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First smartphone...ever! (Droid 4)

Discussion in 'Droid 4 Hacks' started by FrigginNewguy, May 4, 2013.

  1. FrigginNewguy
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    FrigginNewguy New Member

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    I am new to the smartphone era. What is all this talk about rooting and hacking? I am running Droid version 4.1.2(what ever that is?). I also just recently bought the AppRadio from Pioneer and it takes forever to bluetooth in to the system (phone bluetooth is fine). I just really want to know more about this phone, I want to unlock its true potential. If it takes a root or a hack to make it better...then lets git er done!!
  2. GigaJake
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    GigaJake New Member

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    Welcome to the world of smartphones, and good choice with the Droid 4, it's arguably the best Android qwerty phone available. I don't mean to condescend if it sounds like I'm talking down to you, I'm just trying to bring you up to speed.

    The basics:

    Android - the google operating system. This is not the same as:
    Droid - a phone line manufactured by Motorola that runs Android

    Jellybean - Android 4.1.x & Android 4.2.x
    Ice Cream Sandwich - Android 4.0
    Gingerbread - Android 2.3.x

    Motoblur - Motorola's themed version of Android. Most smartphone manufacturers customize the android operating system (HTC = Sense, Samsung = Touchwiz, etc). So technically, the version of Android on your unmodified Droid 4 isn't even plain, vanilla android.

    Bloatware - apps that come with your Motoblur phone that can't be removed, regardless of whether you want them or not

    Now let's talk about hacking:

    Rooting - granting you root access on your phone (similar to obtaining root permission on a linux machine). This is equivalent to becoming an administrator on your phone, or obtaining permission to do things you wouldn't normally do. This is because as an average user, there are items on your phone the manufacturers don't think you should have access to, because it's technical stuff. Rooting just by itself won't make your phone better, it's what you do with root access that can make or break your device.

    ROMs - flashing custom roms is basically like installing a different operating system on your phone. Most times it's a modified or themed version of android, but sometimes it can even be a more up to date version as well (Example: my custom rom is running Android 4.2.2, the official motoblur for the D4 is 4.1.2).

    Safestrap - the amazing custom recovery provided by our wonderful dev, Hashcode. In the old days, flashing a rom meant installing it over your stock system. If you made a mistake or something went wrong, you would be in a world of hurt because you couldn't simply "un-do" your mistake. Safestrap instead divides your internal SD card into "rom-slots." This means you can essentially dual boot up to 4 independent roms, while still having your stock system untouched. No matter how badly you mess a rom up, you can still quickly switch back to your fully function stock system

    Kexec - the D4 has a locked bootloader. Meaning we can't flash custom kernels, which are just as important as custom roms. Since we can't flash custom kernels, despite whatever version of Android you flash in a rom, your phone will always be set up to run 4.1.2. This puts us at a disadvantage, much like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Kexec isn't a bootloader unlock, but rather a bootloader bypass. Kexec roms load up their own custom kernel which allows us to maximize a rom's performace

    So you want to see what your phone can do, huh?

    I highly recommend investing in a custom rom. We each rom, be sure to educate yourself on what does and doesn't work. Bluetooth used to be an issue, but now I believe it works. Roms are maintained by groups of developers, which are then specifically built around our devices specifications, which are using an unofficial kernel. It's easy to see how despite these incredible devs efforts, things can get a little screwy. In general though, roms don't come with unwanted bloatware and offer you greater customizations and control over your device.

    To get started I have a thread that has all the essentials you need to hack your Jellybean device here:
    http://www.droidforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=239333

    To root the D4 running 4.1.2, you'll need to use the Razr-Blade utility. Grab that and the latest Motorola usb drivers from the first post in my thread. Ensure you have usb debugging enabled and follow the instructions of the utility to root your phone. This method is a little buggy, and people are constantly posting about errors. You will get mistakes, that's fine. Just keep trying. Try toggling between mtp and mass storage when your phone is connected via usb. And if you've ever used the smart actions app, you'll need to clear it's data before trying to root it.

    Once you're rooting, grab the latest Safestrap app from Hashcode's directory at the website:
    Goo.im/devs/Hashcode/maserati

    Install the app, and then the custom recovery. Now whenever you boot your phone, you'll have 10 seconds to decide if you want to enter the recovery or boot normally. Please please PLEASE make sure you're installing and modifying things on a rom slot and not your stock system! After you make a rom slot be sure it's currently active by checking the statusbar while in the menus!

    The major Roms for the D4 are:

    Eclipse JB : http://www.droidforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=239968
    Based off the official Jellybean update, it uses the official kernel and runs 4.1.2. A solid choice if you want something reliable, despite being a version of android behind other roms

    CyanogenMod:
    The grand-daddy of all custom aosp roms for the D4.
    http://www.droidforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=231899
    CM10.1 runs 4.2.2 and has some good features. Follow the links in the thread for builds or get official nightlies from the website get.cm (our device is maserati) THIS HAS TO BE FLASHED ON ROMSLOT 1

    AOKP:
    Another aosp rom that has more than a handful of customizations. The thread is a little out of date, so you can get major builds from AOKP's website or nightlys from the STS-dev team (I'll provide a link below). THIS HAS TO BE FLASHED ON ROMSLOT 2

    Liquid Smooth:
    My personal favorite. Another aosp rom with customizations and (in my opinion) the best overall freedom and experience of these three major aosp contenders: http://www.droidforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=234589
    THIS HAS TO BE FLASHED ON ROMSLOT 3

    If you decide to use any aosp (Android Open Source Project) rom, you will also have to flash the latest gapps (google applications). Go to goo.im/gapps and grab the latest one for 4.2.2.

    Some useful links:

    Goo.im/devs/Hashcode/maserati
    Hashcode's D4 directory on Goo.I'm. Most of these builds will be out of date, but there's still some useful stuff.

    http://sts-dev-team.crackflasher.com/nightlies/maserati/
    Nightlies for the major aosp roms above (this is where I get 95% of the roms I use)

    If you have any questions feel free to ask, do some research so you don't break your phone, I'm not responsible for anything you do, blah blah blah blah. Happy flashing!

    Sent from my XT894 using Tapatalk 2
  3. Psykho
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    Psykho New Member

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    You are incorrect about DROID being a line of Motorola phones... DROID is a line of phones on Verizon made by Motorola and HTC.
  4. GigaJake
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    GigaJake New Member

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    I forgot about HTC. My mistake

    Sent from my XT894 using Tapatalk 2
  5. tortoracer
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    tortoracer New Member

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    Very good information!

    Now with custom ROM's, are those all inclusive in terms of 'whats done is done'?
    Or can I modify things past the ROM?

    For instance, the reason I clicked on the thread; I read that somebody took their rooted android device, made it use very little power with no unwanted background apps when the screen was off, but when the screen is on they have all of their processing power. No bloatware etc...so a nice fast device with better battery.

    Is this advanced, or for somebody who is good with technology but still doesn't quite know what they are doing with their first smart phone (much like op) is this doable?
  6. myfishbear
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    myfishbear Developer Developer

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    lol forgot samsung nit picker
    Verizon Droid Family


  7. GigaJake
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    GigaJake New Member

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    Blah. I'll always think of the Droid line as the OG droid and it's successors

    Sent from my XT894 using Tapatalk 2
  8. myfishbear
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    myfishbear Developer Developer

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    so true Lol... I got a DNA and I think of it as a slower HTC one not a droid:) sense doesn't belong on a droid lol
  9. myfishbear
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    myfishbear Developer Developer

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    you could try my ROM... it has most of that done for you already
  10. tortoracer
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    tortoracer New Member

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    I very well may start with yours...I need to get to a computer though...mine got fried and I'm waiting on another...I'm just speccing out my options
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