Mon

02

Apr

2012

ANDROID Terminology & Lingo for newbies

ADK: Android Development Kit, What people use to develop anything for the droid such as ROM's

AOSP: Android Open System Project, usually you will see this term when referring to a program or rom. This will mean that the program or rom was taken from Google and does not contain any modifications done by the phone Mfg. or the phone service provider. This is Android the way Google intended.

Baseband: In communications and signal processing, the baseband describes signals and systems whose range of the frequencies measured from close to 0 hertz to a cut-off frequency, a maximum bandwidth or highest signal frequency; it is sometimes used to describe frequencies starting close to zero. On the Fascinate this is used to describe which modem software is installed in your device.

CDMA: Code Division Multiple Access; refers to the technology used by the cellular phone company to communicate with your phone. Carriers in the US using CDMA Technology are Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, some other smaller companies. These phones do not contain a SIM card and are not compatible with the GSM network used by other phone companies. This technology was developed by Qualcomm and has been the dominant technology used in the US and Asia, while GSM is more widely used in other parts of the world.

Download Mode: State in which the droid phone can be flashed from Odin with an appropriate .sdk file that reprograms the phone into a specific ROM or update. This is typically a last resort when the recovery screen cannot be reached to make a much simpler and less risky solution

Boot Loop: simply means something is preventing the phone from completing it's boot cycle and is stuck between the boot animation and the unlock screen, creating a looped animation. This is often fixed by either reloading a Nandroid, or Reflashing a rom/kernel from Clockwork.

Brick or Bricked: Jargon for a completely unrecoverable device, (no more than a brick or paperweight)

Bug or Software Bug: an Error or flaw in software that produces a failure or unexpected/unwanted result. Typically created from incorrect code, this is why some ROMs are better and smoother running than others because certain developers have taken the time to input "perfect" code

Busybox: BusyBox is a single multicall binary that packages the functionality of most widely used standard UNIX tools, BusyBox provides a fairly complete environment for any small or embedded system.

ClockworkMod / Clockwork Recovery: A recovery program that is often used to apply updates, ROMs, or create a backup or restore a backup file

De-odex: Apk files have respective odexes that devs use to supposedly save space. Deodexing means you convert it back to a .dex file and put it back inside the apk. This allows you to easily replace files (not having to worry about odexes), but the main point was to deodex services.jar so that you can change all text to different colors (such as the clock color to white) and to deodex services.jar, you need to deodex everything.

Dev. or Developer: An individual that creates, or alters a file in such a manner as to advance the program

Flash or Flash Memory: a program technology that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed

GSM: Global System for Mobile Communications; the technology that some phone companies use to communicate with your cell phone. This technology is used by AT&T, T-Mobile, as well as some smaller carriers in the US. GSM phones contain a SIM card that contains the data that tells the carrier your phone number and other information, this allows you to switch GSM phones by simply switching the SIM card from one phone to another. This technology is primarily used in Europe, however, it is increasing in popularity in the US.

Kernel: The governor of the CPU usage and Battery output, one can upload certain Kernels to achieve greater performance speed of their device at the cost of some battery life. See this thread for more information on kernels.


Root: Common word associated with giving a user "super user" access to their phones programming and other various aspects that would normally not be possible, also known as "Jailbroken" for iPhone's

Nandroid or Nandroid Backup: A file typically created in the custom recovery program, such as Clockwork Recovery, that is a carbon copy of whatever state your phone is in before a drastic change is made.

Overclocking: Speeding up the CPU past the factory presets to achieve a faster and more responsive device

ROM: Read Only Memory, a program used to make changes to anything from the look of the home screen, to icons to custom boot animation. See this thread for more on Roms.

Shell or SSH: secure shell or ssh is a network protocol that allows data to be exchanged using a secure channel between two networked devices

Stock: Simply means an un altered state, such as when you first purchase your phone from Verizon.

SU: "Super user", or root permissions

Theme: A set of icons, backgrounds and app trays that change the aesthetics of the overall look of the droid and its applications

TUN/TAP: Refers to a network TUNnel, operates within layer 3 packets, or ip packets. Packets sent by a system via a TUN/TAP device are delivered to a user-space program that attaches itself to the device. A user space program may also pass packets into a TUN/TAP device. In this case TUN/TAP device delivers (or "injects") these packets to the operating system's network stack thus emulating their reception from an external source.

Underclocking: Slowing down the CPU mainly to limit battery usage

.sbf: Summation Briefcase File

.apk or APK's: An .apk file extension denotes an Android Package (APK) file, an .apk file can be opened and inspected using common archive tools

.tar: Similar to a zip file, a tar file archives multiple files into one file

.tgz: TGZ files are commonly used as install packages for Slackware Linux.

 

A2SD
This is what we normally call the default Froyo method of storing apps on the sdcard. This is dependent on the application allowing you to store it on the sdcard. You can move apps to the sdcard on froyo by going to settings > Applications > manage applications. Click on an app and then click on move to sdcard. The application will be stored in a folder called .android_secure on your sdcard, in an encrypted state.

A2SD+
This is what we normally call the standard rooting method of storing apps onto the sdcard. This essentially tricks the phone into thinking the apps are stored on internal memory (in reality it changes the reference to point to the sdcard, instead of the internal location). The apps are actually stored on an ext partition of the sdcard (you cannot see this on the sdcard yourself)

Busybox
An application providing a standard set of unix tools. The default toolbox provided by android is limited, so this is required to allow rooted roms/apps to use more advanced unix features.

CyanogenMod
CyanogenMod is a customized ROM for several Android devices. Their ROMS are typically more stable and have better performance than the stock roms. CyanogenMod also offers a variety features & enhancements that are not currently found in the stock versions of android, such as the ability to easily apply custom themes.

Dalvik-cache
When your phone starts up, the DalvikVM looks at all your apps and frameworks, and creates a tree of dependencies which is stored in the dalvik-cache. This allows applications to run in an optimised state (and explains why your phone takes longer to boot up after applying a new rom, it's rebuilding the cache.)

MCR
This is the Modaco Custom ROMS. Modaco is a big name in the rooting community, and he typically releases a stable rooted and customisable version of the stock android roms for phones. Many people use Modaco ROMS because they are extremely similar to the stock roms (for instance they include Sense), but modified to run faster and be more stable, as well as giving the benefit of root and super user access.

Nandroid Backup
Nandroid Backup is a tool that allows you to fully backup your phones NAND flash memory. In laymens terms, it will create a complete copy of your phone, which you can flash at a later date to come back to the exact state that your phone was in when you created the nandroid backup

Radio
Firstly, this is not a radio with which you can listen to music or chat shows. The radio you often hear about within rooting is the phones communication radio. All mobile phones have a radio, which allows the phone the ability to transmit and recieve radio waves, such as phone calls. I'm not going to turn this into a technical discussion on how mobile phones work. All you need to know is that you can update the radio firmware on your phone by flashing an updated radio image (via recovery), and that some new ROMs require you to flash a later version of the radio you may already have in order to work correctly.

Recovery
Recovery mode is a command line interface, available to you before your current ROM is booted up. The recovery mode allows you to do many things such as flashing a new ROM, partitioning your sdcard, wiping the phones data and dalvik cache amongst others things. As such, it is a very powerful tool, but at the same time very dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. The app ROM Manager available in the market gives you a nice interface with which to execute recovery commands from your phone, as well as installing a nice recovery image.

Examples of custom recoveries include:

  • Amon Ra Recovery
  • ClockworkMod Recovery

A2SD
This is what we normally call the default Froyo method of storing apps on the sdcard. This is dependent on the application allowing you to store it on the sdcard. You can move apps to the sdcard on froyo by going to settings > Applications > manage applications. Click on an app and then click on move to sdcard. The application will be stored in a folder called .android_secure on your sdcard, in an encrypted state.

A2SD+
This is what we normally call the standard rooting method of storing apps onto the sdcard. This essentially tricks the phone into thinking the apps are stored on internal memory (in reality it changes the reference to point to the sdcard, instead of the internal location). The apps are actually stored on an ext partition of the sdcard (you cannot see this on the sdcard yourself)

Busybox
An application providing a standard set of unix tools. The default toolbox provided by android is limited, so this is required to allow rooted roms/apps to use more advanced unix features.

CyanogenMod
CyanogenMod is a customized ROM for several Android devices. Their ROMS are typically more stable and have better performance than the stock roms. CyanogenMod also offers a variety features & enhancements that are not currently found in the stock versions of android, such as the ability to easily apply custom themes.

Dalvik-cache
When your phone starts up, the DalvikVM looks at all your apps and frameworks, and creates a tree of dependencies which is stored in the dalvik-cache. This allows applications to run in an optimised state (and explains why your phone takes longer to boot up after applying a new rom, it's rebuilding the cache.)

MCR
This is the Modaco Custom ROMS. Modaco is a big name in the rooting community, and he typically releases a stable rooted and customisable version of the stock android roms for phones. Many people use Modaco ROMS because they are extremely similar to the stock roms (for instance they include Sense), but modified to run faster and be more stable, as well as giving the benefit of root and super user access.

Nandroid Backup
Nandroid Backup is a tool that allows you to fully backup your phones NAND flash memory. In laymens terms, it will create a complete copy of your phone, which you can flash at a later date to come back to the exact state that your phone was in when you created the nandroid backup

Radio
Firstly, this is not a radio with which you can listen to music or chat shows. The radio you often hear about within rooting is the phones communication radio. All mobile phones have a radio, which allows the phone the ability to transmit and recieve radio waves, such as phone calls. I'm not going to turn this into a technical discussion on how mobile phones work. All you need to know is that you can update the radio firmware on your phone by flashing an updated radio image (via recovery), and that some new ROMs require you to flash a later version of the radio you may already have in order to work correctly.

Recovery
Recovery mode is a command line interface, available to you before your current ROM is booted up. The recovery mode allows you to do many things such as flashing a new ROM, partitioning your sdcard, wiping the phones data and dalvik cache amongst others things. As such, it is a very powerful tool, but at the same time very dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. The app ROM Manager available in the market gives you a nice interface with which to execute recovery commands from your phone, as well as installing a nice recovery image.

Examples of custom recoveries include:

  • Amon Ra Recovery
  • ClockworkMod Recovery


Rooting
This is the process of applying root to your phone. Basically think of it as unlocking all the options of your phone. By default you are a user, and you have limited privilages to do things on your phone. You cannot really modify any internal aspects of the phone. Rooting gives you a super user access, effectively giving you extra permissions and more freedom to play around with your phone. Things such as taking screenshots, backing up all data to do with an app or overclocking your phones processor.


Rooting
This is the process of applying root to your phone. Basically think of it as unlocking all the options of your phone. By default you are a user, and you have limited privilages to do things on your phone. You cannot really modify any internal aspects of the phone. Rooting gives you a super user access, effectively giving you extra permissions and more freedom to play around with your phone. Things such as taking screenshots, backing up all data to do with an app or overclocking your phones processor.

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