Humpty's Blogs

What to do with an
Android Phone ( 2011)
Since smartphones were introduced, a large bulk of people both old and young who ordinarily didn't bother with gadgets fell victim to social and commercial coercion of actually buying one. Not to prove that they were 'in' but mainly for fear of being 'out'.

Unlike like the stereotyped housewife who avoids to learn how to program the VCR,  some of these new smartphone users may want to explore their new toy in a way their manufacturers did not intend.

So here is a quick guide on how to take control of Google's phone operating system.

Root the Phone.

he first thing you need is to  root it.

Rooting is needed for uninstalling system apps or running apps that need to change the system.  (Manufacturers don't root phones because they are afraid some users might carelessly corrupt the OS and render the phone useless.)

For Android 2+ phones  you can use an app called Gingerbreak. Available on market/GooglePlay or search for it on Google.

For newer phones like ICS (Android 4.0) take a trip to xda developers forum or search on Google for "how to root android".

Install Essentials.

Install these apps.

ES File Explorer
 -  a file manager.
Titanium Backup  -  backs up apps and uninstalls them.

Remove Crap.
On my phone I uninstalled the following packaged freebies;
LG stocks
LG Movie
LG News
ThinkFree Office
Update Notifier  -  annoying messages about updates.
Market Updater  -  updates Market without telling you.

The giveaway apps are generally poorly built or try to get you to join their services.

How to Remove a Google Account
Here's a way to remove your google account without having to reset to factory settings :
1. Root the phone using GingerBreak
2. remove or rename /data/system/accounts.db

Where are apps stored ?

On the system :
pre-installed apps are found in /system/app
user-installed apps at /data/app (root access)

From Android 2.2, apps can be moved to SDcard.

On the SDcard they get moved to encrypted file-blocks inside .android_secure. You can't see them on the phone but you can from a PC. This special filesystem gets mounted to /mnt/asec and /mnt/secure/asec on the phone..

Apps need permission for them to be moved, this is set by the app developer.

Install More Goodies.

My recomended Android Apps

Note that  I  prefer ad-free, unbloated simple apps that just do the job.

NoLock  -  prevents having to slide to answer a call.
ScreenLock  -  closes screen without pressing power button.

QuickPic  -  Image viewer.
Much quicker and better quality than the stock Gallery.

ColorNote  -  sticky notes.

Tune-In Radio  -  Internet Radio
By far the most useful app for a phone with a 2G unlimited mobile plan. To be able to listen to virtually any radio station you want on the planet without taxing the battery. practically no other device does this for you. This will be the death of the tradtional transistor radio.

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