Android Information For Newcomers

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*CWR aka ClockworkMod Recovery-
A custom recovery for Android phones and tablets that allows you to perform several advanced recovery, restoration, installation and maintenance operations on your Android device that aren’t possible with the stock recovery.
A progam which gives unlimited access privileges to perform any or all operations on the operating system.
*KIES mini-
Kies Mini is an official application from Samsung that is used to update the software on your phone. It should not be confused with the full Kies application, which has a lot more functionality and is not officially supported in the USA. Therefore, abbreviating "Kies Mini" as just "Kies" can cause confusion.
Odin is the Samsung software used to update Samsung phones. It does not work with any other devices other than official Samsung phones. 
(F)OTA stands for (Firmware) Over The Air and is the process by which required updates and enhancements to your phone's basic operating system can be sent to you through the cellular network. The Galaxy S II software update will be sent via FOTA and is available through Samsung Kies mini.0
In Android file system, applications come in packages with the extension .apk. These application packages, or APKs contain certain .odex files whose supposed function is to save space. These ‘odex’ files are actually collections of parts of an application that are optimized before booting. Doing so speeds up the boot process, as it preloads part of an application. On the other hand, it also makes hacking those applications difficult because a part of the coding has already been extracted to another location before execution.
Deodexing is basically repackaging of these APKs in a certain way, such that they are reassembled into classes.dex files. By doing that, all pieces of an application package are put together back in one place, thus eliminating the worry of a modified APK conflicting with some separate odexed parts.
In summary, Deodexed ROMs (or APKs) have all their application packages put back together in one place, allowing for easy modification such as theming. Since no pieces of code are coming from any external location, custom ROMs or APKs are always deodexed to ensure integrity.
A set of Unix tools / commands that has been compiled for use on your phone. These are not usually full-featured versions of the Unix commands found on the larger platforms counterparts, but they are pretty close and useful nonetheless.
3G/4G is the term generally used to describe 3rd/4rth Generation mobile telecommunications, specifically allowing for greater throughput of data over cellular networks. 
Baseband refers to the original frequency range of a transmission signal before it is converted, or modulated, to a different frequency range.
Software or 'apps' that you don't need, but come preinstalled to a device's /system partition, meaning that you cannot remove them unless the device has been rooted. Usually, these are apps are sponsored by a company and included by a carrier for profit. For example, the Photobucket app included on the G2 by TMobile. 
Code division multiple access (CDMA) is a channel access method used by various radio communication technologies. It should not be confused with the mobile phone standards called cdmaOne and CDMA2000 (which are often referred to as simply CDMA), which use CDMA as an underlying channel access method. 
Programs stored in the ROM, EPROM, or flash memory that usually control various internal electronic devices (Hard Drives, Keyboards, Displays, etc). Firmware is typically 'fixed' software that is not updated in consumer devices, however it is often updated (or 'flashed') by advanced users to fix bugs or add features to the device. Flashing firmware designed for one device onto a different device, or not following a specific procedure while flashing will often render the device unusable. 
Non-volatile computer storage that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed (similar to EPROM). No power is needed to maintain the information stored in the chip. This technology is primarily used in memory cards and USB flash drives for general storage and transfer of data between computers and other digital products. Because of its ease of use, speed, ability to be updated (see flashing), this technology is often used in mobile devices, PDAs, digital media players. 
The central or core software component of most operating systems. Its responsibilities include managing the system's resources (the communication between hardware and software components) and can provide the lowest-level abstraction layer for resources (especially memory, processors, and I/O devices). 
The International Mobile Equipment Identity is a number unique to every GSM, WCDMA, and iDEN mobile device, as well as some satellite devices. The IMEI number is used by the GSM network to identify valid devices and therefore can be used to stop a stolen device from accessing the network. For example, if a mobile device is stolen, the owner can call their network provider and instruct them to "ban" the device using its IMEI number. This renders the device useless, whether or not the device's SIM is changed. The IMEI can be displayed by dialing *#06#. 
Internet Relay Chat. Basically a chatroom, or a cross between Instant Messaging and a forum. 
Open-source is software that anyone is allowed to see the 'source' code. In the context of Android, Open-source refers to the approach to the design, development, and distribution of software. This offers accessibility to a software's source code for modification, improvement, bug-fixing, and security-enhancement. CyanogenMod is based on this principle. 
Android Open Source Project
The cellular radio on the device which needs control software called firmware to control it. 
Read Only Memory. In the context of an Android device, ROM is the internal flash memory where the core operating system resides. It can also refer to a specific version firmware that can be applied to a device through a process usually referred to as flashing. An improperly flashed ROM can often brick the device, rendering it unusable. 
Software Development Kit. You can find the Android SDK at
A clean, unmodified version of something. In the context of Android ROMs, vanilla refers to the stock ROM that came pre-installed on the device. 
An application that lives (in other words, is always running) on the homescreen instead of being 'run' like a regular app. Common examples are calenders and weather widgets. 

Android Specific Definitions

Android Development Bridge. Command line tool used to communicate with & control the device over a USB link from a computer. The ADB command is found in the Android SDK. 
Unveiled on 5 November 2007, Android is a mobile operating system running on the Linux kernel developed by Google. 
Move applications from the internal NAND memory on the device to a removable SD Card. 
*CyanogenMod Updater-
An updater written by Cyanogen that allows you to receive OTA (Over-The-Air) updates to CyanogenMod. 
The dalvik-cache directory holds all of the pre-compiled .dex files created from installed apps. These files are static and do not change unless the app is updated. 
Fastboot is protocol used to directly update the flash filesystem in Android devices from a host over USB. It allows flashing of unsigned partition images. It is disabled almost all production devices since USB support is disabled in the bootloader. 
See Google Apps. 
*Google Apps-
An add-on for Google's applications (Market, GMail etc.), packaged separately to avoid copyright issues 
A debugging tool built into Android devices that displays system logs as they occur. See Logcat. 
A set of tools that will enable anyone who has root on their Android device to make FULL system backups, in case something goes wrong or you want to try out that new experimental ROM/theme. NANDroid will backup (and restore) /system, /data, /cache, and /boot partitions. 
*Recovery Mode-
A special environment that you can boot into for troubleshooting and upgrading purposes.
Using a wireless device (e.g. an Android phone) to share it's wireless data connection to another device (e.g. laptop). With an Android device, the wireless data connection can usually be shared via WiFi, Bluetooth or USB connection. 
Usually refers to wiping data and cache partitions of the device. 
Reduces the amount of RAM consumed when running the application by allowing data to be mmap'd in; which causes all uncompressed data within the .apk, such as images or raw files, to be aligned on 4-byte boundaries. 

Hacking Definitions

Aftermarket generally refers to any product or service applied or requisitioned by end-users to add usability or functionality to the original product. Many aftermarket modifications can void the manufacturer's warranty. From a manufacturer's perspective, the after-market is any goods or services offered by the manufacturer directly to end-users of a given product or service. After-market services include support for warranties, contracts, and parts and accessories sales. 
a device that no longer functions, generally caused by a failed firmware or SPL update. Since the device no longer works as intended, it is often referred to as a "brick" or "paper-weight", since that is all it is good for. 
The process of applying a firmware image (or ROM) to a device. It generally entails a very specific order of steps. Failing to complete any one of these steps properly may result in bricking the device. 
The process of creating a code based of someone else's code or reapplying code that someone else created into your own code (e.g. git cherry-pick) 
Obtaining root ("administrator", or "full") access to the device. This means you can mount its internal memory partition as read/write, which lets you do various things: have USB or Wi-Fi tethering, uninstall applications you otherwise can't uninstall (e.g. the Amazon MP3 store), install applications that need root access (such as AdFree), disable the camera shutter sound (simply by deleting the shutter sound file), overclock or underclock the CPU, install and boot Debian, and so on. Installing CyanogenMod roots the device in the process. The "Superuser" app controls what applications may gain root privileges. 
Most GSM devices are locked to only work with the sim cards of a particular carrier. Obtaining root access (e.g. installing CyanogenMod) on the device usually does nothing to the sim-lock. The usual way to unlock the device to all SIM cards is to obtain a subsidy unlock code from a carrier.

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