If you are a big fan of custom ROMs, then, you are probably already familiar with most of the terms we are going to share in this article. However, as someone who is just venturing into the modding community aka custom ROM, you will encounter many of the words and wonder what it means, this is why we decided to explain them to you.
Custom ROM And Root Related Words
• Preinstalled/stock: Something that was released with a device by the manufacturer i.e the original e.g preinstalled apps is apps that a phone comes with.
• Custom: a modification or an alternative as opposed to the original/preinstalled/stock.
• Third-party: Not the original, a modification of or an alternative to the original, or intended to be used alongside the original
• Stock ROM: This is the preinstalled (original) OS of a device provided by the manufacturer
• Custom ROM: This is an OS that can be used to replace the stock one in order to break limitations
• Gapps Custom ROM: This is a custom ROM variant that has been built containing Google libraries and Google apps should run well on them.
• Vanilla Custom ROM: a custom ROM variant built without support for running Google apps/services. To use Google apps or services, you have to flash a Gapps or custom Gapps (e.g NickGapps) package
• MicroG Custom ROM: This is a variant of custom ROM that comes with the support of Google apps/services but without using the official Google libraries. Instead, custom binaries supporting Google apps/services have been used here e.g MicroG. Some users prefer this variant because it allows Google little access to your privacy.
• MicroG: MicroG is a free and open-source implementation of proprietary Google libraries that serves as a replacement for Google Play Services on the Android operating system. MicroG allows mobile device users to access Google mobile services with less tracking of their device activity compared to Google Play Services.
• FOSS Custom ROM: FOSS means Free and open-source software. Such software is both free and open-source meaning anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way, and the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software. This is what FOSS variants of custom ROMs are.
• Android Go: This is the version of Android meant for the smooth running of low-end devices. It includes the lite (Go) versions of Google apps e.g Maps Go, Gmail Go, etc
• ss: If you join Telegram groups about custom you’ll likely encounter the word ss in conversations. It means screenshot.
• SoC: SoC stands for System on a Chip. In computers, the main processor, graphics processor, and memory occur separately on the motherboard. In smartphones and tablets, all these are incorporated into a single chip (known as SoC) and inserted into the motherboard. Combining multiple components into a single chip saves space, cost, and power consumption. SoCs connect to other components too, such as cameras, a display, RAM, flash storage, and much more. The SoC is therefore the brain of mobile devices that controls everything just like the processor is for computers. SoCs are of different configurations based on architecture, cores and manufacturers. SoC makers (manufacturers) are the companies that make these mobile chips e.g Unisoc (Spreadtrum), Qualcomm, MediaTek, Samsung, etc. Some SoC models are: Snapdragon (by Qualcomm), Helio (by MediaTek), Exynos (by Samsung), etc. Qualcomm and MediaTek are the leading SoC maker, Qualcomm being the overall boss in the game.
• Overclock And Underclock: Overclocking means to make the processor of a computer run at a speed higher than that intended by the manufacturers i.e increasing clock speed. Overclocking increases the multiplier on the CPU, allowing it to run faster. Therefore, overclocking increases performance, reduces lags and enable games and other programs to run smoothly. The bad part is that in an attempt to make the CPU work more, the battery drain is high, there might be overheating too – all these help to damage the CPU. Underclocking is the reverse of overclocking. CPU performance drops, processes run slower and there might be lags. However, battery drain and heating reduce significantly. So, you should consider the above points before choosing if you want to overclock or underclock your device. They both can be done by flashing custom kernels as a rooted user and then installing a CPU manager app (from the Play Store). Most custom kernels have their own apps that you can use rather. After installing the software, you can easily set your CPU clock speed, for overclocking, you can set CPU to high frequency and for underclocking, you can set the CPU to lower frequency. Some custom ROMs even come with built-in features to manage the frequency (clock speed) of the CPU. If you are rooted, then see this article on how to overclock/underclock. Clock speed (processor frequency) is the number of calculations a SoC or processor can do in one second. The strongest SoC today, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865, has a clock speed of 2.84 billion calculations per second. The higher the clock speed of a SoC, the better the performance of the smartphone.
• FOD: FOD stands for Fingerprint-on-Display. Equipped with OLED technology, the fingerprint sensor lies under the display screen unlike the rear (physical) fingerprint which sits at the back of the device. Usually, a specific part of the screen has a scanning area under it. If you’ve set one, when you place your finger over the scanner (fingerprint scanner/sensor), it takes a snapshot of your finger’s pattern with a camera or other sensor. It then matches it to the biometric data on your phone. If it’s a match, your phone will instantly unlock. When switching to a custom ROM, the broken FOD issue is one of the common issues you can likely face.
• Terminals: The Graphical User Interface (GUI) is the normal interface that we use to interact with, use and control our computers. It contains icons, windows, labels making it straightforward, easy to understand and use. You interact with it through clicks (using a mouse) or hand taps for touchscreens. There’s another unfamiliar and old-fashioned interface called Command Line Interface (CLI) which is a text-based user interface. If you’ve been using a PC or you’re a core computer user, then you should know about this type of interface. Unlike GUI, it uses just texts called commands (instead of icons, labels and windows) to operate a computer making it faster, though you will need a knowledge of using commands and the various commands as well as which one to use to perform a particular task. The command-line interface can also be used to get tasks done on another attached device like a smartphone. This was the interface that computers used at first before the discovery and integration of the GUI which has taken over almost everything such that the command line interface is used to carry out just core tasks and batch processes. A terminal is also known as a command line, command shell, or console allow us to accomplish and automate tasks on a computer without the use of a graphical user interface. Using a terminal allows us to send simple text commands to our computer to do things like navigate through a directory or copy a file, and form the basis for many more complex automation and programming skills. A command-line interface (CLI) or terminal program tells your computer to do tasks using typed commands through a command shell, rather than by clicking pictures on the desktop as in a graphical user interface (GUI). Aliases are command shortcuts that have been set to easily use a command. For more about Aliases, see here.
— In Windows: Command Prompt (CMD) is a default shell (command-line interface program) of windows. It is most widely used for executing batch files or running simple utilities. Windows also has a second type of command-line interface application called PowerShell which is more advanced than CMD. It is not only an interface but also a scripting language that is used to carry out administrative tasks more easily. Most of the commands executed on CMD can be run on PowerShell as well. The PowerShell can also come preinstalled, if not, you will have to install the program (install it from here). A cmdlet (command-let) is a lightweight command that is used in the PowerShell environment. To know more about CMD and PowerShell, click here. For their differences, see here.
— In Linux: Linux distributions supply several, such as: gnome-terminal, konsole, xterm, rxvt, kvt, nxterm, and eterm. There’s no need to download anything, just read the help documentation for your distribution to see which one is included.
— In Android: Terminal applications are also present on Android for carrying out some tasks (some of which require root). They are called Android terminal emulators e.g the Termux app. If you are rooted and want to grant root access to a terminal emulator (which is needed to run certain commands), type su and hit enter. Most Android custom recoveries like twrp also have terminals.
• Reboot: boot or be booted again. In Android, you can reboot into System, Fastboot (Bootloader) or Recovery.
• Boot: turning on or Restarting a device
• Mod: a modification made to something (usually not by the original developer) in order to change its appearance or increase its function. There are several mod apks that include extra functions compared to the original one e.g GBWhatsApp Pro, Fouads WhatsApp, FM WhatsApp are mods of the main WhatsApp app providing extra features. A mod can also be made to unlock the locked features of the original one.
• Tweaks: Tweaking Android means fine-tuning your Android smartphone to improve its performance, and looks by using a little know-how and the right choice of apps. In other words, you are customizing the device. You’ll be able to do a lot of tweaks on your device after rooting and flashing files is one of them.
• Bug: an error, fault or flaw in any computer program or a hardware system
• Debug: the process of identifying and removing errors from computer hardware or software.