1. artician's Avatar
    I’m tinkering with my Nexus hardware/firmware/software and could really use some feedback. My primary reason is for privacy and app control. I’m just going to rattle off some loosely related questions and hopefully someone more familiar with this territory can help me out!

    - Is there any point in rooting any more? I can’t think of a reason to have high-level hardware access on the device, so I am happy skipping such a thing.

    - I’m at the stage where I’m flashing TWRP as the recovery software, but only because the steps I’m following say to. It sounds like, for the purposes of OS installation, this is needed for CyanogenMod. Is rooting a necessary prerequisite for this? Is this a necessary prerequisite for CyanogenMod itself?

    - For the OS, it seems like there are apps for flashing to CyanogenMod available now, but not being intimately participatory in this scene, the trust issues unnerve me. Is this unnecessary caution?

    - How does using CyanogenMod affect my apps that have been purchased from the app store (google, that is)? I have one app I paid for, that I believe is tied to my old google account. Will I have to sign in to my google account anyway whenever using a licensed piece of software? Is there any way around this other than piracy?

    I am doing this manually (adb/fastboot from usb tethered PC), so using an app from the appstore to flash Cyanogenmod on there doesn’t tickle my geek-sector as much. That said, I almost bricked my device earlier this week (long story), so I may choose to reel in my ambition if it’s recommended. As for what I’m hoping to get out of this, here are some things I specifically hope to achieve:

    - App Network Permissions Control. I want absolute control over apps that phone-home, or share data with the network. I’m an oldschool PC user, and lament the loss of control over the hardware and software I own, so primarily I’d like to be certain I’m Supreme Dictator Overlord of my device and can view/control everything on it.

    - Less Google-everything- Related to the above, I’d like to have access to some of googles services, but I don’t want to log in or be tracked where possible. (After updating to Marshmallow I can’t even open the ******* calendar or keep(notes) without being pestered to sign in first; unacceptable). Is it realistic to think google and privacy can coexist in any way?

    - More security- This goes along with controlling apps and network access, but if anyone can educate me on how doing this to my tablet will open up *new* attack vectors, and how I might detect and/or prevent them I would be most appreciative.

    Many many thanks to anyone who can educate me.
    12-31-2015 10:51 AM
  2. gozirra's Avatar
    1. Point of rooting - mostly to be rid of stuff that comes with your distribution that you can't get rid of otherwise (bloatware). This is usually because they put these apps in the /system partition that a "normal" user doesn't have write access to.

    2. Some ROM installations rely on a modified TWRP or ClockworkMod. It is usually one of the first steps in rooting. So to answer your question, rooting isn't necessary to install a modified bootloader, usually a modified bootloader is required to root.

    3. Apps to install the OS for you came about because people thought they knew better or didn't pay attention and skipped one or more steps. These days that usually leads to a bricked device.

    4. With Android, whatever OS you're running, whether its stock, Cyan, or any others, as long as you can log into your Google account, your paid apps work and you don't have to repurchase. This is even true for Android emulators running on a Windows box.

    5. Yep, taking the "oops factor" out of the process hopefully prevents bricked devices.

    - App Network Permissions Control - you should be getting finer control over app permissions in Marshmallow.
    - Less Google Everything - maybe Android isn't for you - without the Google stuff, you're putting your trust in some unknown group or person. Android works so well because of the tight integration with Google's services. Without it, you might as well go back to a flip phone. As for "privacy", Google is ultimately in business to sell you stuff via targeted advertising. They have some ethical standards but when it's said and done, don't expect any sort of privacy anymore.
    - More Security - Google does a lot behind the scenes to make sure your stuff stays safe and sandboxed - are they 100% successful? Of course not. But they do a pretty good job while still being mostly "open". Take away those protections and it's a war zone. Imagine Stagefright type exploits from hundreds of vectors. It could be a lot worse. The biggest drawback though is the carrier's lack of drive to push out timely updates. Google "fixed" Stagefright exploits quite a while back, but most devices have yet to receive those fixes. Having teams of smart people like Cyanogen working for you can actually be an advantage, as they can push those fixes out in days instead of months or years (or in many carrier's cases, never).

    Having said all that - I'm just another amateur user like yourself, my opinions are just that, opinions. Hopefully you get more educated responses.
    12-31-2015 11:32 AM
  3. artician's Avatar
    First, thank you so much for taking the time to answer all that.

    Yeah I'm thinking Cyanogenmod is not what I expected... I started it up and was immediately greeted by Yahoo(???!!!!#@$%^&*) Weather, probably the worst corporate Privacy-R apist at the moment. There's just no answer, is there? We ******* lost so hard.
    12-31-2015 12:58 PM
  4. gozirra's Avatar
    That Yahoo Weather widget is easy enough to disable, and then you can install a different one - that's one of the nice things about Android, if you don't like something, you can usually change it (several ways) to something else. For instance: https://forums.androidcentral.com/e?...token=gK_DqZZr

    That comes with a lot of different weather and clock widgets to choose from.
    12-31-2015 01:18 PM

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