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Mr. Green Gaming

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Hi all, I've noticed from the nicknames used on the irc that quite a few people now have android phones, so I thought that it could be useful for us all if there was a topic about android where people could post about useful apps or games theyve found about about. Or just to ask for tips and or help with their phone!

I'll also explain here about android, the versions of it etc.

So!

What the heck is Android?

Android is a smartphone operating system made by Google (Your lords of the internet). It's the most widely used OS for smartphones in Europe at least. Major versions of Android are prefixed with, 1.0, 1.1, 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.0 and the upcoming one is rumoured to be 4.0. Something else that Google do with these major releases is to give the code names for them the name of a sweet food, sadly we dont know what they are for 1.0 & 1.1, but:

1.5 is Cupcake

1.6 is Donut

2.0 & 2.1 are called Eclair

2.2 is Froyo

2.3 is Gingerbread

3.0 is Honeycomb (But 3.0.x is for Tablets only)

4.0 is Ice Cream Sandwich (Combination of Tablet & Smartphone)

As you can see the names for the versions are alphabetical, so the one after ICS will be J so that could be Jellybean or Jam, or something.

Currently the most recent versions of Android released are 2.3.7 for Gingerbread, 4.0.3 for ICS and 3.2 for Honeycomb.

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Rooting, what's so good about it?

Now I've been asked by quite a few people about rooting, so I thought this should get its own post since it can be slightly complex to explain. I normally just give some links to people who ask but I felt that it should be covered here.

This post addresses the pros and cons of rooting. I do not advocate for the rooting or flashing of custom ROMs in any sense. Instead, I am providing this information for people to make somewhat educated decisions from information readily accessible in this community and others.

PROS

To begin, "rooting" gives you full access to system files and more control over your phone. For instance, you can add custom themes, change your recovery image, alter your bootloader, alter the "toolboxes" so the Linux system operates more efficiently, and add Linux Binaries.

After you root you will be able to put special apps on your phone such as Super User which allows certain apps to access root privileges. Once you have Super User, you can install and use other apps to control the start ups of other apps, limit the running of certain memory draining apps to increase battery life and responsiveness, and install either wired tethering or wifi tethering. Also, finally, you can download an app that reboots your phone for you.

Another great tool through rooting is you can backup your files and ROM onto your SD card.

Also, through rooting you have the opportunity to dramatically change the look and feel of your phone. As mentioned above you can install customized themes onto your phone. Another great advantage is you can install custom made ROMs, kernels, and other files to enhance the way your phone works, looks, and feels.

CONS

Before doing any rooting, flashing of custom ROMs, radios, etc, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS make sure that they are compatible with your phone. Otherwise you WILL end up with a brick. And before attempting flashing of any ROM, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS perform a backup with ROM Manager or any other method your prefer. As a quick and final note, NEVER PULL THE DAMN BATTERY WHEN FLASHING ANYTHING!! IT WILL BRICK YOUR PHONE!

There are a few cons to rooting. Should you decide to do a "full root", meaning unlocking system so you can flash custom ROMs, your warranty will most likely be voided with both your cell carrier and phone manufacturer. This is perhaps the number one reason why you should not root. It is important to remember that almost everything is recoverable and fixable so long as you follow all directions listed by the developers of the ROM or root method.

But, thanks to a significant increase in "one click root" methods, the issues incurred during root have dropped significantly. However, remember the admonitions given at the beginning of this section, make sure your phone and software version is supported before doing anything.

Another con is that rooting your phone does not guarantee an enjoyable experience. Meaning, you do not need to root your phone to continue to be miserable or to love your phone even more. The bottom line is that you may root and realize you hate it.

A big con is you cannot accept OTA (Over the Air) updates pushed to your phone from your cell carrier. If you accept the OTA update, you will lose root. In order to maintain root, you need to wait until the rooted OTA is available then flash it. However, it is possible to maintain root while flashing an OTA. It all depends on your device and cell provider.

Still Undecided?

Think it over. If you actually read this entire post and still have questions whether or not to do it -- ask.

How To Root?

Disclaimer: if you follow one of the root methods below, you do so under your own volition. You also understand that if the "one click root" method, or the long root method doesn't work, voids your warranty, ruins your phone, or in any way adversely effects you, it is your own damn fault and no one else's. If you do not agree to accept fault for any adverse effect from rooting, do not read further.

Before we get to the links, let's go over some vocabulary.

Root: Refers to the root directory on your phone. When you "root" your phone, you get a myriad of privileges through the operating system to screw around with the root directory. Rooting your phone does not give you a new operating system, and it does not change the actual look or feel of your phone. To change the look or feel of your phone, you will need to flash a custom ROM or apps that require root permissions. Rooting your phone will only result in the ability to do these things.

Superuser: An app that is injected on your Android system (usually). The app controls which programs are allowed to use root privileges. Without the Superuser app, root apps are basically useless.

Nandroid: A tool that allows you to make system backups

ADB: Android Debug Bridge is a tool that lets you control your phone through the use of text commands

Superuser: An app that is injected on your Android system (usually). The app controls which programs are allowed to use root privileges

Clockworkmod or Amon: A custom recovery tool

As always, XDA Developers is the best place to go when it comes to anything root. Below is a link to the relevant threads on XDA or to the unrevoked website.

Warning: Rooting voids warranties on the phone from both the carrier and the manufacturer.

If you don't know WTF you are doing and you want to-or have to-use the ADB method of rooting, just follow all of the directions to the letter. If you mess up and brick your phone, it doesn't matter how good of insurance you have with your cell provider, they won't fix it.

Should you brick your phone do not freak out. If you brick, do this 1) post in the thread where you found the root method posted, or 2) on a "tech" forum such as XDA under their questions and answers section. Worst case scenario, google it. There are ways of unbricking, but it does take time and patience.

I do not endorse any specific program or method will work. This information is readily available and this is just a portal to that information. Once again, your warranties will be voided, you may screw up your phone, and there may also be other adverse effects. If you do not want to risk it, stop now.

tl;dr: READ AND FOLLOW ALL DIRECTIONS UNLESS YOU WANT AN EXPENSIVE PAPERWEIGHT!

Note that I am going to link to programs that are "one click" because you have less of a chance of messing it up. However, there aren't one click methods yet available (that I can find, so if someone else finds them let me know and I'll update this) for certain devices. So you'll have to go old school with the ADB. It is important you know what version of Android you have and whether the root method will work.

And there you have it. Make sure you read all of the information, follow all directions, and are willing to sacrifice with your precious warranty--and if you really screw up, your phone.

Once you are through rooting, check out this this.

If you see I am missing a phone or think a root guide or "one click" app should be added, send me a message or reply to this posting. Also, I am not an expert on this stuff and this thread is intended for non-Android experts to get a basic understanding. With that said, I am going to continually update this thread as root methods and devices trickle out. Message me or reply to this thread if you want a device or method added.

So. You've rooted, now what?

Well you rooted, awesome. Now you can download some cool apps, delete bloatware, and flash custom ROMs.

Apps

So what apps should you get? Try one of these:

There are tons of other apps too. But these are commonly the most recommended. Let me google some for you. Also, check out AppBrain and do some searching there if you haven't already.

Custom ROMs

If you want to flash to a custom ROM, go to XDA, register and locate your phone's forum. Make sure you read -everything- about how to flash a custom ROM. Follow all steps exactly.

ROMs are a very personal thing because they change the way your phone looks and "feels". Of course, CM7 is one of the most well known ROMs.

Search around XDA's development forums to find one that you think you may like. Below is a non-exhaustive phone list for XDA. If your phone isn't listed below and it appears on XDA, let me know and I'll add it to the list. And please, obey all rules of the XDA forums, including searching before posting, and posting in the correct section!

Root Tips/Tricks Here are some other tips/tricks from Reddit /r/Android Members

From logical-conclusion

  • always do a nandroid backup before installing any rom or mod.
  • shoot me - set it to 'shout' then blow into the mic. (nintendo anyone?)
  • IME adblockers have slowed down phones.
  • Some roms cause problems if you don't wipe data and cache first.

From I-Invented-Warm-Snow

  • Titanium Backup has an option to "freeze" the app. It'll disable it completely without removing it. I use it on my Droid X to disable all of the crapware while still keeping the binaries since firmware updates check for them.

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Okay so now that thats all covered, lets talk about apps & games, this is where you can all post what you've found and might want to recommend to people.

I'll dump some now.

Apps:

AndroIRC

  • Free (Supposedly has ads, never see any)
  • Supports multiple IRC servers
  • Quite lightweight on memory.

Baconreader (QR code is there when you follow the link)
  • Free (While its in development anyway, unsure about release)
  • Large update came out for it a few days ago
  • Very good Reddit app

Barcode Scanner

  • Free
  • Can scan QR codes as well as barcodes.
  • If Google Shopper is also installed it can find the item on there.

Dropbox
  • Free
  • Syncs with your account easily
  • Can upload pictures taken to Dropbox account
  • Account is needed

ES File Explorer

  • Free
  • If phone is rooted it can go through the system files
  • Can also support FTP/LAN/Bluetooth/Internet file transfers

Friendcaster
  • Free (But with ads)
  • Decent alternative if not better than the official Facebook app.

Google Goggles

  • Free
  • Searches for objects using the camera.
  • Amazing awesome at solving Sudoku puzzles.

Launcher Pro
  • Free (But lacks features found in the paid version)
  • Great alternative launcher to HTC Sense, Samsung TouchWiz, Motorola Motoblur etc.
  • Closest launcher to Android's stock one.

Root Explorer

  • Gotta pay for this (£2.40)
  • However, very good at doing functions within system files

Skype
  • Free
  • Actually not as bloated as the desktop version

SMS Backup+

  • Free
  • Saves messages to your gmail account
  • Can restore messages to phone if the phone is wiped, or you have a new phone.

Speed Test
  • Free
  • Probably slightly quicker to use than website
  • Convenient way of knowing how shitty your Mobile Network's data speeds are.

TeamViewer

  • Free
  • Now actually on the market
  • Good way of checking up on your PC from out and about.
  • Requires the client/app on the PC & Phone

UberMusic
  • £2.16
  • Awesome music player
  • It can be skinned (just search for "ubermusic skin" in the market)

WhatsApp

  • Free for 1 year, $1.99 a year thereafter.
  • Good way of chatting to people who live in other countries
  • Also good if you run out of texts, as this can function over wifi.
  • But only good if you know people who use it.

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More apps:

Aptoide:

- free

- comparable with markets

- works with repositories

Stumbleupon

- free

- based on the site

- option to look for comparable android apps

Blackmart alpha

- free

- android market but without needing creditcard (illegally)

- looks for updates to

Adownloader

- paid (use black mart/aptoide)

- torrent downloader on android

- works well in background

Droid task killer

- paid but has a free version with ads

- kills tasks you want

- simple and effective

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  • Greens

Tl,dr , it's useful though.As I own a 'droid I take advantage of this topic to axe you a question, my HTC Desire sometimes crashes for no reason, sometimes because a game is a little bit too strong for it (then it overheats), sometimes randomly when I go on the market or browse my photos, and sometimes when I'm turning it off (it writes the usual message but instead of shutting off it reboots).

When it crashes it reboots, blocks on the HTC screen, sometimes vibrates 5-6 times and that's all. I'm obliged to take off the battery to turn it off.

I've removed some apps, checked all the process tasks, moved my games on my sd card but it still crashes at times :(

Do I have to "restore" the system or call HTC/Orange ?

I like my phone, I never had any problems with it, only for a month or so :/

Thanks in advance.

Some games :

Tiger GBC (free and very good gbc emulator).

Angry Birds (free, take that i-thing owners).

Alchemist (you create elements by mixing basic ones).

Edited by Chikennugget1
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More apps coming.

Titanium Backup

  • Free without any ads.
  • Lets you easily backup all your information stored on your phone including apps, useful if you often play around with different roms.
  • Requires root.

Lookout Security

  • Free without any ads lacks some pro features though but you can try pro for one month for free.
  • A must have security apps which makes sure you don't get any bad code installed on your phone and if you loos your phone you can locate it, lock it, backup data to their servers and wipe the whole phone.
  • Requires you to make an account at their site before you can use all the features.

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Chiken, I'm not entirely sure whats up with yours, did it get any updates from HTC/Orange (Not market apps updates) recently? I also take it you haven't rooted or installed a custom rom.

And also with the vibrating thing, it sounds similar to a problem Clavus has with his Desire as well.

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  • Greens

Chiken, I'm not entirely sure whats up with yours, did it get any updates from HTC/Orange (Not market apps updates) recently? I also take it you haven't rooted or installed a custom rom.

And also with the vibrating thing, it sounds similar to a problem Clavus has with his Desire as well.

Nope, I haven't received any system update (I'm still on 2.2 since 2.3 hasn't and won't be released for Desires :( ).

Today I've downloaded Android Assistant to check all my phone's informations (CPU % used, memory blabla...) but it seemed ok, and when I tried to turn my phone off it crashed just before it was done, and it rebooted so I've taken off the battery again.

Edited by Chikennugget1
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Hm, you may have to do a factory restore on it Chiken, if you dont want to lose your apps, make a note of the ones youve installed already.

To do a factory restore:

  • From the Home screen, press MENU and then tap Settings.
  • Scroll down the screen and then tap Privacy > Factory data reset.
  • On the Factory data reset screen, tap Reset phone, and then tap Erase everything.

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I think the AppBrain market app can backup a list of all apps you've got installed, so if you are not rooted you can easily re-install your apps.

Chiken, check this out:

AppBrain Market

Make the Android market usable, and find your next favorite app, live wallpaper or widget:

- App recommendations

- New and hot apps of the day

- Find top Android apps with a price drop

- Share your best apps (eg twitter/facebook)

- Browse "my apps" on www.appbrain.com and install apps with a sync instead of barcode scanner

- Keep your list of installed apps as a backup on AppBrain.com

Edited by BouweV
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Is there a way to set the background to not over everyscreen. I want the same background on all my screens and not stretched out. (because it now misses a part)

And you don't think it will be handy to tell what device you're on?

And yes, it is possible. At least it is on the SGSII

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