August 25, 2009

Android Root

Okay, so the hackathon of my Google Phone is over.  I decided to “root” my G2 (Google Ion, myTouch, whatever) phone so that I can install other versions of the operation system.  The primary reason was the speed advantages but I was also interested in wifi tethering.  There are a ton of options but I went with Cyanogenmod (at the time it was v4.0.1 but a few days later I installed v.4.0.2 and it was easy) because it has the most “play” (i.e. I read about it all over the place).

It’s funny because supposedly it’s a “one click” process but wherever you read that headline you’ll see 50 links and 10 pages of text.

Advantages:

  • It does seem faster but it’s no iPhone (probably not even as fast as the first iPhone let along the 3GS)
  • Wifi tethering!  I can tether with a laptop or netbook to my data connection using just wifi.  The irony is that I would need to plug the phone in with USB anyway for power but still, tethering!
  • Multi-Touch browser.  Again, not as responsive as iPhone be still nicer than the +/-.  Would be really nice in maps and I suspect that might come soon.
  • More “screens” so I can have more widgets and icons in the locations that I want.  Not all that big a deal as 3 was enough, really, since I could get to the stuff I didn’t use much from the “pull up” menu
  • Couple of new apps I couldn’t have gotten otherwise . . . pdf viewer and an office viewer.
  • Discovered “MyBackup” which is an app that takes care of backup for apps and data so at the end of it all restoring back to the phone I had before took about 10 minutes . . . with the exception of my background image, ring tone, and some setup inside a few apps like latitude.  I had to install all of the apps one but with MyBackup I just had to okay each install one by one but it all went really fast . . . at least I didn’t have to remember what I liked and download it all one by one.
  • Three keyboards to choose from . . . though, I already had two after installing an alternate a while back.

Disadvantages:

  • Takes forever to boot up (but that was just the first time . . . it has to run some script)
  • It was kinda scary though it was actually one of the easiest hacks ever.  More scary that most other projects because I *need* my phone whereas if I bust a PSP or my Wii or an XBox I’m just out some entertainment which is no big deal.

Sheldon

The app really IS one click. When zinx sent it to me, it required no explanation and I rooted the phone I had reverted to stock in 30 seconds flat.

Since the intended audience of the app is clearly not people who have already rooted their phones (otherwise, what’s the point) – it’s necessary to explain every little step.

Even WITH explaining every step of the way, you might notice there are about 50 comments on the blog article talking about it where people ask questions that were already answered in the text in at least one spot – so I would add another.

The article was much shorter when it was first published, but I kept adding things as people kept asking questions about different aspects of it.

Anyway – glad it worked for you, and even more glad that I didn’t have to hold your hand through it! :)

RyeBrye

Comment by Ryan Gardner — August 25, 2009 @ 4:05 pm

” Would be really nice in maps and I suspect that might come soon.”

Unfortunately – nope. Maps is closed source, and we can’t hack on it like we can with the browser.

“Takes forever to boot up (but that was just the first time . . . it has to run some script)”

Yeah, in addition to the script, it has to run dexopt which builds odex files – it takes a long time but makes it faster in the future.

Comment by Ryan Gardner — August 25, 2009 @ 4:09 pm