Android Dictionary : What is Android?

Those who sail around the world while Android we have incorporated terminology, sometimes a bit complex that has become a sort of semi-closed slang often difficult to understand for novice users or new.

Not that we do it on purpose but these terms from time to mention have passed unconscious since the dictionary, so that we do not review their complexity or definition when writing articles.

Knowing this error, we intend to solve all the definitions of these terms that may be unfamiliar to new users of Android. We hope you find it helpful to read the tutorials and articles, and comment if you know any more or have better definition.

What is Android?

If you are extremely new to the internet and in the world, you are probably wondering what is Android. As stated wikipedia in their first lines, Android is a mobile operating system based on Linux, a kernel , free and multiplatform.

Android is capable of running applications in a Java variation called Dalvik providing them the most basic functions to interact with mobile devices.

Developed in the beginning by Android Inc, this operating system was purchased by Google in 2005 and since then has become an operating system completely open and free, which facilitates the development of applications and allows modifications and customizations to taste.

This added to a simple programming language has given it a solid foundation for rapid growth in its community of developers and users, surpassing today the 700,000 applications.

What is a ROM?

The word appears in the computer ROM as an abbreviation for Read Only Memory. in the beginning were memories where the operating system was located and whose modification was not possible, so it was necessary to change the ROM to update the OS. Although this is a thing of the past, the abbreviation has been kept to define the memory space where there is usually written, as is the case of the PC BIOS or ROM memory cell.

In a Android, a ROM is a file containing the entire operating system ready to be copied to the flash memory (ROM) device. Here are all the files needed to run the operating system and applications pre-installed as the Linux kernel, icons and images.

What is a Nightly ROM?

Cyanogen ROMs can be of three types (nightly, Release Candidate or stable). The difference between them is simple: the nightly ROMs are automatically created by Cyanogen servers at night and carry extras or corrections to the latest ROM version created, this happens whenever there is any update or modification of last minute . The Release Candidate are refined versions of the Experimental or Nightly who are one step away from the Stable (or final) but still require some minor adjustment.

The ROMS Nightly began to become popular with releases CyanogenMod based on Gingerbread. These are characterized by a high frequency of update, and cleanup of unnecessary applications. Thus, comes with only the minimum required for the proper functioning of the device and are optimized to offer maximum performance.

These ROMs are so basic that not even brings native Google applications installed, and lack Toogles of the toolbar.

It may be unstable because they have not been adequately evaluated, lack any records of changes, but eventually evolve into alphas, betas and candidates and the most stable ROMs.

What is root?

This is probably a term familiar to Linux users, where root is the “root” that can change the system, change settings, delete protected files etc. Therefore when being root you can modify the operating system of your device as you like and use applications such as autostart applications that allows you to disable either the user or system to fail to load at startup, reducing memory consumption and battery.

You can also change system settings to record full HD video, making the longest scan wifi to save power, or perform overclocking the processor to run faster in your phone.

You can disable applications either user or system to fail to load at startup, allowing you to save memory and battery consuming, and make the operating system start faster.

What is permanent and temp-root root?

Obtaining the root user is something that does not leave the factory in the ROMs of Android devices, so we must get it by some method. They can allow you get Perma root access, which will keep as root even after restarting the device or Temp root access that will be lost when you restart the device.

What are the partitions of Android?

The disk partitions are virtual divisions made on a single physical data storage. Each can have its own file system as FAT, NTFS, FAT32, YAFFS and Ext4.

In the beginning Android devices used YAFFS file system, which despite being fast and optimized for storage in flash memory could handle only one process at a time, creating bottlenecks in concurrent dual-core systems .

Therefore, since the launch of Gingerbread, Android uses the Ext4 file system which is the most widely used in modern Linux distributions to be quite stable and secure, at least minimizing the risk of data loss.

Unlike Windows, where the partitions are named with a letter, in Android are named as operating systems Unix, because Android is Linux based. Thus we get the following partitions:

  • boot contains the data necessary to boot the Android phone as the bootloader and Linux kernel
  • recovery contains an alternative start / boot from which you access the console to perform some advanced tasks
  • system contains the operating system (except the kernel and bootloader) and the applications that come by default in the terminal
  • cache contains temporary data of the operating system
  • misc contains important data terminal configuration
  • data contains the downloaded applications and application data, so when deleting the device is in a state of factory

What is a Bootloader?

The bootloader is responsible for starting the kernel and all processes required to boot the operating system. As Android is an operating system of free source code, the bootloader usually varies between different device manufacturers, and many of them do not allow for unlock the bootloader, since it allows to alter the operating system.

What is the Unlocked bootloader?

To install a Recovery, ROM, or modified kernels you need to have unlocked the bootloader, as now, operators tend to require manufacturers to put security on their devices, with an encryption key, so that you can not “sign digital “files needed to load the OS or kernel without knowing it.

This is necessary for example, to obtain permanent root access which we discussed above.
S and S-OFF-ON

When you start the fastboot, we can see the options the S-ON and OFF S-security, that tell us if the bootloader is unlocked or not, something needed to install recoverys.

What is Recovery?

Android devices have a recovery console installed on a partition of the device’s internal memory. From this you can start Android Recovery mode to access a range of basic functions like returning the device to its factory or recover the operating system using an official ROM in zip format.

What is ClockworkMod Recovery?

ClockworkMod Recovery is a modified Android recovery system, developed by Koushik Dutta, allowing you to replace the recovery system supplied from factory.

This has some options that give greater control over your device and allow easy installation of other ROMs, or updates. Zip to include applications, themes, kernels, etc..

Also lets you delete data from any system partition, use the memory card from within the recovery system, partition the MicroSD card, delete the Dalvik cache, remove the battery statistics, set permissions, manage and retrieve copies of safety, etc..

One of the advantages of ClockworkMod over other systems recovery is the ease in installation. After root the device, you can simply install it using the ROM Manager application that is in Google Play.

What is Dalvik?

Dalvik virtual machine is developed by Dan Bornstein currently being used in Android mobile devices. This basically allows you to read code written in Java and turn it into a format optimized to run on mobile devices.

Dalvik is optimized to require little memory and allows to run multiple instances of the virtual machine simultaneously, delegating to the underlying operating system support process isolation, memory management and threads.

Missing a term? Please let us know in the comments.