Saturday, January 25, 2014

Rooted essentials

Rooting implies getting root access on your Android device.Usually it stops on flashing a custom ROM.
But there is much more to rooting than just flashing Cyanogen or AOKP or any other ROM for that matter.With root access,you have a deeper control over the phones hardware.
Phones with locked bootloaders need to go a step further,unlocking it,to gain access to kernel.

Following is a list of apps which come in handy,once you've rooted your device.All of these can easily be found on the play store,and quick search on xda would give you an even more insight on the app.
1. Greenify
This app maintains a list of apps,which you want to be killed from its incessant background services/process or "greenified".Apps like Maps,Facebook are useful,but constant background services not only increase data usage,but also take a toll on the battery life.Worse,these consume valuable RAM.
Greenify runs a process,at a specified interval of time,after you lock your screen.Once run,it kills off all the apps in the list,freeing the device of valuable RAM,at the same time keeping a check on the battery life.
(The latest update makes Greenify run on non-rooted devices too!)

2. Xposed Framework
Most Android tweaks on the system packages require a tedious task of decompiling the apk,making the changes,and then recompiling the apk.Not only is it a tedious process,but it is device and ROM specific as well.Also,for multiple files,we usually flash a zip from recovery.
Xposed provides a framework for 'modules',make the necessary changes in the apks on the start-up itself.This makes the modules independent of the device,ROM,etc.
Point to be noted here is Xposed is just a framework.You need modules like GravityBox,for eg,which provides an AIO solution to visual and functional tweaks,usually found in most custom ROMs.
Even Greenify provides a host of experimental features,which can be activated via Xposed.

Only downside being this is not ART compatible.But that shouldn't matter much.

3.Solid Explorer
I used to swear by Root Explorer,when I first rooted,but this file manager came bundled in with one of the ROMs I was trying out,and,I haven't looked back since.
It has one of the most simplest and elegant UI there is to for an Android file manager,with a host of features like 2 panels side-by-side,FTP,bookmarking of favourites,quick access to media,etc.

4.Titanium Backup
This is the AIO rooted toolkit.
Backup up app,its data;Convert system app to user app and vice-versa;Automate the backup process;Freeze system apps,uninstall system apps;move apps to SD card(well you get the point!)

A true life saver!

This is by far the most exhaustive sound mod for Android,I've come across,with loads of support for custom settings.
Cyanogen's custom music tuner,the DSP Manager is the most basic sound mods out there(In no way is it inferior though).V4A is DSP Manager on steroids.

If you know your sound,you are gonna absolutely love the Expert mode on this app.

6.CyanDelta(CM only)
Instead of downloading the whole ROM,what this app does is maintains a local copy of the current ROM zip,and downloads only the changes it finds against the latest ROM that is available.So,instead of downloading almost 200 MBs,you end up downloading only a tenth of that,to upgrade between ROMs.
You just need to hit the download button,it downloads,packs up a new zip and then you click on install.It boots to recovery,wipes the cache(if you've opted for it),flashes the zip and boots up,all by itself.
Another killer feature about this app is you can maintain a list of additional zips that can be flashed after it flashes the ROM itself.
Needless to say,it provides automatic checking of updates,which can be configured by time.

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