The first step to having any real ROM-type fun is getting a custom recovery for your device. Well, the Oppo Find 7a is getting TWRP support even before it's widely available (only for sale in China right now). While Cyanogen Inc. has moved on to work with One Plus, Oppo is forging ahead with another modding-friendly Android device.
Samsung's newest mid-size tablet is probably about to get more appealing for the tinkerers out there. TeamWin has announced official TWRP support for the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4. The popular custom recovery can be downloaded from the official directory in several forms right this minute.
For custom ROM addicts, the custom recovery is an essential tool, and lately Team Win Recovery Project (usually shortened to "TWRP") has been the most popular option as of late. Today Team Win upgraded the core recovery to version 18.104.22.168, with more new features than you can shake a stick at. The latest version is available for dozens of officially-supported devices on the Project website.
Among the more interesting additions in TWRP 2.7 are sideloading from the /tmp directory on encrypted devices, support for a mouse via a USB OTG connection (for devices with broken touchscreens), haptic feedback for buttons and finishing actions, and caps lock support for keyboards.
With SHIELD, NVIDIA made the decision to support the open source/root/Android modding community and embrace the hack-centric nature of the platform by making the device unlockable and easily modifiable. Now, it has made the necessary files available to really open it up for devs: the open source binary drivers and stock recovery image. Together, these files will not only allow developers to start tinkering with the device, but also flash everything back to its stock state should something go awry.
Well, that didn't take long. TeamWin has just dropped a new version of its TWRP custom recovery designed specifically for the Flo – the new Nexus 7. As usual, it's a fairly simple procedure with a Nexus device to get a custom recovery running, which allows you to flash root. The Android 4.3 SuperSU file is already out there, so we're ready to go.
If you're a heavy custom ROM user or a dedicated modder, you want this app. Flashify is a brand-spankin' new tool for root users with a ton of advanced function, specifically tailored to those who use custom recoveries, kernels, and boot images. The app can flash any of them right from Android, automatically rebooting your phone and applying your changes. It can do the same with more generalized Zip update files as well.
The Team Win Recovery Project (stylized "TWRP") is an alternative recovery software for various Android phones and tablets. TWRP tends to focus on newer, more interesting features, as opposed to the more established ClockworkMod recovery. A few TWRP fans have created a support app for users of the custom recovery and posted Alpha information to the XDA Developers forum, allowing users to install new ROMs, backup, restore, and wipe their device from within Android.
I've been using Samsung's Galaxy Note 8.0 for the past week or so, and it is hands-down one of the best tablets I've ever used. The form factor is great, and the S Pen adds some really useful functionality to this little beast. If you're looking for a new tablet in a smaller-than-ten-inches form factor, I readily recommend this one.
And once you've decided to pull the trigger and buy one, you may want a quick and easy way to gain root access, flash a recovery, make a backup, and all that other fun stuff that so many Android users like to do.
A few days ago, developer mskip released the Nexus 4 toolkit, which simplifies the unlock/root/recovery/etc. process on the device. The same dev has now released the Nexus 10 toolkit, which does essentially the same thing, only for Google's first 10" slate. These toolkits really take the work out of doing a number of otherwise potentially tedious tasks:
FUNCTIONS OF GOOGLE NEXUS 10 TOOLKIT V1.0.0 [20TH NOVEMBER 2012] * Install correct adb/fastboot drivers automatically on Windows xp/vista/7/8 32bit+64bit * Backup/Restore a single package or all apps, user data and Internal Storage * Backup your /data/media (virtual SD Card) to your PC for a Full Safe backup of data * Unlock/Re-Lock your Bootloader * Root Stock Jelly Bean builds (upto 4.2.0 JOP40C) * 1-Click For All to Unlock the Bootloader, Root, Rename the Restore File and Flash Custom Recovery * Perform a FULL NANDROID Backup of your system (Boot, Cache, Data, Recovery and System) via adb and save in Custom Recovery format on your PC which can be Restored via CWM Recovery * Pull /data and /system folders, compress to a .tar file and save to your PC * Dump selected Phone Partitions, compress to a .zip file with md5 and save to your PC * Install BusyBox on your phone * Extras, Tips and Tricks section available to all ToolKit Donators * Auto Update ToolKit to latest pushed version at startup (donator feature) * Program up to 10 Quickpic slots and run them very quickly (donator feature) * Mods section to automatically perform certain tasks on your phone * Download Google Stock Image directly to correct ToolKit folder for extracting and flashing (no need to move it manually anymore) * Flash Custom Recovery or Google Stock Image to phone * Rename the Recovery Restore File present on some Stock Roms * Boot into CWM Touch Recovery without Flashing it * Boot or Flash .img Files directly from your PC * Install a single apk or multiple apk's to your phone * Push Files from your PC to your phone * Pull Files from your phone to your PC * Dump selected LogCat buffers to your PC * Dump BugReport to your PC * Set Files Permissions on your phone * Open new Command Prompt for manual input * Reboot Phone to Fastboot Mode or Android from fastboot mode * Reboot Phone to Fastboot Mode, Recovery, Android or Download Mode from adb mode
The ToolKit.exe and ModsSection.exe files may be detected as malicious by some anti-virus software.
It's pretty disheartening to get an awesome new phone only to realize the bootloader's locked down tight. That's means no custom recovery, no ROMs, no custom kernels, no... anything fun. Until, of course, some dedicated developers get ahold of the device in question and bend it to their will. That's exactly what Project FreeGee has done for both the Sprint and AT&T variants of the LG Optimus G.
The tool essentially unlocks the bootloader of both devices, allowing a custom recovery - and eventually, custom ROMs - to be flashed.