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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default A Couple Questions about Rooting and Android abilities.

    First off I'll start by admitting I am a webOS fan boy and I don't know Androids limitations and so on so you Android fella's dont beat up on a webOS lover too much lol
    I recently received 2 Nexus 4's 2days after adding to cart And ive been researching how to install the stock Android browser. After finding the necessary steps to do so I see that the phone needs to be rooted. If there is a way to do this without rooting, someone please point me in the right direction. However I still have my few Q's.

    1. Understanding when you Root, the phone wipes clean, formats if you will, but what if you lock it back or "unroot" if you will, does it wipe everything again in order to relock or "unroot"?

    2. Does Android, after a format/wipe or root put back your apps after a gmail login? or do you have to go in and manually re download whatever you had installed. I already understand you can back up your apps and data via apps and such or homebrew ways, but does just a reg login do anything more than just returning your contacts?

    3. After seeing a "how to root" video, one of the options was to create a recovery. Is this the only way to get your phone back to factory after tinkering with it? is there not a simple normal format/restore via google? is a homebrew recovery the only way if you got stuck in an infinite logo boot loop or something?

    4. I really only want to install the stock browser for now, im not going to play with roms or anything else that requires root for now, so lets say I followed the steps to root, installed stock browser, locked it back but then later down the line find an app or something else that yet again required root access, would it have to wipe clean again in order for me get back root access again essentially doing the whole process like from scratch?

    5. This phone is essentially my back up phone for now, im still happily married to my Pre 3. I don't mind tinkering with it to get it prepared for the just in case moment where I have no choice but to pop my SIM in it. So with that, is there anything you guys in this community would consider an absolutely must do/have for the phone before making it my daily driver. for example things like installing that recovery menu after rooting or perhaps theres things like "you must do this" for better battery or perhaps better signal. I guess whatever you guys feel is the first "must do" whenever you guys get a new android device that only you Android fans would know from the get go. Besides the obvious "i must root!" lol Like ive read some people's must do things are some sort of ad blocker after rooting? things like that I guess i'd like to hear of.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. #2  
    2defmouze's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Couple Questions about Rooting and Android abilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rookie4sho View Post
    First off I'll start by admitting I am a webOS fan boy and I don't know Androids limitations and so on so you Android fella's dont beat up on a webOS lover too much lol
    I recently received 2 Nexus 4's 2days after adding to cart And ive been researching how to install the stock Android browser. After finding the necessary steps to do so I see that the phone needs to be rooted. If there is a way to do this without rooting, someone please point me in the right direction. However I still have my few Q's.

    1. Understanding when you Root, the phone wipes clean, formats if you will, but what if you lock it back or "unroot" if you will, does it wipe everything again in order to relock or "unroot"?
    Unlocking the bootloader wipes it clean, and that only has to be done once. Rooting and unrooting won't wipe anything, and neither will re-locking the bootloader, although my advice to you will be to just leave it unlocked. And yes unlocking it again if you do re-lock it will again wipe the entire device.

    2. Does Android, after a format/wipe or root put back your apps after a gmail login? or do you have to go in and manually re download whatever you had installed. I already understand you can back up your apps and data via apps and such or homebrew ways, but does just a reg login do anything more than just returning your contacts?
    Yes in fact, right after you login after the phone has been wiped you will see 2 checkboxes, one of which will have the option to restore your apps and settings to the phone. This will initiate the re-download of Play Store apps and will often even sync some of your old settings like wallpaper and wifi passwords, to name a few. However any data for your apps and any other media that's on your internal sd partition will have been wiped and lost if you did not back it up. Note there is a nice new app from Koush called Carbon which can be used on an unrooted device to let you back up your apps and data to restore later, worth checking out if that is important to you.

    3. After seeing a "how to root" video, one of the options was to create a recovery. Is this the only way to get your phone back to factory after tinkering with it? is there not a simple normal format/restore via google? is a homebrew recovery the only way if you got stuck in an infinite logo boot loop or something?
    What you probably saw was them advising that you make a backup from within recovery, known as a nandroid backup. This is definitely recommended, especially since you plan on tinkering with the system a bit to install the AOSP Browser (it's a simple task, but you never know if you might do something silly along the way). A nandroid is like an exact image of your phone in it's current, working state that can be restored later if you screw something up. Any new root users and tinkerers are highly advised to keep a recent backup handy.

    If you don't have a backup and something horrible happens, you can always restore a Nexus device to out-of-the-box condition by doing a Factory Image Restore, which I have a guide for stickied up top


    4. I really only want to install the stock browser for now, im not going to play with roms or anything else that requires root for now, so lets say I followed the steps to root, installed stock browser, locked it back but then later down the line find an app or something else that yet again required root access, would it have to wipe clean again in order for me get back root access again essentially doing the whole process like from scratch?
    No, like I said if you leave the bootloader unlocked you won't have to wipe it again to tinker with anything in the future. My advice to you would be to leave it both unlocked and rooted, though I know some people have work or other situations that require them to unroot their devices for regular use. Also note that since you will be making some system level alterations to install the AOSP browser and set it up, you will probably cause future OTA updates for the phone (new Android versions) to fail to install. To be able to install them you would need to reverse any alterations you did, which would require root access again anyway.

    5. This phone is essentially my back up phone for now, im still happily married to my Pre 3. I don't mind tinkering with it to get it prepared for the just in case moment where I have no choice but to pop my SIM in it. So with that, is there anything you guys in this community would consider an absolutely must do/have for the phone before making it my daily driver. for example things like installing that recovery menu after rooting or perhaps theres things like "you must do this" for better battery or perhaps better signal. I guess whatever you guys feel is the first "must do" whenever you guys get a new android device that only you Android fans would know from the get go. Besides the obvious "i must root!" lol Like ive read some people's must do things are some sort of ad blocker after rooting? things like that I guess i'd like to hear of.
    Kind of too general a question for me to dive into here, lol.. An ad blocker is nice to have, sure. I like flashing custom ROMs and if you're feeling a little more adventurous I'd recommend checking out an option like CM10.1 or AOKP. Both ROMs add a ton of functionality that is missing from stock as well as fix some issues - and being AOSP-based ROMs they will come with the AOSP browser installed off the bat, not Chrome, saving you a few steps.... although ROM flashing is another topic altogether that I'm not going to get into here.

    Thanks in advance!
    Hope that helps.. let me know if you have any more questions!
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  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: A Couple Questions about Rooting and Android abilities.

    Thanks for all that info, awesome response, much appreciated!
    So your saying if I where to install the stock browser I would lose the ability for OTA updates? This is a bit of a downer. Is this due to the fact of Rooting or is this because of the directory in which you need to install the stock browser? Does the OS some how see that the stock browser is unofficial and there for wont allow OTA updates? I understand you can "side load" but wanted to avoid that. Just thought stock browser wasn't something as OS changing as a ROM so it might not effect such things.

    You have enlightened me that bootloader unlocked and Root are two separate things. Could it be that I could have bootloader unlocked and then have Root unlocked and re locked as I chose or does re locking back root access and then unlocking root access cause a wipe again? (while boatloader remains unlocked the entire time) This root stuff has me a little more intrigued now but I wish it was as simple as Preware and a simple turn Dev mode on and off lol.

    Another Nexus 4 landed on my door step today (surprisingly since I got the email it was shipped at 4am!), this one's actually for my uncle who lives out of the country. Was contemplating preparing this phone for him somewhat like adding the stock browser back and Flash. But that no OTA update kind of has me hesitant since I wont be around to assist in fixing problems or side loading an update.

    I'm guessing side loading an update is an easier process than if one where to run a format back to factory and then update and then re do the process of rooting correct?

    Want to thank you also for your response to Q5, agreeing it is a bit of a general question but you answered it perfectly and I am grateful for those recommendations and insight you have given me. I am happy to see this community is very helpful and the posts seem to be on point, I look forward to making that switch and more confident now with all the info you gave me and what these forums have to offer. I don't know why I should of expected differently since this is a sister site of my beloved webOS Nation!

    Thanks again for your input, much appreciated.
  4. #4  
    2defmouze's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Couple Questions about Rooting and Android abilities.

    In order for the stock, AOSP browser to function correctly it needs to be installed to /system/app, and 2 other files I believe need to be altered in there (I could find the instructions at a later time if you need them). OTA updates would *probably* fail if anything has been altered in those directories... But like I said, you could reverse the changes before allowing the OTA and that would probably work fine. Certainly easier than having to do a full reset. Afterwards, rooting and redoing your changes is a breeze since the bootloader is still unlocked.

    I know you had a few other general questions in there but that's all I have time for right now, lol.. I'll be back tomorrow

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: A Couple Questions about Rooting and Android abilities.

    Cool thanks, so in this case scenario i'd just have to remove the AOSP browser files out of the directory and a OTA update should work as normal and then put them back afterwards.
    Im glad you at least still get notification of an update while Rooted even if you get an error attempting to update. Does this go the same for a custom ROM? do you still get notified of an update while on a diff ROM or this will only happen while being on stock android?

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