound mate :)
    For (imo) the best music player with more settings than you can shake a stick at, try PowerAmp. i think theres still a free 14day trial but its well worth buying :beer:
     
  25. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    the .nomedia file is there to let Android know not to bother scanning the folder for media ..."nothing to see here, move along." ;) It won't do anything to the files and they will still be available in menus as ringtones and such, but they won't display in apps like the gallery or medial players. If you are not using the stock media player, maybe it's ignoring the file? :dontknow:
     
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