Android Q/A or FAQ
Just copied this useful FAQ for android users. Has many required explanations if you are into rooting your phone (you should be!)
Download Mode - This is a setting in which you will put your phone when using Odin. There are other ways, but most noobs will reach download mode by powering down, removing the battery, and holding volume down while plugging the factory usb cord into the computer and phone. Odin can only communicate properly with your phone if the phone is in download mode.
F. Reset Time - This is a check box in Odin. It's not clear that anyone knows the exact details of what it actually does, nor is it clear what will happen if you leave it unchecked vs checked. It seems to reset some arbitrary counter in your phone. As a general rule, you can either follow the instructions of whatever guide you're using or just leave the checkbox how you found it.
Fast Charge - This is a feature on some ICS ROMs that can be turned on or off. When enabled, it allows your phone to draw as much charge as possible regardless of the charging source. Without fast charge, your phone will place artificial speed limits on charging when plugged, for example, into the USB slot on your computer. Fast charge bypasses these limits, letting your phone believe it is always plugged into a wall charger. It is worth noting that your phone will not be recognized by your computer as a USB device when fast charge is enabled. It will only charge.
FC - Force Close - This is when an app stops working unexpectedly. This can happen to both rooted and unrooted phones. It doesn't cause any damage to the phone. In most cases, the app can just be opened right back up. It seems to depend on a lot of factors, including the quality of the app itself. ROMs and kernels that experience very few FCs are said to be "stable."
Flash - This is a term used to describe the installation of software onto your phone. It refers to fundamental changes in your phone's operating system. It is different from just installing an app from the Marketplace (Google Play). Commonly, people will flash ROMs, kernels, patches, and radios. There are basically two ways to flash new software onto your phone:
2. CWM Recovery (or a comparable recovery program)
Freeze - There are two meanings in general use. One might use this term to refer to his or her phone becoming unresponsive. More commonly, though, it refers to a special ability of a program called Titanium Backup. This program can be downloaded from the Android Marketplace (Google Play), but it requires a rooted phone to work. When Titanium Backup is used to freeze an app or process, that app or process is essentially gone from the phone. It won't show up in the app drawer, and it won't be running in the background. The difference between freezing and uninstalling, though, is that anything frozen can be quickly "thawed," also with Titanium Backup. With the touch of a button, the missing app or process is right back where it used to be. This is a convenient way for newly rooted users to test the waters of debloating.
Gapps - Google Apps - When flashing custom ROMs, the apps on the phone are usually deleted. As an alternative to going to the Marketplace (Google Play) and re-installing all the favorites (Google Maps, Google Talk, Google Voice, etc.), many devs have packaged these into a tidy zip file that can be flashed via CWM. Why don't they just put the Google Apps in the ROM, you ask? Custom ROMs and Google Apps get software updates at different rates, so keeping the two separate allows users to always have the most up-to-date version of each. On MTD ROMs such as CM7 or anything ICS, you generally must flash the gapps package to get the Android Marketplace (Google Play).
GB - Gingerbread - Android 2.3. Google likes to name its Android releases after sweet foods. Most of our stock phones are running on this release of Android. There are numerous ROMS and kernels compatible with Gingerbread. These are a good starting point for newly rooted users, as they will feel quite familiar.
Github - This is a web-based service where developers can post their code. Depending on the situation, their code can be accessed by other users, modified, or just shared with the world. The site encourages the kind of open source development for which Android is famous.
Governor - This refers to the type of logic your phone uses to control how fast its processor ramps up when needed or slows down when not. The choice of governor can influence overall performance and battery life. The governor can be selected using an OC/UV program such as Voltage Control or NS Tools. No one governor is right for everyone. The fun is in experimenting. Here are some examples and brief descriptions:
performance: Keeps the processor always ramped up to to maximum; useful for benchmarking
ondemand: Rapidly ramps up the processor when needed; gradually slows it down when not needed
conservative: Similar to ondemand, but ramps up more slowly
userspace: The user can define the parameters (for advanced users only).
lazy: This was developed specifically for Android by xda dev Ezekeel. He states it is an enhanced version of ondemand, tuned to our phones' capabilities. Don't be fooled by the name. He tested it with numerous processor-intensive applications.
interactive: Uses a logic to try to predict how quickly it needs to ramp up processor speed, attempting to balance battery life and performance
interactiveX: A tweak on interactive (by dev imoseyon), which locks the processor at the minimum speed when the screen is off
smartass & smartassV2: Modified interactive governors by dev erasmux, they use logic to determine how quickly to ramp up or slow down; designed to optimize battery life without sacrificing performance.
powersave: This keeps the processor always set at the minimum frequency. The name may be a bit misleading, as certain processes will just take longer, using up more battery.
Heimdall - This program is similar to Odin. It was created by an Australian software company called Glass Echidna. It can be used to flash files onto your phone. Some users prefer this program over Odin. Heimdall can be used with Mac computers, whereas Odin can not. Many high level users regularly use both Heimdall and Odin.
ICS - Ice Cream Sandwich - Android 4.0. Google likes to name its Android releases after sweet foods. It comes pre-installed on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus from Verizon. Several developers have created ways to install ICS on the Samsung Fascinate.
init.d - This is a type of script used by developers when they modify Android code. You hear the term a lot because modifications using this type of script have far-reaching effects in the overall performance of the phone. High level users (who aren't quite devs) can even insert bits and pieces of init.d scripts to make minor tweaks to their phones.
Inverted - By default, most Google apps consist of a white screen with dark lettering. Inverting changes this to a dark screen with light letters. There are several advantages to this. Beyond the aesthetic advantages, it tends to be easier on the eyes in low light situations and reduce battery consumption. Inversion is done by talented individuals called themers.
I/O Scheduler - This refers to the type of logic your phone uses to order and process read and write requests to your phone's hard drive. There are several types, which are listed below, but there is no magic bullet. The joy is in finding the one that works for you in terms of performance and battery life. It is worth noting, though, that certain schedulers were designed to be used with mechanical rotating hard drives, taking the drive's rotational position into account. This does not apply to our phones, which use solid state drive technology. A scheduler can be selected by using an OC/UV control program such as Voltage Control or NS Tools. Specific descriptions are beyond the scope of this glossary, but simple Internet searches can expand on any of schedulers listed.
Examples: noop, deadline, cfq, bfq, sio, vr, bfs
* In the absence of a dev's recommendation, if you don't feel like reading up on the subject, you can leave the scheduler at the default or choose noop or sio.
JB - Jelly Bean - Android 4.1. Google likes to name its Android releases after sweet foods. This is the latest version of Android to hit the streets, and devs are flocking to it , making all JB development new and exciting.
Jig - This is a tiny Frankensteinian device made of a small chip, a transistor, and the tip of the little micro-USB connector that you plug into your phone to charge it or attach it to your computer. When your phone will not go into download mode through normal means, putting a jig into the phone when the battery is in will make your phone go into download mode. You can make one yourself or buy one online for less than $10.
Kang - Generally used as a verb, this means to take bits and pieces of someone else's coding and to then integrate it into your own. Granted, noobs won't be doing this, but devs do it all the time. For the most part, this is considered a welcome practice among friendly devs, provided it is done correctly and politely. Kanging often serves to better the community as a whole. The key for devs is to give credit to the other devs from whom they have kanged.
Kernel - This is one of the two main components (ROM being the other) of the software running on an Android phone. It is the piece of software that connects the hardware (screen, softkeys, vibration, speakers, etc.) to the other software components. An unrooted phone comes with a stock kernel. It is stable but somewhat slow. Practically speaking, installing (flashing) a custom kernel will make your phone feel much faster and smoother as it moves through screens and opens apps. Generally speaking, installing a new kernel will not change the basic appearance of your phone or erase any of your phone's information. Custom kernels can also unlock several abilities of rooted phones. Examples include:
-wireless tethering (ignoring that pesky $30/month charge from Verizon)
-control over how and when the softkeys at the bottom of the screen light up
-voodoo lagfix (This only applies to phones with BML-based ROMs. MTD ROMs don't need lagfix.)
-custom boot animations
Lean Kernel - Created by imoseyon, He intentionally leaves out a lot of the "bells and whistles" to keep the experience simple, smooth, and fast. Imoseyon works with several phones, so it is imperative that you have the correct version of Lean Kernel, the one appropriate for your phone.
Linaro - This is a team of software engineers developing open source software for numerous platforms, particularly as it relates to getting maximum bang for the buck from systems with memory and hardware limitations. For our purposes, many Linaro modifications are making their way into our custom ROMs, promising increased speed and responsiveness.
Logcat - This is a log of all of the processing activity your phone did over a certain period of time. This is useful for bug reporting, as devs can examine logcats and attempt to determine the source of the error(s). Many threads in the development forum request logcats to go alongside any bug reports. A logcat can be generated through adb, and there are also some apps that will do it for you. Random complaints aren't terribly useful for devs, but logcats generally are. This classic cartoon illustrates how many devs feel about disorderly complaints about their work, even though most are far too polite to say anything.
Milestone - Devs are always trying to incorporate the latest and greatest features into their ROMs. The add-ons are incorporated as parts of new releases, or "builds." This is what makes development exciting, but it also leads to bugs. Milestone builds occur when the devs sit back, roll up their sleeves, and work the bugs out of all the awesome features they've crammed into their work. The milestones are considered the relatively safe and stable builds. When installed correctly, they rarely experience major bugs.
MIUI - This term is a transliteration of a Chinese name for a special customization of Android actually developed in China. MIUI ROMs can be installed on the Fascinate. They change the look and feel of the Android system, moving it closer to something resembling iOS, the iPhone's operating system. A lot of custom development has been done with the software code from the MIUI system. Many devs will integrate bits and pieces of MIUI into their own ROMs. For example, the TSM Resurrection ROM allows you to use the MIUI battery indicator, which looks completely different from the standard battery indicator.
MTD - This is a technical term used by devs to describe the software organization in your phone, as it relates to things called partitions. The bottom line is that the stock organizational system, called BML, is somewhat fixed and limited, whereas MTD offers devs a great deal of flexibility. Heavily customized ROMs like those from CyanogenMod or anything MIUI rely on MTD file organization. All of our ICS ROMs use MTD. MTD ROMs, generally speaking, experience very little lag, as compared to BML ROMs. When returning to a normal BML ROM from an MTD ROM, special precautions need to be taken.
Nandroid - This is a backup of your entire phone as it stands at that moment in time (ROM, kernel, text messages, your Angry Birds progress, etc.). It is stored on your sd card, which is somewhat immune to your tinkering. A Nandroid backup is a good failsafe for the times when you might want to try out that new experimental kernel your favorite dev has been working on. The files can also be saved on a home computer/flash drive/etc. for safe keeping. Nandroid backups are created using a recovery program like Clockworkmod Recovery. CWM can also use old Nandroids to restore a phone to its previous condition.
Nightly - Nightlies - Some rooted users like the idea of having the most stable, tested, and reliable ROMs available. Others prefer the excitement of being on the cutting edge. Nightlies are the untested regular releases of whatever a certain dev happens to be working on at the time. They package them up, post them online, and let the discussions ensue. These are not for the faint of heart. They are for people who are comfortable addressing freezes, boot loops, and force closes.
Noob - If you have to ask what this means, this is what you are. It's a derivation of "newbie" or "newb," someone who's new to the activity at hand. In many ways, the noob is defined by his actions rather than by the amount of time he's spent rooting phones or posting on xda. Here are a few standard behaviors that will immediately brand someone as a noob:
-Posting new threads to ask questions that have been answered dozens of times. (Hint: It's best to search before posting)
-Posting ROM complaints (without logcat), beginner questions, and other non-development topics in the development forums (It has been theorized that this will ultimately be the end of xda)
-Diving in and flashing away without reading and then posting about your problems (Everyone needs to read the Guide.)
NSTools - This is an app that requires superuser permissions. It can be used to control a variety of the phone's features that are unlocked when running a custom kernel. It can enable fast charge, BLN, overclocking, and undervolting. It often comes pre-installed with ICS ROMs.
OC - Overclocking - Computer processors operate at a variety of speeds. When a manufacturer sells a product (like a phone) to the general public, they strictly limit the speed at which the built in processor can operate, even though the processor may be capable of more. This is to promote stability and reliability. Rooted users can overclock their phone's processor, raising the maximum speed at which it can operate. This can be done through various apps, including Voltage Control and NS Tools. Some ROMs even have the controls built into their settings. There are limits, though. Running a processor at too high a speed can cause overheating and/or glitches.
Odin - This is a program of seemingly mysterious origins that allows your home computer to communicate with your phone. You download it to your home computer. Good communication with your phone requires the installation of Samsung drivers on your computer as well as the use of the USB cable that came with your phone. Among other things, Odin can be used to root your phone, install CWM Recovery, install custom ROMs and kernels, and return your phone to stock after you've screwed it up.
*NEVER touch the "Phone" button on Odin. It should be labeled "Destroy your Phone"
OP - Original Post - This refers to the first post in any given thread, the one that started the thread in a discussion forum. A common noob mistake is to hop into a thread on page 27, read for 30 seconds, and then chime in with a question. He is often directed to the OP, which contains the answer to his question.
OTA - Over the Air - These are the official firmware upgrades that Verizon has released over the life of this phone. They were either pushed out to our phones in the middle of the night or offered up for us to download at our convenience. The latest one, EH03, came in December of 2011. Generally speaking, rooted users do not receive OTA updates. Also generally speaking, this doesn't really matter. The updates can be found on xda, and it is unlikely that the Fascinate will ever receive another OTA update.
Patch - This generally refers to a zip file that can be flashed using CWM. The file usually contains updates or small modifications to an existing ROM or kernel. A great example is the patch that reprograms the phone dialer's voicemail button to open Google Voice instead of the standard voicemail or Visual Voice Mail.
PDA Button - This is the button you will want to use when using the Odin program. You should always avoid the "Phone" button.
Pit file - This is a type of file used with Odin when returning your phone to stock. There is a "Pit" button on Odin you can push to enter the pit file you wish to use. An example of a pit file that you will probably use is Atlas_v2.2.pit. To return to stock, you would use a pit file along with a stock ROM, putting both into Odin at the same time. Droidstyle's guide provides detailed instructions.
Project Butter - This is a Google initiative, launched with Jelly Bean, aimed at reducing phone lag, both real and perceived. It involves research into human visual perception, the pairing of GPU and CPU, graphics buffering, and so on. It's purpose is to make your Android phone run "like buttah."
Radio - a.k.a. Modem - This generally refers to the software that manages the phone's connection to the outside world, not the physical device itself. Verizon would release new versions of this software from time to time in their OTA updates. The two most popular ones are currently EH03 (the latest) and EC09. Both of these work with Android 2.3 and the various Android 4.0 ROMs. The choice of radio can determine your 3g download speeds. It's difficult to say that one is better than another. Different users find good results with each one. Both radios are available as zip files that can be flashed in CWM.
Recovery - Your phone comes with a recovery program. You have to choose to boot it up as an alternative to booting up your phone's normal touchscreen interface. An ordinary phone user would probably never even see this program. It's not pretty. It's just functional. It is basically a list of commands and technical terms that you can navigate using the phone's softkeys, volume up & down buttons, and the power button (to select). Essential to rooting are the special recovery programs such as CWM Recovery. A special recovery program, which is flashed via Odin, will replace the stock recovery program for a rooted user.
Re-Partition - This is one of the check boxes in Odin. This box should be checked only when returning your phone to stock. Of Odin's various check boxes, this is the only one for which widespread agreement of its use exists.
ROM - This is one of the two main components (kernel being the other) of the software running on an android phone. It generally determines the overall appearance of your phone, including which apps are installed by default. The ROM that comes installed on your phone right out of the box is known as the stock ROM. Created by devs, there are numerous custom ROMs available for the Fascinate. Popular ROMs a newly rooted user might try are Superclean3, PWGB, and GeeWiz. The process of flashing a custom ROM to your phone will, generally speaking, erase everything on your phone. The most popular ROM for the Fascinate right now is probably the AOKP version of ICS.
Root - When you buy your phone from Verizon, Verizon still controls it. You are simply a user who is allowed to perform various Verizon-approved activities on it. Gaining root access to your phone grants you the control that Verizon had previously held. Rooting quite literally makes you the "Superuser," opening numerous possibilities for improvement, customization, and ruin. Root access is essential to having a fast, fully customized phone.
Root Explorer - This is an app downloadable from the Android Marketplace (Google Play). As it requires Superuser permissions, it is only functional for rooted users. Its abilities far exceed those of standard file management apps. For example, Root Explorer can copy .apk files directly into the system/apps folder in Android. It's a great way to get that obscure Samsung widget reinstalled on your phone after your favorite developer's ROM washed it away and called it bloat.
Samsung Drivers - This is a small piece of downloadable software that will need to be installed on your home computer before it will be able to communicate with your phone (via Odin or adb).
Skin - This is a program that a phone manufacturer creates with the goal of making its phones more user friendly. It is basically an interface that sits on top of the pure Android guts underneath, hence the term "skin." The skin that comes with Samsung phones is called TouchWiz. This is why our phones don't look quite the same as our friends' HTC or Motorola phones, even though they are all using Android. Some people love TouchWiz. Some people hate it. Some custom ROMs are designed to be used with TouchWiz. Others are designed to be rid of it.
SOD - Sleep of Death - This is when your phone goes into standby mode but then goes into a catatonic state somewhere between being asleep and completely powered down. Users report various degrees of SOD. Some ROMs and kernels have been associated with it, as have certain apps, certain radios, and certain SD cards. Experimenting with fringe OC/UV and didle settings are often responsible these days. Generally, a battery pull (or better, Volume Up + Power) will revive the phone. Once a phone experiences a SOD, it seems likely that it will happen again, so a fix will need to be instituted. A modification of OC/UV settings or a return to stock and clean installation of your ROM, kernel, and apps are recommended.
Superuser - A rooted phone will have a new icon in the list of apps called Superuser. This is what distinguishes a rooted phone from a non-rooted phone. There are numerous apps available on the web and Android Marketplace (Google Play) that require "Superuser permission" to do what they do. Common examples of these apps include NS Tools, Titanium Backup, Root Explorer, Voodoo Sound, NS Tools, and Voltage Control. When a rooted user first runs one of these special apps, the app will ask for Superuser permission. Since you are now the Superuser, you get to press the button that says allow or one that says deny.
S Voice - Korean Siri, courtesy of Samsung.
Swype Beta - One of the early perks of rooting, the latest version of Swype is not available to unrooted users because the Fascinate comes with a special pre-installed (and perhaps outdated) version of Swype. Upgrading gives a slicker version of Swype with a more advanced word selection logic. You must follow a few steps to do it correctly:
1. Change the input method to the Android keyboard (settings->language & keyboard).
2. Uninstall Swype using Titanium Backup.
3. Go to the Swype website, give them your email address, and then follow their lead.
*ICS ROMs don't contain any traces of Swype, so steps 1 and 2 can be skipped for them
.tar - This is the file extension for the files that get flashed via Odin. The file to install CWM, for example, is a .tar file. Another example is the file that returns your phone back to stock.
TB - TiBu - Titanium Backup - This is an app available on the Android Marketplace (Google Play). It is for rooted users only, and it requires Superuser permissions to operate normally. Its two main functions are:
1. Creating backups of your phone (or parts of it) in case you screw it up
2. Freezing or uninstalling apps and other stuff you don't want (i.e. debloating)
TW - TouchWiz - see "Skin"
TWRP - TeamWin Recovery Project - This is an alternative to the traditional recovery program. Rather than using the volume rocker, softkeys, and power button to interact with it, a touchscreen interface is used. While it offers some interesting potential, it is still under development in terms of compatibility with the Fascinate and our popular ROM/kernel setups.
UV - Undervolting - This is a means of attempting to reduce battery consumption when using custom kernels. Rooted users can accomplish this through one of several apps, with Voltage Control and NS Tools being common examples. The point of whether UV reduces battery consumption is highly contentious, but there does seem to be a theoretical basis for its validity, as well as a preponderance of anecdotal evidence.
Voltage Control - This is an app available on the Android Marketplace (Google Play). It requires root access (i.e. Superuser permissions). When used with compatible kernels, it allows you to overclock and undervolt your phone.
Voodoo - Project Voodoo is a collaborative software development effort started by dev supercurio back when Galaxy S phones first hit the market. Its goal was to optimize the Galaxy S, bringing it up to its full potential. Voodoo innovations have been used by countless rooted users. Voodoo features can only be used on compatible custom kernels. The project consists of three main branches:
1. Voodoo Color - optimizes screen images/video *Not really available in most modern Fascinate setups, but people still talk about how they miss it.
2. Voodoo Sound - optimizes sound quality for audiophiles *The Voodoo Sound app is available from the Marketplace (Google Play) to control settings.
Wipe x3 - This term refers to the act of wiping the slate clean on your phone. It removes all apps you have installed and any data associated with those apps. It will not erase Android, your ROM, your kernel, or anything on your sd card (your photos and videos are on your sd card by default). The Wipe x3 is often done before making major changes to your phone's system. The process is accomplished through a recovery program such as CWM. Here are the 3 commands (hence the "x3"):
1. wipe data/factory reset
2. wipe cache partition
3. wipe dalvik cache
*Note, performing a wipe data/factory reset will reportedly wipe the cache partition and the dalvik cache, so steps 2 & 3 may be redundant.
zip - For our purposes, this refers to the file type for files that can be flashed with CWM or other recovery programs.
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