Android Wifi Tether Now Working on Galaxy Nexus

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The only real reason I ever root my phone is to use the Wifi Tether app. Wifi Tether is a free application that allows you to get the internet from your rooted android phone onto your computer, without having to pay for Verizon’s ridiculous tethering plans.

Right after I rooted, I installed Wifi Tether and was disappointed when it gave me an error and didn’t work. I went to their Google Code page and there was already a very popular thread about it’s dysfunctionality on the Galaxy Nexus.

Well, rooters unite – Wifi Tether has just released an experimental pre-beta version that has support for the Nexus. Although it’s considered “experimental,” I’ve had absolutely no problems with it and I’m loving the 4G speeds. It’s like having a 4G Mifi with no data limits and a much cheaper data plan ($30 a month!).

Click Here to download the app. I recommend browsing to this page on your phone (here’s a shortlink to save you a little bit of time: http://wp.me/p1GtXy-vW) and hitting that download link.

Once it’s downloaded, go into Settings > Security and check the box that says “Install Apps from Unknown Sources.” This will allow you to install the apk file you just downloaded.

Now open your downloads and tap the apk file I told you to download up there, and you will go through a quick install process.

Open up the app and you’re ready to tether over 4G speeds!

If you’re not rooted yet and would like to be, click here for my post on how to root the Galaxy Nexus.

Enjoy your 4G Tethering!

How-To: Root the Galaxy Nexus LTE

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I just got my hands on this beautiful Galaxy Nexus. I love it so far, and a full review is in the making.

But in the meantime, I figured I might as well show you how to root it.

So here you go.

(FYI: This how-to only applies to mac)

1. Download the files

First, download this file: Android root tools

 

Unzip it and put the folder on your desktop.

Now we can get started!

1. Unlock your Bootloader

Unfortunately, this is necessary with the LTE version of the galaxy nexus. It can be a little bit risky at times and is said to void your warrantee, but you can always undo this part.

First, plug in your Galaxy Nexus to your Mac and hold down the power button to turn the phone off.

Now, hold down both the up and down volume buttons at the same time and hold down the power button. You should be greeted with a screen that looks like this (if not, shutdown and try again):

If you’re having a lot of trouble with this, here’s a video that I made showing you how:

Open up Terminal.app and type the following:

./~/Desktop/androidsdk/platform-tools/fastboot-mac oem unlock

You should see a prompt on your Nexus’ screen asking if you want to unlock the bootloader. Press the volume up key followed by the power key. You’re done!

Once you’re back at the android-open-thing screen, hit the power button to start the phone.

Now, it should boot up and start cycling through the boot animation. It may do this for a good ten minutes – whatever you do, DO NOT PULL THE BATTERY! (I learned this the hard way).

Eventually your Nexus will boot up, and you’ll be safe and sound in your little Ice Cream Igloo.

2. Root

Now it’s time to ROOT!

Put your phone back into fastboot mode plugged into your computer.

Open up Terminal and type this:

chmod +x ~/Desktop/androidsdk/r2-galaxynexus-superboot/install-superboot-mac.sh (hit enter)

./~/Desktop/androidsdk/r2-galaxynexus-superboot/install-superboot-mac.sh (hit enter)

That should be it! Your phone should start up.

It may hang on the Google logo for a while – If this happens, wait about 10 minutes and pull and replace the battery. Turn it on and it should cycle through the boot animation for a few minutes.

Once your phone boots up, you’ll be completely rooted! Enjoy!

 

CyanogenMod 7

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Of all of the ROMs floating around out there, Cyanogen is by far the most established custom after-market ROM available.

CyanogenMod 6 brought froyo features to 2.1, and was later updated to 2.2 It was then very similar to a basic 2.2 ROM, so it became outdated. But CyanogenMod 7 brought us a loaf of gingerbread this time around. This has put it much higher up.

In addition to the new faster and cleaner base operating system, CyanogenMod brought some new interesting features to the table.

Lockscreen Gestures

The name says it all. On the lockscreen, you are able to perform gestures that will do different actions, including enabling the flashlight, unlocking the phone, opening a shortcut, or opening an application.

DSPManager

I have really found no use for this quite yet, but others might. It allows you to modify your sound outputs. You can modify headset, speaker, and bluetooth separately, and in each pane you get options for a bass booster, and you also get a nice equalizer that is quite easy to modify. I don’t exactly know why you might need this, but I guess some audiophiles on a higher degree than me might appreciate it.

Themes Support

The operating system comes with a built in theme chooser and three themes. You can download new themes online on many different forum sites (such as xda-developers) and easily install them. One package includes the theming for the WHOLE operating system, including home screen, highlights, menubar tweaks, etc.

Incognito Mode

This feature is rarely used, but I guess could come in handy. Identical to the incognito mode in Google Chrome, this will prevent your phone from saving cookies, history, cache, or anything.

Installation

Installing this ROM was fairly simple, however it doesn’t come with Google Apps built in.

First, go to http://cyanogenmod.com and select your phone, then download the ZIP for your phone and put it on your SD card. Open up ROM Manager and select “Install zip from SD card.” Select the zip of CyanogenMod, then check the box that says “Wipe Data” and the box that says “Backup current ROM.” Continue with your installation and you will be greeted with CyanogenMod. You may notice, however, that there is no Market, YouTube, Gmail, etc. To install those, download the zip for your phone here and then flash it. To do this, transfer the Gapps zip onto your SD card and boot into recovery by booting while holding the down volume button. In the menu that comes up, select Recovery, and wait for it to boot. In the next menu, select “Install ROM from SD card,” select the Gapps ROM, and let it install. Then, reboot your phone, and you will be greeting with a Gapps enhanced CyanogenMod. Enjoy!

[For more info on installing ROMs and rooting, read my full guide here.]

Fix: ClockwordMod won’t boot after update

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***UPDATE: Go into Android Market and update the ROM manager to the latest version. It will fix this problem so you can update straight from 3.0.0.5 to 3.0.0.8.

So I recently went to backup using the ROM Manager on my phone. It notified me that there was a new version of ClockworkMod, and I was currently on 3.0.0.5, and should update to 3.0.0.8. So I update, and when I reboot into recovery nothing happens. It stays frozen at the HTC Incredible boot screen.

Luckily, you can still boot into Android.

Here’s the fix.

Go into ROM Manager and flash 3.0.0.6, one version up.

After it flashes, boot into the recovery and select “Clear cache partition.”

Then, reboot into Android. Open ROM Manager, and flash 3.0.0.7.

Boot into recovery, clear cache, reboot, and continue doing this until you are finally at 3.0.0.8. It should boot into recovery just fine. Enjoy!

INSTALLING ROMS ON YOUR DROID INCREDIBLE: FULL GUIDE

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1. Background check and root

If you haven’t yet, click here to read the guide on rooting your droid incredible.

2. Find some ROMs

The first thing you need to install a ROM would be the ROM itself (go figure).

If you have a droid incredible, I highly recommend downloading the fusion ROM from this post. Fusion is an extremely well-done and compatible ROM based off of CyanogenMod7 (another ROM), so you’ll get the dimension-opening power of 2.3.2 gingerbread.

If you don’t want this ROM, you can always do a google search. Not too hard, eh?

2. Download the ROMs

With the example I’m using (fusion), there are two ROMs. It includes first the base gingerbread ROM, but on top of that it also has a ROM for the Android Market, Gmail, YouTube, and Maps applications, as they do not come by default on the Android base operating system.

For now, I am only going to discuss installing the base, but for other ROMs it is sometimes the same situation with the two seperate ROMs. So later on I’ll discuss installing the gapps (dev talk for Google Apps).

There are two ways you can get the ROM to your device.

The first one involves your computer. Download the ZIP file(s) onto your desktop, then plug in your phone and move the zip(s) onto the root of your SD card.

The second way requires an app called Root Explorer (I discussed it in the guide to rooting). On the phone itself, use the web browser to download the ZIP file(s). Then, open up root explorer and navigate to the downloads folder (probably on your sdcard). Then, tap and hold the zip and select move. Navigate to the root of the sd card and tap paste. (Do this with the second ROM if you have one).

3. BACK UP!

This is an extremely important step to this, because if you forget to backup then you will never be able to restore your phone to the condition it was in when you rooted. That means that the HTC sense operating system that came on your phone will be GONE.

So, you’ll need to boot into recovery and backup.

Turn off your phone and turn it back on while holding the down volume button. It will boot into HBOOT, a diagnostics screen. Once it is done checking for update images on the SDcard, use the volume and power buttons to navigate to and select RECOVERY in the menu that you see.

It will show the HTC booting screen, but then boot into recovery (with very small fonts, I might add).

In this screen, scroll down and select backups (you can now use the optical trackball to do this). Then, select create a backup (or something like that).

It might take a while, but eventually a backup should be made of all of your stuff on your phone. So we shall now proceed to the next step.

Install the ROMS

Now is the fun part.

Boot back into the recovery screen by holding the down key and the power button at the same time.

Then, hit Wipe Data/Factory Reset.

This will wipe all of the data off of the phone.

WAIT WAIT WAIT! I STILL WANT MY BACKUPS!

Calm your caps lock keys, wiping the data from the phone doesn’t wipe out the sd card, which is where the backups are.

Now, select install zip from SD card.

Select choose zip from SD card

then, select the zip that you either downloaded or transferred over.

Then, select the yes, and magically, the ROM will install.

Wait a while, and it should be installed and working!

Upon first boot it will take a very long time to load. It has to configure everything and get it working. But every time you reboot the device the reboot time should be less and less until it is less than 30 seconds.

Anything else?

You might have downloaded 2 zip files to your SD card which you downloaded from the site that gives out the ROMs. This is probably because one of them is a Google Apps zip.

Make sure that before you move the two zips on to the sd card, you name them so you can tell which one is the base OS and which is the Gapps. (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you need to click here and read up on your background info.) Make sure that first you install the Base OS zip, then, after it’s done, select Install zip from sdcard once again and select the gapps zip. Make sure that you don’t hit wipe data/factory reset, because what that will do is wipe out the base OS so you only have gapps and nothing to run it on. Not too functional if I may say so myself.

Where to find these ROMs?

As I said, the best ROM for the Droid Incredible at the moment is the Fusion ROM.

But there’s other ROMS too.

One of the most popular is CyanogenMod. They’ve been releasing ROMs with upgraded features since the dawn of time (or android).

However, after a little mixup with google, they are no longer allowed to have Gapps on their OS. So you’ll have an android phone with…. no android market. Or gmail. Or youtube. Have fun!

One of the easiest ways to find ROMS for your droid incredible is to just google it.

If you google Droid Incredible ROMs, a large amount of different websites will show up. If you are too lazy, here’s a direct link to that google search for ya. You’re welcome.

ROOTING YOUR DROID INCREDIBLE: FULL GUIDE

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1. Background Check

Please click here and read up all about what it means to root and install ROMs, then do step 2.

2. YOU NEED AN SD CARD!

Make sure you have an SD card in your phone. If you don’t then all hell will break loose and the universe will be sucked into an unknown dimension beyond the horizon of scientific knowledge. Or something along those lines.

3. Enable USB Debugging

On your Droid Incredible’s home screen, tap menu, select Applications, tap developer, and check the box that says USB Debugging.

4. Download unrEVOked

unrEVOked is the limera1n for all HTC android phones (hence the capital EVO in the middle).

Click here and select which operating system you own. The download will begin.

5. Plug in your device and root

The time has now come.

Plug in your Incredible to your computer over USB. You should see a notification that says USB Debugging is enabled.

Also, pull down the notification bar and select the USB connection (not the debugging, the other one). Then, select to have your phone as a Mass Storage Device or something like that (My phone has been screwed over so much that I no longer have the stock htc operating system installed, so I can only be so specific to my knowledge).

You should see TWO drives mounted on your computer, one for the internal phone storage and one for your SDcard.

Then, hit the reflash button and take cover.

Time will pass into another dimension beyond the human eye’s comprehension of life itself. Portals will contradict all possibilities of universal independence. Our very existence will tremble at the rip in the fabric of space and time.

Oh, and you’re device will be rooted. :)

6. Did it work?

After you’re device is rooted it *should* be able to boot into ANOTHER DIMENSION IN SPACE AND TIME…. wait…. into the standard 2.2 htc sense froyo you had before you rooted.

However, if you look in your applications drawer, you should see a new app called Superuser.

Congratulations, you’re rooted!

7. Get root apps

Now, you can run applications that require root access.

A few of my favorites:

Wireless Tether

If you’re on the road and want internet on your computer or iPad, then you’ll have to fork an extra $20 a month to verizon and suffer a 2GB limit.

But not if you have Wireless tether!

With Wireless Tether, you can create an encrypted wireless network with access control and everything, and the bandwidth limit is only that of your phone’s data plan.

You can find Wireless Tether by searching in the android market.

Root Explorer

If you keep getting warnings telling you that your SD card is full, then you’ll love Root Explorer. You can browse your android’s files, and even delete, rename, or move things around from both the SD card and the internal storage. You can delete those huge downloaded zip files, or all of the pictures you don’t want from the DCIM folder. Handy! This is available in the Android Market as well.

screenshot

If you ever do any kind of posting to a blog about android stuff, this application is a MUST. You can easily take a full resolution screenshot by just shaking the device. Then, you can plug it into your computer and transfer the screenshots off of your SD card.

8. Got ROMs?

One of the most amazing parts of having a rooted android phone is that you can install other operating systems. Want gingerbread? HTC hasn’t even released the update. But now that you’re rooted, you can install other operating systems without htc’s permission.

Here’s a full guide on how to install ROMs.

Rooting, Recovery, and ROMs: What it’s all about.

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So you’ve got an android phone.

And you can use the stock operating system with all of the manufacturer’s skinning and apps and versions and keyboard and everything.

Congratulations.

But if you are feeling a bit ballsy, then you can really take your phone to a true mobile computing level.

Here’s the steps to this.

  • Root
  • Install a recovery
  • Find ROMS
  • Make backups
  • Install ROMS
  • Use Wireless Tether

Lets explain what all of this is.

Rooting

Rooting means that you can create a way for apps to get superuser access. This is handy for getting to wifi, modifying files, or installing ROMs.

Recovery

For the Recovery, that will usually be installed when you root the phone. The recovery is where you can make and recover backups of the phone, install ROMs, and a slew of other stuff that might come in handy (but could also kill your phone).

Backup

Once you have the recovery installed (you can’t have the recovery without the root FYI) then the first thing you need to do is make a backup of your phone.

This is pretty easy. Just boot into Recovery (just hold down volume on boot and select recovery when given the option), Select backups, and select make a backup now. Your screen will flash many random things, and no matter how long it takes, don’t force shut it down or take out the battery. It will almost always finish.

ROMs

Once you have a backup of your normal operating system, you can go crazy with other ROMs.

ROM stands for Read Only Memory. In android poweruser terms, it is an operating system that can be installed on the phone using the recovery mode.

You can find many roms on the internet all over the place. XDA-developers is a great place to get ROMs. Sometimes a ROM will even be for the next Android version that htc hasn’t released yet.

When you download a ROM, it will come as an easy to handle zip file. And from here it’s simple.

Plug in your phone to your computer and mount it as a disk drive/USB Mass Storage. Then, just click and drag the ROM from your computer onto the root of the SD card. Eject and unplug the phone, then reboot into recovery.

Select install zip from sdcard and select the name of the file that you moved over. Then, choose the yes among the long list of nos to confirm you really want to install it and whabam, you will be installing a new operating system.

Then, reboot your phone, and you will be with your brand new OS that you yourself downloaded from the internet and installed on your phone.

Unfortunately, this process is different for every android phone. Sometimes there is a one-click root. Sometimes you have to use a command line application to open a port on the phone and install the root like that. But once you have gotten the phone rooted, installing zips is a piece of cake.

Wireless Tether

Aside from installing ROMs, another thing you can do is install and use apps that usually wouldn’t be possible if you weren’t rooted.

The one example I am going to use here is called Wireless Tether. And basically, it’s just that.

You can make your phone into a wi-fi hotspot with no hassle, just using verizon’s mobile hotspot plan. But that will cost you an extra $20 a month and you have a 5 GB limit before you start getting overage fees. Ouch.

With Wireless tether, you can connect unlimited devices, the data comes out of your data plan for your phone, and that also means there’s no overage fees.

Once you are rooted, just search for Wireless Tether in the android market and you will be able to install it on your phone and use it. You can change the SSID of the WiFi network, and you can even enable encryption and a password on your network. In addition, it allows you to use access control, where you can disable a device’s access to the network. Very handy sometimes.

Do it yourself

So that is the whole concept of rooting, recovery, and roms. You can find roms for things using google: Just do a search for “[your phone] 2.3 ROMS” or “[your phone] Cyanogenmod” and you should have plenty of luck. If you want to find out how to root your phone, just do a google search for “[your phone] root” and that should turn up some helpful results.

If you have a rooted droid incredible, click here to learn about the stable and functional gingerbread rom by WeDoDroid.