Install a custom ROM on your smartphone
Posted on 26 Apr 2012 at 09:42
This is because these applications are owned by Google, and aren’t freely licensed in the same way that Android itself is.
But you can easily download them separately, and install them using ClockworkMod in just the same way as the operating system itself. CyanogenMod maintains a page of links to the latest version of the Google Applications. For CyanogenMod 7, there’s only one archive to download and install, regardless of your device.
When you boot into CyanogenMod after installing the Google Apps you’ll be greeted by Google’s welcome screen – just as if you were switching on a new device for the first time.
You’ll be prompted to log into your Google account, restore backed up settings associated with this account and configure Gmail. You can also now access the Market and choose which other Google apps to install.
Rooting your device
In order to install ClockworkMod – and to make use of some of the advanced features of CyanogenMod – many phones and tablets need to be “rooted”.
Put simply, this means enabling applications to take complete control of the device, rather than running with restricted privileges, as is standard. The term derives from the “root” user who has complete control of Unix and Linux systems (the equivalent of an Administrator in Windows).
Running as root allows apps to do things that would otherwise be prohibited
Running as root allows apps to do things that would otherwise be prohibited. Screenshot tools, ad-blockers, tethering tools and overclocking utilities all rely on root access.
Indeed, even if you don’t want to replace your stock firmware with CyanogenMod you might still wish to root your phone to gain access to applications such as these, which you’ll find in the Android market.
Be aware, though, that a malicious app running on a rooted device can do more or less anything it likes, from running up your phone bill to stealing passwords.
CyanogenMod includes an app called “Superuser” that allows you to grant or deny root privileges to individual apps: keep an eye on this, and consider installing one of the many reputable free Android security apps from the Market.
The precise method used to root a device depends on the hardware and firmware model. In many cases, you can do it with a single click, using the free SuperOneClick tool.
If this doesn’t support your device, check the relevant page in the CyanogenMod wiki for more information. If that fails, check the forums at www.xda-developers.com and http://rootzwiki.com. These are also good resources if you hit problems or have questions about any other part of the process.
Author: Darien Graham-Smith
...Do not do it. Keep your phone, if working, as it is. I'm not saying that there's any issues with custom roms but I AM going to say that they do cause issues and are a pain in the rear.
I used to use a whole load of roms during the Windows 6.1/6.5 days created by kids... twenty pages of 'dang you'z the man' and then 30 pages of people asking for help with things that didn't work and no real replies. Onto the next rom.
If your phone works then don't be tempted. If you do want to have a play then go for it.
By rhythm on 26 Apr 2012
I've been using custom ROMs on my HD2, Desire, Sensation and will also do so on my One X when I get it on the weekend. They're SO much better than the stock rubbish OEMs put on their handsets.
Word of advice, though - read, and re-read, everything until you understand not only the rooting/flashing process but how to revert back to stock should you need to.
The number of people on XDA who jump in to it without knowing basic recovery methods is stagering
By EddyOS_2K9 on 26 Apr 2012
Sorely missing a LOT of crucial information
Good to see this article on such a mainstream site.
You unfortunately miss out on SEVERAL key points that make the whole process easier and less risky.
1. You dont point out that it is possible to make a full system backup of your current setup before doing this so that if anything goes wrong you can easily restore to how your phone was before you started trying the upgrade.
For anyone wanting to do this google 'nandroid backup'. Its a part of clockworkmod recovery.
2. You do not mention Titanium backup which lets you easily backup all your apps AND their data before you do this change so that after you install the new ROM, you are able to instantly restore all your apps and their settings etc (premium version is required to automate this process rather than app by app).
3. You do not mention that by using custom ROM's it is possible to run the latest version of android months before it is released for your phone, if it ever is. I have been running Android 4.03 on my Sensation for several months although it is only now just being launched officially.
To Rythm - I'd say this might apply to total newbies but for anyone wanting to try a far more advanced setup for their phone or upgrade to new more powerful features this article is definitely a good starting point.
For anyone wanting to find as much information as possible on their phone and all the latest ROM's the one stop shop that has the most is xda-developers.
Read up on it before doing it then unleash the true power of your phone :)
By nniillaa on 26 Apr 2012
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