[FAQFlow #2]: Android Upgrading/Rooting Notes

I just [successfully] upgraded my Android phone [1] from Jelly Bean (4.1.2) to KitKat (4.4.2). Here are some notes about my upgrade process.

  1. Backup your data before trying anything! In particular, make sure it is available elsewhere: either in the cloud or in a computer.
  2. Make screenshots of the apps you have installed: use your launcher plus <VolumeDown> + <Power> buttons pressed together for a while. And…save these screenshots somewhere!
  3. Did you backup your data??????
  4. Is your bootloader unlocked? If not, then you should probably unlock it first. A good reference for this is [2].
  5. Is your device rooted? Maybe you should do that first. See [2].
  6. What do you want do to? Upgrade your android (version)? Then search for “OTA upgrade”. Customize it? Then search for “custom ROM”.
  7. Make sure to get a decent recovery. TWRP (TeamWin) looks like one of the best today. Another option is CWM. A recovery is something that will be useful if you want to flash ZIPs, wipe your cache, install custom ROMs…in other words, for maintenance and customization tasks (anything, for that matter).
  8. To reboot your phone with adb directly into the bootloader: `adb reboot-bootloader`
  9. Or maybe into the recovery: `adb reboot recovery`
  10. While you are in fastboot, you cannot use adb.
  11. Here is a good source to get an updated adb: ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/labs/android-tools/
  12. Usually you can upgrade your phone either from Windows or Linux. I usually use Windows for this task, since it looks like what most power android developers and users use. Is this true? I don’t know. But the method should be reliable: use what is available and recommended by the tutorial you’re reading.
  13. Don’t simply install blindly: read, read and read before anything else! In particular, see opinions of other users.
  14. If you need support, use IRC (on Freenode: see the #android-root channel), Facebook Groups or Google+ groups. Reddit is another good place. What is the best one? That depends on the size and the activity of each community. Try to search for a group about your phone model or family first. XDA forums is usually a technical/advanced place: don’t ask newbie questions in there, unless there is specifically a section for them — or, unless if  you have a specific question about a specific thread –> in this case, ask for support in the thread.
  15. Debloating is a good term to search for after you finish installing/upgrading your device.
  16. Google Play is not the only thing out there; see also F-Droid (it contains FOSS software).
  17. Only upgrade your phone with a charger connected.
  18. Don’t install untested or poorly tested ROMs. It is better not to install anything instead of installing something that doesn’t work very well –> this won’t be always true, use your head and inspect the context carefully.

I guess those items sums up some key points. If you want to complement this post, feel free to leave a comment. Happy hacking!


[1]: a Motorola Razr I XT890, with an Intel Atom (x86) CPU and 1GB of RAM

[2]: XDA Developer Forums: http://forum.xda-developers.com/

[FAQFlow #2]: Android Upgrading/Rooting Notes

“Account deletion request”

There is a fact that is not usually much publicized about accounts in the web: in general, if a given web service doesn’t have a delete button, you can instead request manually the deletion of your account, by e-mailing the administration of the service.

Usually the e-mail you want to contact is localized somewhere on the ‘contact’ or ‘about’ page of the service, or even in the homepage. If not, you can try to make educated guesses:

  • admin@example.org
  • contact@example.org
  • support@example.org

Through the last months I occasionally deleted some of my accounts and I confirm that this method usually works all the time. (Bias: )Well, at least if you subscribed to services with good admin/policies in the first place…

But really, even when my account couldn’t be deleted for…er…bad design in the database, I got nice replies from real people (not robots 😛 (yet)).

There are a few exceptions for this. One is when it isn’t an advantage for the service to have you gone. Example? Facebook. You can only deactivate your account; there is no option to permanently delete it. And don’t you even try to contact Zuckerberg…other exceptions I have yet to experience.

If you have any good (or bad) experience about account deletion requests, don’t hesitate to share it in the comments. Have a nice day.

“Account deletion request”

9 melhores apps para Android – Parte 1 – KISS

Resumo: recentemente testei muitos apps para Android, então vou começar a escrever uma série de posts recomendando quais achei mais interessantes e / ou melhores. Cada post incluirá um punhado de apps, separados por categorias.


OBS.: esses posts seguirão dois princípios básicos: a) só serão listados aplicativos os quais tendem a valer a pena deixar instalados de forma permanente no sistema. Isto é, vou evitar listar aplicativos os quais só vale a pena “ver como é” e depois desinstalá-los. A ideia não é essa; na verdade, o objetivo é apresentar um conjunto de aplicativos que seja relativamente útil / interessante a tal ponto de mantê-los instalados no sistema e b) não pretendo descrever esses aplicativos de forma extensiva. A ideia de testar um aplicativo é DIY (= do it yourself / faça você mesmo).  Vamos lá:

Continue reading “9 melhores apps para Android – Parte 1 – KISS”

9 melhores apps para Android – Parte 1 – KISS