The Various Android Hacks – Explained

Android Unlocked

If you’re an android user you must have come across various terms like rooting, flashing etc. These all are essentially hacks that can bring out many hidden easter eggs, more customizability or greater control over your device. In this post I’m gonna explain you what are really these terms and what the basic difference between them is. Have a look.

Rooting

Rooting an Android phone is fairly simple. It just involves writing the su binary to a directory in the system path (usually /usr/xbin) and making it executable. This su command allows other apps to elevate their permissions and read, write, and execute anything on your device. In this case, anything means anything – whether preloaded or protected system files or plain user data. But with great power comes great responsibility. Rooting brings out additional security holes in your system by exposing the super user, making it easier for malwares to damage your system.

Rooting generally involves using a firmware exploit and is most commonly used alongside a Super User manager such as SuperSU or SuperUser. But remember, even the slightest mistake will brick your device and moreover, rooting an android device may void your manufacturer warranty depending on the legal procedures in your country.

SIM or Network Unlocking

This allows a phone locked for use on a particular network to be used on another network. If you buy a phone designed to only work on Vodafone, to use it on any other network, you will need to unlock the SIM programming (a.k.a. SIM lock). It’s generally done without rooting or fiddling with any firmware in your phone or tablet. For this you require the unlock code of the carrier which can be easily found with a bit of goggling. A word of caution, most devices have a limit on the number of incorrect code entries (usually 3 or 10… depends). You can’t just try infinite combinations. Any incorrect attempt exceeding the limit will brick your device and recovery is a very complicated process. Remember, network unlocking will void your warranty since, the warranty is provided by the network operator and in their terms it’s clearly forbidden to unlock any carrier or network lock.

Remember, the networks have to be compatible (operating at same frequency… most of the networks are compatible with one another in India). A phone operating with a radio frequency tweaked to suite one carrier may not work on another network.

Bootloader Unlocking

A bootloader is a piece of software that loads the operating system of your device to the memory and executes it. Almost all Android devices ship with a locked bootloader that only allows to load a kernel image signed with the OEM key. Some are very easy to unlock, (Nexus devices,for instance) some require a little hacking (most Samsung devices), and some are encrypted and are very difficult to unlock (mostly Motorola devices). Bootloader unlocking allows you to flash custom image files and ROMs that haven’t been signed with the OEM official key. An unlocked bootoader will flash anything that’s compatible with your device, once you tell it to do so. And the word of caution, hacking the bootloader and flashing is potentially very dangerous and even a slightest mistake will brick your device and again, it will void your manufacturer warranty.

Be warned that, fiddling with your device is potentially very dangerous and EVEN THE SLIGHTEST MISTAKE WILL BRICK YOUR DEVICE. DO STUFF AT YOUR OWN RISK. BlogZamana disclaims any responsibility for any loss or brick of your device. Be sure about what you are going to do and be prepared to perform an exhaustive recovery process in case things go awry. Anyways, good luck. Enjoy hacking!

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