Today I have something interesting in store for you all. Many of you out there might be the proud owners of those stylish, elegant smartphones, the majority of which would be running Android. Many of you out there would have seen your friends saying Android is really, heavily customizable. Well, they are spot on. But then, these features are intentionally hidden to a normal user. But don’t worry, I assure you that by the end of this post, you would surely come know what needs to be done to get that freedom of customization.
Alright, let’s dig into Android.
Android is a Mobile Operating system developed by Google based on modified Linux Kernel. Now I know that sounded too geeky to some of you. We’ll break these into simple logic soon.
Let me just explain what an Operating System(OS) is meant for. Well, it’s quite simple yet a genius invention I should say coz consider an e.g. where you have a new bicycle in front of you and you are sad! Wow.. why would a new bicycle in your backyard make you sad? Well if you don’t know how to ride it then, what’s the point in having it? This is very similar to as in the case of a computer or a smartphone or a tablet or a phablet. Whatever….. Yes. You have the hardware in the form a candybar with a large piece of glass over it, on your palm but if it doesn’t have a software to instruct the hardware to do ‘that’ in ‘this’ way. Well, then it’s similar to the story of the bicycle.
An Operating System is a system software that instructs each and every hardware that is there inside or outside or connected to your motherboard (or SoC in the case of Smartphones).
I know all of you have heard about Microsoft Windows, all those Lovely Linux Distributions (Ubuntu, Mint and so on ), Android, Symbian, Debian and so on. These are some examples of Operating Systems! It now seems virtually impossible to replace the Android with any other operating system, such is the power and popularity of this among the smartphones. A smartphone is smart right? But how do they get smart? Is it because of the hardware? Well, I would say an NO to that question simply because I believe it’s the software that is responsible for every bit of smartness that the candybar deliver the user.
For e.g. you have the sensor called Proximity sensor. As of wiki,
A proximity sensor is a sensor able to detect the presence of nearby objects without any physical contact. A proximity sensor often emits an electromagnetic field or a beam of electromagnetic radiation (infrared, for instance), and looks for changes in the field or return signal.
Ok, cut the hard language again, basically what it does is that it actually senses an object that blocks the sensor part (to be practical). That’s the only job of the “sensor”. But to apply that in a smart manner, you need codes. i.e. you need to tell the display unit to turn off the display when the sensor senses the proximity of the user’s ear near to the earpiece of the phone during a phone call. It’s a simple logic to turn off the display while calling and it’s done by the OS which instructs the hardware to do so.
Some interesting terms in Android!
Now that you know what an OS is, let’s see what are some interesting and some evil(just kidding) terms in Android!
- Root Access aka Rooting:
- Rooting (or Root Access) refers to gaining a total control over the phone you have in your hand. This also mean that the manufacturer can no longer be responsible for what happens after you root your phone.Rooting can be compared to Jail Breaking in iOS though both are quite different.Rooting also helps in unleashing a beast off your phone that has lived a quiet life so far.So what happens when you root? As soon as you root your phone, you are called a Superuser. When you root your phone, you get the access to the root directory of the phone software which is hidden in an unrooted phone. This means you can tweak around the codes, script, edit, modify, copy, unlock bootloaders, and uninstall some bloatware that came with android setup and many more of such evil games( trust me, you are gonna love being a superuser ).
- But rooting is different for each phone, starting with a click of a button to the need of using commands in the Android Debug Bridge (adb), but with a bit of knowledge in what you are doing, you can root any phone. So that’s a basic sketch of rooting. It’s intense in the real world. P.S. Rooting voids your warranty of your phone.
- Flashing is basically an update process of the OS but a bit rather risky (if careless or accidental could brick your phone!). Flashing can be done either on a rooted or unrooted phone. For e.g. say your phone was released in your country two months after it was released elsewhere. This means that the OS updates may take some time to reach your country, and you are impatient. Don’t worry, you can have the update of say Russian model in The Indian model of same phone i.e. by flashing the OS. In this case, the flashing can be done without root access as you are using an official ROM. But if you are going to use a custom ROM like a CyanogenMod based ROM and it means that it’s not from the manufacturer, then it’s a must that the phone should be rooted, else you will brick the phone!
More about android still to come, stay tuned to the updates. Meanwhile, let me know what you like to know more on.