Don’t take OTA when having Custom recovery. But why?

Anyone rooting and installing custom recovery or ROM in their Android devices would have heard not to take Over the Air (OTA) software update. But why?

OTA may be new to iOS users, but was integral part of Android experience right from the beginning. OTA will be pushed only if you are using the default ROM and don’t have a custom, 3rd party built ROM. That will be the case for many, as most of the folks, like me, will only root and install custom recovery but don’t venture into custom ROMs for stability purposes.

Any OTA will mostly tend to only deliver patches to the System and also possible updates to the pre-installed recovery. OTA does not assume you might have custom recovery.

Most likely root privileges will be lost after OTA. In many cases that is alright assuming you can root the newer software version also. Bigger problem is you will end up in Boot Loop (bootloop) or get stuck in your custom recovery as the OTA will mess up with your recovery installation. More here. I learnt this the hard way for my T-Mobile LG G2 D80110G update. Thanks to XDA developers I am back on track or else my device is, what we call, bricked!

Ok, then how do you get an over the air update when you have installed custom recovery? What is the work around? In safer side, you would have to revert to stock recovery then get the OTA, as long as you have the stock ROM. Or simply wait for someone to deliver an image update which you can flash in your device without hurting anything. Whatever it is, follow your device forum at the XDA developers.

In simple terms clarifying what some of the above jargon mean: (pretty much doing any of these will void warranty of your device!)

Rooting: Process of getting Super User or elevated rights on your Android device. You can do simple stuff like removing unwanted default apps that carriers push or even over / under clock the CPU to your heart’s desire!

Recovery: This is a bootable partition that is used to handle flashing content to your device and also to manage total image backup and restore. Every phone comes with it. You can install custom ones like TWRP and CWM for easier and advanced operations.

ROM: The Android OS, being Open Source can be customized to any level. Any such Android installable is called a ROM. It can be stock, meaning as provided by your manufacturer or custom ROM like CyanagenMod, Omni or Paranoid ROM.

Process how Android devices get (or don’t get) updated to latest OS

This is the process how the phone manufacturers, or HTC to the least update your devices to latest Android version. Simply said, why on earth is your update to latest and greatest Android version always delayed or most of the times never happens.

HTC recently released a nice dashboard (click here) and this below infographic flowchart to depict what does it really take to push an Android OS update. This covers Carrier Models (like T-Mobile HTC One), International / Dev Models (like the Unlocked ones that often surface in eBay) and Google Play Editions.

This is a good move where the Manufacturers feel the need to differentiate themselves in supporting their devices and providing timely OS upgrade. They now do have to compete with Google’s own Motorola who has set a very high benchmark (click here)!

So next time if your carrier device is not getting updated, blame the damn carrier and move to the one who takes this as a priority!

Google Now Bluetooth Fix

Weird problem and a weirder fix.Google Now stuck in Initializing

In some Android phones, including most of the Galaxy phones, there is a weird problem using Google Now voice search when connected to Bluetooth. Sporadically (almost 50% of the times) the screen will get stuck in initializing and it wont listen to what you say. Sounds silly, but the problem dates back to Galaxy S2 and S3 also has it. No official fix yet.

There is a workaround though. A weirder one. In summary, the fix is to turn on “Touch sounds” in “Sound” settings. Once turned on, if you don’t like to hear the water droplets sound on every touch, simply reduce the “System” volume as shown.

Follow this video below. Can’t believe this totally unrelated setting fixes the problem. One of those Android Oddities!

Call and Crash and Call

This is probably weirdest thing I have faced. I am using Samsung Galaxy s3.

Got a call and the call was going fine. After few minutes felt like the call dropped and when I saw the display, saw the Samsung logo as if the phone is restarting. I thought Ah! Wrong time for the phone to get crashed and moved on assuming the call is dropped.

After few seconds, I am hearing the person is the other end talking. Yes, the call is NOT over yet, and to top this the phone is not responding for me to disconnect the call or to see what is happening. I just carried on with the call and saw after few seconds that the phone is back in display.

Wow. Bug!