As a long time advocate of anything Android and lifelong (with lifelong meaning ever since I had a device) hacker of electronics, I have come to put Android in a special place in my heart because of the unlimited possibilities when it comes to tinkering and bending it to your will.
From when I owned the original Samsung Galaxy S till present where I own the Google Nexus 4, I have poked, prodded and dissected all my Android devices with reckless abandon damning the consequences that would stop most people and I can sum it all up in a word – AWESOME!
But then again that is a very subjective view that is peculiar to me and that does not necessarily hold true to the majority of the populace out there who own an Android device.
I have done things like tri-boot my device, install beta-updates, edit and recompile system apps and even user apps all because of the vast power that Android gives to someone who is familiar with it. But, should you? If you’re okay with your current Android phone or do not want to void your warranty, then why should you tinker? Maybe you shouldn’t, and here are the reasons why:
Why you should not tinker
- You will most definitely void your warranty should you flash a custom ROM to your phone or even by rooting (granting administrator level access) and in case of damage you may very well be on your own.
- You will be lost and confused, so lost and confused at first that you may even do something wrong that might temporarily render your phone useless (soft brick) or even throw it into a bootloop (the phone keeps rebooting).
- You will most probably not know where to look for help and if you do the jargon there might scare you so much that you just give up and call that techy friend of yours.
However, all is not lost. If you get the itch to push your phone to the limits either to make it more usable (by rooting to remove system apps/bloatware) or to install something new and shiny like a Custom ROM or kernel, then you’re in luck. I will be putting up a guide below to help you wade through the storm of jargon involved in tinkering with your Android device.
If you choose to tinker
- As I mentioned before, your warranty will probably be voided if you choose to carry on, so try all mentioned here at your own risk. Neither MOBILITY.ng nor this author accept responsibility for whatever happens in the course of your tinkering
- First thing you want to do is look for your device on the XDA Developers device page.
- Look through the list of phones till you find your phone, if you do find your device, the first place you should head to is the category that says “Android development“. That is your best bet to find all the threads that deal with unlocking/Rooting and flashing Custom ROMs to your device.
- On that page, you’re bound to find so many Android jargon that you do not understand. You can use this Android Central guide that explains most of it
- If you’ve finally found a thread and you start flashing/tweaking your device and you come up with an error, the first thing you should do is GOOGLE IT!. I can’t stress enough how many times I’ve found the solutions to various problems just by simply entering my problem into the search box.
- Remember to install your device drivers on your computer, have a working USB cable and just the right amount of patience.
That’s about it. Carry out all the above steps and you should have minimal problems. Remember that Google is your friend in case of any problems that may arise and if you have any questions or comments do leave them in the comments below and I’ll address them. Cheers!