This post is for all nerdy Android users who always make a lot of questions how to properly use their device. We all know that being an open source OS, Android let us make changes till in the heart of the system.
Have you been installing ROMs, Kernels, Mod and so on? If the answer is yes, save yourself time and don’t go further because probably you know the answer of all the question and much more. This post is made for those who are new in the Android world and wanna learn more about it. Have you purchased your first Android or you have been using one for a while but only for internet, calling, sms and other basic feature?
Then this article is for you! You are missing the best part about Android if you haven’t heard about the concepts we are going to talk below. So keep reading!
People ask, always do. So we have found the most asked question from Android users, or at least what we think is important for you to know if you are new into the world of Android. After reading this post you will have a bit more information and if you wanna learn more make some searches by yourself.
We are going to cover only the terms and few other things just to give you an overview about Android. In the end of the post you will have a bit more info than you know now and if you would like to go further there are plenty of useful guides online. You can find in-depth guide for every thing you want. There are also very popular forums such as XDA-Developers where you can find so many things. But for now let’s take an overview what Android is and what normal people ask in daily life.
1 – What is root? Should I root my phone?
Root is the process that allows user to gain full access in their devices. By rooting your Android you gain administrative rights on phone file system. Root often is performed with the intention to overcome limitations that carries and hardware manufactures put one devices. Root allows you to replace system application, run other apps that needs administrator-level permissions. Root access also allows you to completely remove the stock firmware and install a Custom ROM. So if you wanna explore the world of Android than you should root it.
2 – What will happen if Android is being updated automatically? Will it lose root and the apps get erased?
Well, you will need to root it again probably not in the same way. If Android is updated let’s sat from 4.4.4 KitKat to Lollipop 5.0 you will need to find a tool working on Lollipop. In cases it’s updated from Lollipop 5.0 to 5.1 you can root it with the same tool you did the previous version. This is regarding to root whereas the apps won’t be erased if it’s an OTA update.
3 – How to block a specific app using data connection?
Until now we haven’t seen a built-in feature in any Android version. My favorite way to do this is to use Droid Wall application. It is the best Android firewall with plenty of features. It’s the perfect app for those who don’t have an unlimited data plan, who want their battery last longer or simply want to block specific apps from using mobile data.
4 – I have moved all the apps on SDcard but still there is no space enough. How to free some memory?
First try to clear the cache memory. It won’t release much space but still there are few extra MB that can be free. Check if your pictures and videos are in the phone internal memory. If they are there move to SD card. Also cleaning text messages threads helps to free some space.
5 – How to get rid of pre-installed Android apps?
If you are a beginner into Android and don’t wanna mess up with your phone than probably you may have not rooted your device. So if you don’t have root access you can’t remove completely pre-installed apps. The only thing you can do is to disable them. To do that go to Settings > Apps > All apps. Click on any app and a new window will open. From there click on disable. If you have root access you can easily uninstall and remove completely any app. There are several app on Play Store that do the work for you.
6 – Clear app cache or app data? What’s the difference?!
Cache is a temporary storage of a device that retains certain kinds of data. It reduces the amount of data processed and can speed up your device. For example if you open camera after restarting your phone it needs more time than usually. But if you open it for the second time it will load faster. This is because of cache memory. Clearing cache is an effective way to to fix app problems. If any app start misbehaving clearing the cache can fix the problem. While clearing app data means to reset the app to its default state, it makes the app act like you have downloaded it for the first time.
7 – What is Dalvik Cache
Being an open source operating system Android supports many different architectures. In general it’s used ARM architecture but it could run on x86 as well. Dalvik is a Virtual Machine (VM engine). It keeps the apps to be universal across different architecture. This sounds awesome but it has also its costs. So if the apps have to run through this VM engine everytime, they will run slow. So here it comes Dalvik cache. It’s the cache of the apps that have already gone through the VM. This mean that this apps don’t need to go through the VM everytime. Cleaning Dalvik Cache is needed on those cases you install a new ROM. Each ROM contains different version of app optimization or different kernels, so using Dalvik Cache from different ROM can cause problems.
8 – What is bootloader?
Bootloader is the first thing that load when you open your phone. As the name says, boot + loader, it’s the first that opens up when you turn on your phone. It loads kernel, which boots up the Android system. The same bootloader also can boot your phone into recovery. Usually when you get a new Android device the bootloader is locked. This means you can’t make changes to the system or use fastboot commands like “fastboot boot” or fastboot flash“. But even thought the bootloader is locked there several ways to unlock it. You simply have to find the right way that works on your device.
9 – What is a kernel and the benefits of changing it?
A kernel is a bridge between the apps and the data processing done at the hardware. Kernel’s responsibilities include: Managing the system resources, communication between hardware and software components. Changing the kernel has it’s own benefits because flashing a new kernel can give you different operating speeds, better performance and battery live, the ability to overclock the device and many other features.
10 – What is a Custom ROM and its benefits?
A stock ROM is the default phone operating system. It comes with your phone when you but it. A Custom ROM is a standalone version of the operating system. It includes the kernels which makes everything run, like services, apps etc. The term “Custom” means that developers can take the stock ROM and modify it for better performance, remove the bloatware and much more. If you don’t like the stock ROM your device is running you can learn more about what is a Custom ROM and how to install one.
11 – What is a Custom Recovery and why you need one?
Recovery is a part of Android operating system. Other parts include bootloader, radio and system. Every Android device has a recovery installed by default but it allows you to perform only simple action such as clear cache, clear data, factory reset and so on. But since Android is customizable you can install a Custom Recovery that has plethora of other features. Usually we install a Custom Recovery because it allows you to flash zip files. This mean that if you have a Custom Recovery installed you can easily flash a Custom ROM.
12 – Flashed a Custom ROM from Recovery and Android shows “Verification Failed, Installation Aborted”. What is this error?
Before flashing a custom ROM, the zip file must be digitally signed in the ROM kitchen. If it’s unzipped and zipped again it will lose verification. Also make sure to download the proper zip file because sometimes the file might not be downloaded properly and it gets corrupted.
13 – How to make changes to build.prop file on any Android device?
To edit build.prop file you will need to have root access and a file manager with root access. There are plenty of them but most used are ES File Explorer, Root Explorer, Astro File Manager. Install your favorite and browse to /system/. Find build.prop file and long press on it. Then tap on edit and you can make changes to it. Save the file again and you are done.
14 – What is an Android Mod and how to install one?
Android mod is a zip file that make changes to the system. It can be flashed via Recovery and will modify your system, usually for better performance. Mods mostly consist on increasing the phone performance, boost sound, improve camera quality and so on. Before installing a mod always make sure to check if it’s compatible or not with your device and also you should find the zip file that will revert back to stock.
15 – Should I use an Android Firewall and Antivirus?
We have so many apps in our devices so it’s impossible to monitor what’s being communicated on the internet from you device. This might be a privacy issue if you don’t keep on eye on it. Let me ask you a simple question. Do you check all the apps permissions when you install a new app?
Of course you don’t. So you are not safe. One of the installed app can access more than it’s needed and send the data somewhere else. This mean you should install a Firewall. If before it was impossible to install a firewall without having root access, now it’s possible. There many useful firewall that don’t require root access. Go ahead and install one.