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OS version, updates, app markets, rooting/flashing ...

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Flammifer, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. Flammifer

    Flammifer Lurker
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    Hi,

    I'm considering buying an Android phone, is there anything I should pay attention to about the OS version, licensing, how upgrades work, etc.? Do different carriers "curb" functionality or access to the market, or delay updates? Do you have different access to app markets (or other ways of installing apps) depending on the phone?

    What kind of extra functionality do you get by rooting/flashing, and do some phones (like the Nexus One ... others?) have it out of the box? Can rooting/flashing be discouraged / blocked by certain carriers?

    Is there a small guide on this sort of stuff somewhere on the net? Wikipedia didn't say much, and I don't know if that's because there isn't much variation from phone to phone or just because it's incomplete.
     

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  2. D-U-R-X

    D-U-R-X turbo drinker
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    Welcome to the forums!

    I'd go for it... Android phones are, quite possibly, the best out there... depends which one you want.

    Carriers often, but not always, put branding on the phones, which can include demo games, carrier related apps, which you may not be able to remove without rooting.

    Please see this thread http://androidforums.com/desire-hd-all-things-root/349960-root-phone.html - although this is in the Desire HD forum, it has a great explination of root advantages (by Steve58) and should go some way to explaining it to you.

    I am not sure, as I am fairly new to Android myself!

    Rooting tends to void your warantee

    Each phone has it's own process for rooting, but as an example, see the following thread (for the Desire HD) http://androidforums.com/desire-hd-all-things-root/354749-how-root-install-custom-rom-desire-hd.html ... don't be put off... it's not as hard as it sounds! :D
     
  3. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    Most current phones come with Android 2.2 (FroYo) which is adequate for many people. The big advantages for that release was Flash support and much improved memory and task management. The current version 2.3 (Gingerbread) which included a lot of performance enhancements, but not that many new features. By 2012 the next version (Ice Cream Sandwich) is due out, but the updates for carrier supported phones generally make it to the phone 3 to 6 months from when Google releases it. If updates are important, then a Nexus phone might be for you since they get the updates directly from Google.

    Rooting gives you administrative access to the file system. Among other things, it permits the ability to take screen shots easily, full system backups and the ability to remove carrier's applications (aka bloatware). It also gives you the ability to serious mess up your phone if you delete something you shouldn't. Rooting theoretically voids the warranty, but if you think about it, warranties aren't necessary unless the phone breaks at which point they probably won't know if the phone was rooted or not. In any case, I've never heard of a warranty claim being denied because the phone was rooted. OTOH, if the indicator on the phone shows exposure to moisture, then that will immediately void the warranty.

    Rooting is done differently for each phone and Android version. Please check the section in the forum for that specific model/version. There are rooting subsections for each handset.
     
  4. janpetras

    janpetras Well-Known Member
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    1. All Android have access to the same apps, it's not about the phone, it's about the OS version. That being said, no matter what phone you have, you can always update it to the latest OS and all is solved.

    2. Carriers can curb functionality, for example make you pay for wireless tethering which should be free. However, rooting can remove.

    3. Rooting your phone voids your warranty but the good things is you can always unroot back and all is well. Same thing with flashing, you can always reflash your stock ROM back.

    4. Rooting can add functionality like the one mentioned above, lets you have access to special settings of the phone and special info. Lets you take screenshots of your phone or overclock your CPU. Let's you have access to all system files (to remove bloatware for example and improve performance) and many many more.

    5. Flashing your phone is totally recommended. Why? Well, I have an Optimus One P500 which is the cheapest Android out there. Before flashing a custom ROM I did a benchmark with an app called "neocore" which gave me a score of 972, that placed me almost at the bottom of the chart. After flashing a custom 2.3.4 Gingerbread ROM I did the same benchmark again and the score was 1578, which meant I was just above a Nexus One which is a phone 3-4 times more expensive that mine. My Optimus One was of course overclocked to 787 MHz from 600 MHz.

    But flashing also gave me a nicer interface, bigger performance, more functionality to the OS (a lot more), a new kernel (which has a better CPU governor that can handle the job better, thus improving battery life).

    And when I say improving battery life I mean my phone had a 28 hour idle-mode battery life and after flashing this custom ROM it jumped to over 600 (600!!!!) hours of idle mode.
    If you don't believe me see this screenshot: http://goo.gl/nnoev

    As you can see in that photo, for the first 6 hours my battery decreased only 1% (that means less than 0.20% / hour), the last part (where you see it go down more abruptly) is when I turned the phone on to install a screenshot grabber and take the screenshot.

    You can also see how is this possible: this ROM keeps the phone sleeping when screen is not on (see at the bottom of the screenshot, they are identical).

    In a stock ROM you would see the "AWAKE" being active even when the screen was off.

    So yes, flashing your phone is totally worth it. My phone now holds a charge for over 3 days of normal use, and it does that by also having a performance boost and an overclocked CPU.
     

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