what att unlock?
Freeing, att unlock, bootloader, baseband, rootear, flash, ROM? Is that what it is?
Android phones have a very active scene and there are numerous developers creating variations of the original version of software improvements including terminals, applications that enable advanced features that would be impossible to perform in a factory terminal.
Because there are many terms in this world and on many occasions we have found that ask us about it we decided to make a small dictionary of terms by reference and will serve to adept users in the field and certainly also be useful as basis for some of the most advanced users collaborate supplementing.
Release / att unlock
The first term we want to play is to release, which is also known as unlock or unlock operator. By signing a contract with a mobile operator, our phone carries a protection that prevents use a SIM of another operator before the end of our contract. Unlock or release the mobile is to remove this protection for our device can be used with any telephone / operator company.
This release / att unlock is a completely independent restriction on the OS version you have and upgrade your smartphone will remain the times you do it. That is, once, usually released via a code that gives you the operator, is introduced into your terminal and is free.
ROM / firmware
We continue with what a ROM and this time we need to note that is a term used in the computer pretty / electronics sector and does not always have the same meaning. ROM stands for Read-only Memory, read-only memory, but also known as ROM in the segment of the overturned emulation version of a program or game.
In the case in which we ROM becomes a version of Android that you can install on your mobile. That is, if we compare with a computer would be an image of the newly installed operating system with all drivers and applications series.
To do this you need to flash the terminal and while it could be doing many consecutive flash photos to 😉 terminal, is a process that usually involves connecting the terminal to the computer in a particular boot mode to change the software you have installed on your terminal for which you want to install.
That is, the terminal has a ROM, where the base operating system is installed, it is a memory that stays at shutdown and once recorded is unalterable by the user and passed to call ROM to what is to record there / the operating system itself.
But what we need to flash our terminal? An essential requirement is to unlock the bootloader / bootloader unlock. A mobile works similarly to how a computer how to boot. Once you press the power button terminal starts the boot process without going into much detail begins with the bootloader. In theory it has several ways to flash, one from the terminal itself if using a custom Recovery is done, and one from a computer via adb / fastboot commands.
Bootloader and Recovery
The direct translation is boot loader and the truth is that these whites tend to stick such buzzwords. As a comparison with the start of a computer bootloader becomes the POST screen, ie when your computer displays basic information, total RAM shows connected devices and either lets you enter the BIOS / UEFI or continues the boot the operating system you have installed.
We have said entering the BIOS, well, for the equivalent in smartphones could be the Recovery can perform some basic tasks such as cleaning data terminal and leave the factory directly. This is a separate partition and has nothing to do with the actual ROM that. You can only access it from the start and it usually accessed through a combination of keys that understands the Bootloader and then aborts normal to give way to start Recovery.
Why is it necessary to release the bootloader for flashing? The answer is obvious if we consider that manufacturers, to avoid any safety problem alien to them, shielding start signing (with a single key) packages that make updates to your operating system and also prevents the operating system load functionalities root .. that is, if you want to install any package, ROM or file that has not been offered by the manufacturer is not possible.
What is the baseband? In short we could call as the software that controls data connections of our smartphone, you often come integrated manufacturer updates and improve coverage or autonomy of the terminal if the manufacturer has detected a problem.
And last but not least important key point that everyone opens possibilities we have discussed rootear / root terminal. It becomes a process equivalent to jailbreak iOS or to simply know the administrator password on a Linux / Windows / Mac. This is to get maximum privileges in Android to install any application.
To explain this last sentence we have to tell you that Android like many operating systems work by default in an environment with normal user account, which allows a perfect use of the system with access to the basic functions required for day to day. That is, the user can install applications that are lowered from the Play Store or from other sources provided they do not need access to advanced features not needed for day to day or which used the wrong way could damage the system.
If you get an Android smartphone rooteas access administrator / superuser / root and therefore can perform functions such as access to application data, system directories, etc. However, do not always work in that state, you’re still working in user mode and root access is handled by an application (SU or SuperUser, for example) if an application needs root permissions, the smartphone will ask us if we give it. From similara to as a Windows / Linux / Mac so we ask for permission to install an application or access the contents of protected folders.
How to install a new ROM
Thus the flashing process to install a cooked ROM (thus called an unofficial ROM, not offered by the manufacturer of your smarpthone) becomes the following: release bootloader, rooteo, change of recovery to make a backup of your current installation, data cleansing, flashing ROM. This process is more complex and usually requires more intermediate steps depending on which mobile but to get a general idea is more than enough.
Many users may wonder why or what flash a terminal and the truth is that there ROMs cooked based on original ROMs, there are other very light as CyanogenMod, MIUI, Paranoid, offering great functionality with a consumption of RAM minimum and this implies more RAM free for your everyday multitasking, less slowdowns, etc.
And often we find very capable mobile terminals and that manufacturers stop supporting upgrades to new versions of Android.
Most cases are usually for economic issues and investment they need to do in terminals that have been sold, something unprofitable for them a priori. At other times we find mobiles very fair RAM and it would be impossible to implement the new version of Android software company.