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Ep. 7: How to root your Android phone: Mobile

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Mobile: Ep. 7: How to root your Android phone

42:11 /

The new Droid X releases... with a kill switch, anyone can create apps for their Android device, and special guest Darren Kitchen of Hak5.org shows us how to root an Android phone. Plus, we cover how to packet sniff with your rooted droid, and share a tip on how to make that stock touchscreen keyboard more useful!

[ Music ] ^M00:00:06 [ Background Music ] >> The new Droid X releases with a kill switch. Anyone can create apps for their Android device, and the ups and downs of rooting your phone. All that and more coming up on this week's edition of Android Atlas Weekly for Thursday, July 15th, 2010. I'm Jason Howell here with Justin Eckhouse as always and featuring today's special guest, Darren Kitchen of Hack5. Thank you so much for coming on today. >> Thanks for having me. >> Yeah. >> Welcome. >> You know all about the Droid. You've got a Motorola Droid yourself? >> Yeah. And it's--recently it's been going Droid. >> Uh-hmm. Because-- >> Because I'm rocking the pro yo. >> Nice. >> Yo. >> On your Droid. >> That's pretty awesome. >> Yeah. >> Wow. I've been very, very tempted but also very, very like there it goes. >> Well-- [ Laughter ] >> Yeah. It's gonna be doing that throughout the day, so-- >> We got your Droid its own camera but not its own mic. >> Right. [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> That's so cool that we can actually just come in here and be like, oh hey look, I've got text messages that you guys don't need to read. >> So there we go checking it out. [ Laughter ] >> Nice, we'll be reading those later. >> Yeah, excellent. >> Excellent. I appreciate you bringing that in. And we will definitely take a look at that phone for a little root discussion a little bit later on the show. But first, we should start talking about the phone that's released today. That's got a lot of the news, the Motorola Droid X. >> Yeah, there's a lot of excitement about this. It was--I follow Verizon. I've been following that Droid landing Twitter feed as well and people are lining up at midnight last night at various stores across the country. >> Lining up. >> Well, they're going into the store at midnight and lining up. [ Inaudible Remark ] >> From what I've been reading on Twitter, a lot of them selling out, like quickly selling out, so that's awesome. >> Yeah, yeah. It's, it's--you know. >> I mean it's a--it's a slick phone. I had to double check my contract renewal date to see like-- >> Oh yeah. >> --how long would I have to wait to get a new phone 'cause if I could right now, I'd be very tempted with the Droid X. >> Is yours this year? >> I thought it was but it's not. >> Yeah. >> Because I've done this whole switch--switching of accounts and I thought they messed up and set it to 1 year instead of 2, but it is in fact a year from now I can get a new phone. And by then some bigger, better, awesomer phones probably gonna be out. >> The phone we talked about last week that has everything possible. Has the two gigahertz processor and blah, blah, blah, blah. That's what we're gonna get. >> That's right. >> Because the Droid X, as cool as it is, has a--I don't wanna call it a flaw. >> Possibly chink in its armor. >> It''s--yeah, it's intended. >> The Droid has been reported to be--to brick itself if you try and root it because it has a chip in it called the eFuse that verifies I guess the firmware on there, right? Correct me if I'm wrong here. >> I just like--I just like to think that the [inaudible] emphasized version of the Droid X just gets really scared and like crawls into like a little shell. It's like a turtle that's likes, "No, don't rip me." >> I'm sure that's what happens if you could actually pop it open in there. >> Don't change me. >> Yeah. >> It's very insecure I could say. >> Actually, it probably wouldn't make sense like I would be like [inaudible] no, don't. Don't change me. I'm great just the way I am, everybody loves me. >> I think this could be a great followup video to the, you know, HTC EVO iPhone video. I'm sure you could easily use that and get yourself a little robotic walking cartoon. >> I think [inaudible]. [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> Yes. Okay, I got to go guys, I'll be right back. [ Laughter ] >> Yeah, get on that. >> So yeah, it's a good work. >> So the--okay, does anybody wanna throw down a prediction now because I've heard lots of other devices in the past saying, oh, we're putting the thing so you can't hack it. Great, sure you did. >> Yeah, let me think. >> That's cute. >> Anytime you put out a challenge and you say, this is unbreakable or we're doing this in the hopes that it won't happen, like yeah, now. That's not--it's gonna happen. >> And essentially what the chip does is it verifies that the firmware is in fact the stock firmware or, you know, that's it's not running it at modified kernel and I'm assuming that it uses some sort of key pair except on the manufacturer and you know. [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> So it makes it up harder, right? I mean their--it could be extremely hard in the case of like the original Xbox. If you want to hack that, right, you actually have to get a chip that you solder on there, which is still a hack but it's not like it cuts down your potential audience significantly. >> I'm just speculating here but I'd say that if it's like some hacks, it could--I mean it could even be like the Droid that--when I brought my Droid 2.1 to 2.2, the way that it's done is actually in around about way because there's no actual root for 2.1. You kind of have to like back to 2.01 and then forward. >> Right. >> But they've made it easy now but I'm just saying like, you know, alright sure, so you can't go out at head on but there'll be something. >> I'm sure they will. The interesting part about this is--and Motorola actually commented on not this specific phone but they commented back in February. Which phone was this about specifically? >> I believe it was, oh man, I just saw it, the mile--the milestone? I believe it's tied to the milestone because this same M-Shield securities of the eFuse is in the milestone as well which made it from this article that I'm reading here on Boy Genius, not so hacking friendly as they put it. Obviously there's your answer right there. >> Yeah, exactly. And you know, I can imagine that there might be, you know, the easy to hack phones and not so. So I mean there are as it is now and you just kind of like make your decision on what you're gonna based on that. I'm just wondering if this is--if this is gonna be true. If we're gonna see like in 3 weeks from now if there isn't, you know, some good news from the hackers that be, then is this totally gonna get sales from you know would be uber-nerds [phonetic]. >> Yeah. >> Well, I mean if you-- [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> What percentage of your market is that? >> Yeah, right. Exactly. >> I mean, they're already sold out on the Droid X so they're probably not too worried about it at this point. >> Sure. At least personally I'm just hoping that the Droid 2 doesn't have this kind of chip 'cause-- >> Yeah. >> Right, man, that is--that's the one for me. >> Yeah. And if you like at this--so Motorola's statement basically says that at this time, Motorola Android based handsets are intended free use by consumers in Android application developers and we are currently--have chosen not to go into the business of providing fully unlocked developer phones. And they basically go into sort of say that securing the software on the handsets is basically the norm and-- >> Not done very well obviously because everybody cry. Everybody hacks into them. >> Well, putting protection on there-- >> Yeah, of course right. >> And the exception is actually the original Droid which they did for a specific business reason. >> That we do not know. >> Yes. >> Specifically do not know that reason. >> I'd be very curios to know what is the specific business reason. >> I know. >> It's somewhat-- >> Then we can exploit it somehow once we know. >> So, will the Droid 2 have the same specific business reason? >> I don't know. >> I'm gonna say stupid prediction with absolutely no merit behind it. No. >> Yeah. I can say no too. >> 'Cause the Droid with the keyboard is the one that the geeks flock to because we're the ones that hey, you know the fact that I can get an SSH terminal into the office here, that's the reason I rock the Droid. Nice, you know. >> Okay. Here's my guess of the specific business reason. The licensing agreement had not been renegotiated and it was too expensive and then they just didn't do it until they renegotiated until for the next phone. >> So now all future phones will. >> Yes. Until the contract is up for renewal again with eFuse or whoever makes that chip. >> Right. >> Then they'll have another specific business reason. >> Well, it's too bad that in this leak to Verizon catalog, they didn't also spell out this whole eFuse thing because-- >> That would have been helpful. >> Yes, we could answer the question but there were some details that were leaked in this flyer and I guess the--or the catalog. I guess the big part of that being details on the Droid 2. >> Right. I think it's mainly just a confirmation of mainly stuff--I'll see if they can see mainly again there. Already know exactly, so 8 gigs of memory, reloaded, comes with the gigahertz processor, 5 megapixel camera., 512 megs RAM, more spacious keyboard, 3G mobile hotspot. >> So Darren, if you were to upgrade right now, you'd be waiting for this? >> Yes, and yeah, I mean-- [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> That's all the Droid X and for a moment there it was like, oh, she's so pretty but so not functional without that keyboard. >> Yeah. >> So-- [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> She's not as experienced. That's--that's my--yeah. That is the killer feature for me. >> Yeah. >> Yup. Well--and the Droid 2 with this information we kind of, you know, realize that if fits right in between the Droid and the Droid X as far as like bulkiness and power. >> I'm just very glad that they're bringing--that they're continuing the original Droid line because, you know, I was afraid for a while that when Android took the keyboard out of the official spec of old, it's like you know a require thing or whatever that we were never going to see a keyboarded Droid phone again and that may be very sad. And I actually started to try to learn the on-screen keyboard that's not going very well. >> Yeah. What phone have you tried it with? >> The on-screen keyboard? >> Uh-hmm. Oh, just with the Droid. >> Just with the Droid. >> Okay. >> Yeah. >> Well, I'll say--I mean, I am the same way. I have always had keyboarded phones and I, you know, that's one of the reason the iPhone was just out for me. >> Yeah. But for the first time, when I started using the Incredible, the keyboard on that is really, really good. >> Well, and the screen's a little bit wider. >> The screens a little wider. >> More bigger because I--and we'll definitely say, that's how I use my Droid. [ Inaudible Remark ] >> Because I use the touchscreen keyboard and it is kind of a pain. >> I'm a little bit more particular when it comes to the keyboard though because, you know, it's one thing if it's just texting your friends and whatever you say book instead of cool. But if you accidentally type, I don't know, RM or F star, that's gonna be bad for what I do so-- [ Laughter ] >> Yes. I could imagine. >> Yeah. >> Well, yeah, I mean it will be--is there any other Android phones that have been released recently that have keyboards than can-- >> Not that I can think of, nothing that tickled my technology. ^M00:10:07 >> Yeah, that haven't released lately but I know that I saw one in fact last week that almost looks exactly like a BlackBerry. I can't remember which one it is. >> Oh yeah, yeah. >> But that's a pretty cool feature. >> And it was--it had the horizontal. Yeah. And in fact we just talked about that on BOL last week. >> I know. Someone in the chat room-- [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> It wasn't the new AT&T one. >> Yeah, that I mean--and there is the problem, right, and unfortunately it's the truth on AT&T that if you get an Android phone on AT&T, they're blocking you from installing any apps that don't come through official sources, so there is that too. I think it was a Motorola CHARM for T-Mobile actually says Paul Jones in the chat room. >> Nice. >> I think that's what it was but anyways, what else came out over the last week? One thing that I felt was kinda cool is this App Inventor for Android. [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> Yeah, I like this a lot. It reminds me of--this whole definitely gave me a little bit of HyperCard. >> What is HyperCard? >> Oh, I know-- [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> Yeah, I know exactly we're gonna-- >> So App Inventor before we get into this is basically to summarize a sort of WYSIWYG built on Android app program. So it's--I don't know, I guess it's kinda like-- >> You drag and drop building blocks-- >> Exactly. >> --to apps that are, you know, just challenges and responses, if you will, like you know when the stimulus have this reaction kinda--and you draw the line-- [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> Exactly, and it sounds like a very--it sounds like a great way for kids to get into--or anybody to get into developing applications. >> I think it is, it's--so it's to me what I was getting at was it's kinda like HyperCard which is kinda how I learned the program a long time ago, which is kind of this very visual drag things out on there. But it's also a lot like Lego Mindstorms. [ Simultaneous Talking ] [ Laughter ] >> In fact, Lego Mindstorm actually uses the same kind of technique as this and now--now they're not using the--with an open blocks, which is what this is based on. Open blocks is an open source. It's not an API. It's kinda like a framework for programming languages that allows you to easily create these, you know, these languages that you can just drag and drop like this is. And Lego Mindstorm is the same way. If you've ever played with that, you pretty much drag around these Lego bricks and you stack them together to create a program. >> And I don't--I really--I got that for a present one time and I thought it was really cool but after about an hour it was like, I need to write some code. >> I know. It is frustrating. I felt the same way. >> [Inaudible] like this is not operating exactly how I want it to be and I just--if I could just write my specific loop parameters here, of course. [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> I had the same frustration and, you know, for me like I got into using BASIC and that was--and in fact I'm sure a lot of, you know, say kids, kids our age, got into you know computers because they could program them. >> Yeah. >> To make a computer do something was very special at the time. >> Absolutely. >> Because only magicians could do that. And when you started to learn BASIC and GOTO loops, that was so cool. But nowadays, computers don't ship with these, you know, development environments like they did. >> Really. >> And it's--it's not the same thing. It's not as, you know, oh wow, I can make my MySpace wallpaper change so why do I need to learn a programming language, right? >> Right. >> So but, you know, with the kids today, they are just like doing the texting and all the-- >> Kids today. >> You know what I'm talking about. >> Kids today doing the texting and the-- [ Laughter ] >> Doing the texting and, you know, making [inaudible]. >> You know, using the hula hoops and-- >> Exactly. [ Laughter ] >> You know, at my lawn and all that stuff. >> Yeah. >> No, but I'm saying-- >> I know what you mean. >> --that this is the great gateway drug for them to get, you know, excited about programming-- >> Absolutely. Because it sounds like it looks really easy to go ahead and just whip together an app that means something to you. >> Yeah. >> Not necessarily to say, hey, I'm just gonna, you know, put up another flash app on the App Store or something. >> Right. >> But make something that, you know, get inspired, create something that--that means something for you and then, hey, I kinda like this programming thing. Maybe I'll get the real SDK, pump it up a notch. >> Right, yeah. >> I think when I first saw this, I was kind of frightened for a little while like I was stoked at the opportunity and the ease of use of it but I was kinda frightened that what the result would be in a place like the Android marketplace if suddenly it was filled with, you know, touch this picture of a cat and it meows apps or whatever. >> I'm sorry but you need to go to--you need to check the show notes and click through to the-- >> The video. >> The video that is on the Android Inventor site because I think this is an example of what could be the--like the lost opportunity here. >> Yeah, right. [ Laughter ] >> Yeah, then they have [inaudible]. >> Shown a slightly more complex app. >> Yeah. >> I think it was scary that that would overcome the marketplace but I really don't think that that's the point here and I really don't think that that's probably going to happen. >> Yeah. I saw in the--I saw this and I immediately signed up. What about you guys? >> I did as well, yeah. >> Oh yeah, absolutely. >> Alright, so what's--so let's go around-- >> I was very frustrated that I couldn't download. I thought I had-- >> Yeah. >> --found a secret link at one point to download it, but it was really just to download extras for it which I think was like the driver for your phone or your computer. Yeah. >> So let's go around the table. What is the first app you were building? >> Oh, yeah. >> You know you've got in your head. >> Spring that on me. I don't even know. >> [Inaudible] even know my secrets. >> Oh, come on. >> I actually, actually-- >> That this is the app for you. >> Okay, here's the--here's the app that I was gonna build. It was gonna be like, we have a lot of--people are paying a lot of money to build [inaudible] apps. >> Okay. >> Can I just build those myself in 10 minutes? [ Laughter ] >> Alright. >> Nice. >> Well, just create some RSS and pull some stuff in and-- >> Exactly, and just think of the big bonus there again. >> Nice. >> My app wouldn't be that creative but it would be very useful to me and my role here in the podcast is that I play a lot of little sound effects and stuff like that and though there are already apps in the App Store where you can kind of program buttons and stuff like that, I wouldn't mind just simplifying it and being like literally just press this and the sound effect plays. [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> --sound board. >> Yeah exactly, but for the shows. >> Yeah, with the giant sad trombone. >> Yeah, exactly, and a picture of a trombone. >> Exactly. >> So I know that, you know, that I can go to it right away. >> There, now that's good, that's good. [ Laughter ] >> I've always--in fact, I've wanted to do this even before the inventor came out. I think the first thing I'm gonna do is tap into the accelerometer 'cause the way that I put my Motorola Droid on my motorcycle is it bell curves to my tachometer and if I calibrate that just right, I could use the accelerometers to find out how much lean I'm getting in those twistees [phonetic] when I'm riding, I'll say, spirited. [ Laughter ] [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> And then pass that all on Google Maps. >> Yeah, maybe plot it on Google Maps. >> See, your idea sounds a lot more complicated than mine. >> It doesn't though because it looks like only APIs are simplified to, oh hey, you wanna use the GPS? Drag the GPS thing in and then the clickity and the [inaudible] and then boom, you've got an app. [ Laughter ] >> Boom. [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> It will be very interesting to see. >> [Inaudible] the cat meow in a minute. [ Laughter ] >> That's true. >> I know I want, we can do that in a minute and-- [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> Anything is possible. >> Yeah. >> Yeah, I mean. So, what we're talking about here is that they release this out just to--they already tested it, I should say in the education market. There was a bunch of schools have been playing this--this app for a year or a year and a half and they don't have specific plans of around, I guess how they release them in. I guess when you filled out the form and asked a bunch of questions about education, right. >> Oh yeah. I was thinking about filling the app in twice and being, I'm an educational institution and I told them I was a podcaster and that I really wanted to inspired next generation, the future programmers and stuff like that but, you know, I just told them I did an Android show. I don't wanna talk about it. >> Yeah, yeah. Yeah, okay. [ Laughter ] >> Let's--let's cross our fingers then. >> We'll see which one works here. >> You know, right. >> I left that field blank, so I think you two-- >> Great. >> I'll get the app from you. >> You got to step it up, Justin. >> Did you put please with lots of e's? >> You have to. >> And z's. >> Yeah, exactly. >> E's and z's. >> Alright. So what have we got here in Tablet Watch? >> Oh yes. >> Tan-tan-tan. >> We have the solution to all of our problems. So before we get to Tablet Watch, I have to say, 'cause I've been waiting for an Android tablet for a long time so they could use this in eBook reader that on Monday, I officially gave up and bought a Kindle. >> Oh, okay. >> Well, did you get the ridiculously low class of a Kindle? >> Yeah, well, I think I said-- >> It was like the 109 or something like that. >> last week on the show there's a Kindle that reaches 100 dollars, I'm gonna buy it and then it did, like couple of days later and I bought it. >> Nice. >> But I would still like an Android tablet that I could use. >> Yeah. Kindle isn't really a tab. >> I mean it's an eBook reader and maybe that was the one reason that you would wanna get a tablet, so I understand that. >> Yeah. >> But-- >> Yeah, Velocity Micro is the latest to announce Android tablets. In reality, I mean, we'll see 'cause they're not actually out yet but they sort of announced three different tablets, should be top end is the Velocity Micro Cruz. It's supposed to come out in September. It's a 7-inch capacity of touchscreen with an affordable price of 299 dollars. Android 2.1, comes with Flash 10.1, 802.11 and memory cards, blah blah blah. It's 800 by 400 resolution and has multi-touch accelerometer. It has a front-facing camera-- >> That's gonna be standard here. >> --playback music, eBooks. The eBook reader is through orders though the one drawback I saw about this is that it doesn't actually have the Android marketplace in there. Velocity Micro as I said had put in their own marketplace. >> The Velocity Micro place, something like that. >> Something like that. >> You know. >> Well, that's kind of a bummer. I mean, yet again it's gonna--kind of smacks with the whole Apple thing like kind of removing one core feature about Android which is it should be able to do all these things with it. >> Yeah. >> It should be able to at least have access to the main vein of application. That's kind of weird. >> I mean, the reason they did this was for a very specific business reason, so it's probably-- [ Laughter ] >> I think actually they did. >> That's the excuse for everything about it. >> My guess is that they did this hardly around eBooks and-- >> Yeah. >> They must have a good deal with orders so they don't want you to download the Kindle app suddenly-- >> Yeah, right. >> --for this. So, the first thing I wanna do is download the Kindle app. >> Then I guess you won't be getting the Velocity Micro. >> No. >> Will you be getting the HP Android tablet or no? I guess you won't because they just came out and said that they're not gonna make it anymore. >> Yeah, what's the deal with this? Who knew that they were developing an Android tablet? ^M00:20:02 >> Well, you know, it looks like John [inaudible]. Damn, I should have just not said his name. [ Laughter ] >> And all things [inaudible] said that they were supposed to have one hitting the market fourth quarter 2010. I had no idea but I guess no longer. They're--and obviously, I mean, this makes perfect sense. They have Palm now. They've already said that they're going to focus entirely on Web OS so it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense for them to then spread their kinda efforts across all these other platforms. They gotta focus on the one that they own now, the Web OS. >> That's excellent. I think that Web OS is gonna have more legs on a tablet than it would on the phone, and that's just because of the carriers and the whole-- >> Yeah. >> It just seems so much more complicated to get a phone out than it is to just, hey, let's make a tablet. I mean, look at eBook readers now. >> I think that's true, but will a tablet survive on its own OS without a phone to support it? Like if you--how is that gonna be with the Android which will be on phones and tablets and iOS which is on both. >> You know, we don't think about the operating system that eBook readers run and there's plenty of them. >> That's true. >> So. >> That's true. But Web OS does have a marketplace and it does have these things that kind of coincide with an operating system. So you kind of expect that from it too. I don't know, I kind of think that it will do really--I think it will do better like you said as a tablet than as a phone but I think then it has the potential of lifting the phone up with it, but-- >> Yeah, and that might be if it does well as a tablet might make it come back in the handset but I'm not holding my breath on another handset. >> I'm predicting Web OS dead in a year. >> Oh, we shall see. >> And then the--and then the HP might actually release an Android tablet then. [ Laughter ] >> Yes, exactly. >> They'll be like, okay fine. >> And the Android tablet, if that's what will spell let's say final death will be the Android tablet from HP. >> We surrender. >> Alright, so this week's app of the week, we've decided to well, Darren, you know all about rooting and stuff like that so we thought why not feature a root app of the week. So, I guess you have it on your phone and we've got a fancy little display to show it. [ Background Music ] >> Excellent, alright. So here we are and let met just try to fire this up here. Well, also watching it on screen. >> Time is running out. >> And this right here is my favorite new app, it's called packet sniffer. And what packet sniffer does, well, rooted phones only is allow you to using your WiFi, go ahead and connect to an access point, and sniff all of the traffic that is going through. >> Ooh. >> So maybe people are chatting on instant messengers or they're, you know, pulling up web pages that maybe they shouldn't be or they're typing in their password in some field that's not encrypted. You can go ahead to capture these packets. It has a statistic analysis. You can go ahead and do advance sorting. You can take a look at the different protocols that you're able to capture. You can say, hey, I just wanna look at this client target [inaudible] whatever you wanna call them. Your victim if you will. >> Alright. >> And take a look at what packets you've gone ahead and found and it uses on the back-end a very powerful engine called tcpdump. So if you've used tcpdump before, this is a very pretty GUI front-end and it not only does WiFi but it will do Bluetooth. [ Buzzer ] >> Yeah. >> Awesome. >> You nailed that one. >> Thank you. >> You hit the nail on the head with that. That's pretty awesome slash possibly nefarious. >> Oh, nefarious right for the [inaudible]. [ Laughter ] >> No, I mean you could--you can use it for actual troubleshooting and real legitimate network stuff. >> Right. >> Okay. Well, that's awesome. [ Laughter ] >> This isn't--means know what I'm talking about right on. I kind of feel like we should, you know, possibly come back to this and cover some more root apps because that's a whole world that I knew nothing about and you know a lot about rooting your phone, you've done it on your Droid, right? >> Right, and it's surprisingly easy. I think anybody could do this in just a few minutes following some very simple instructions if they have, you know, the guts to just go ahead and follow those instructions and accept the fact that if they do it wrong they might end up with a brick, void their warranty and, you know, cry themselves to sleep. >> Yeah, you know, no big deal. >> But these are the risks that we take. >> Right. >> Right. >> And so we're gonna do a live rooting here, right? >> Now, everybody in the chat room is going to have to cross their fingers because, well, I have just rooted this recently. Doing it again, there's still potential that, you know, the Etherlords aren't smiling upon me and-- >> It is possible. >> Yeah. So, all--as you can see, I've gone ahead and powered down my Droid here and what I'm going to do is open the keyboard and I'm going to hold down X here and press the power button. So, I'm gonna hold those down for just a few seconds, maybe like 5 or so and I'm going to-- >> Oh, it's just Motorola. >> Let go, let go. >> And so this is gonna factory reset? >> No, this is going to bring me into a special menu here. You'll see this is the--it's called the SP--let me make sure. This is SP Recovery. If you hold down X and the power button on your phone, you won't get this. You'll get something similar where you'll have to also press the volume up and the camera button at the same time to get to a very similar looking menu but it's not the same as this. >> Okay. >> Okay. Getting this menu on your phone is what--is all it takes to getting any of these awesome custom ROMs you keeping hearing about, the cyanogens, the beast list--the Bugless Beast and all of these. >> I gotta say just real quick, one of the intimidating things for me-- >> Yeah there's [inaudible]. >> Yeah, sorry. One of the intimating things for me, 'cause I definitely have considered it 'cause my phone is slower than molasses right now, is the sheer number of these mods out there knowing which one is actually the really good one and which one, you know, brings with it these headaches and this one brings out those headaches. >> Right, I'm glad you brought that up. >> They don't rate those on download.com? >> Yeah. [ Laughter ] >> I hope. >> Maybe we should. >> The one that I'm using is actually the elite FRF84B firmware. >> Catchy. >> This is the--yeah I know, right. This is the--it's basically a pretty rooted version of Froyo. It's in fact I believe is the one from Nexus One because every time I go into like help menus and stuff, it references the Nexus One. >> Got you. >> So this is the stock firmware, it doesn't have like the over clocking built-in and you could totally do that, but I just wanted to kind of play it safe with the first one, play around, I've still got root and yeah. So, the first step is to get this menu. Now, to get this menu, it's really simple process. You have to download a couple of files namely RSDLite. It's a little utility that Motorola uses in tech support to go ahead and flash phones and stuff like that. You'll need the drivers for, you know, Windows for your Droid, whether it's a 32-bit or a 64-bit, and I've got links in the show notes to all of the files that you'll need to download. >> How awesome. >> As well as this one file, SBF Recovery, ESE81, and it's this--that's what you're going to flash and that's going to replace your boot loader with this new, you know, fancy-pants one that's going to allow us to do updates that haven't been assigned by Motorola or Google and say, "Hey, these are official," you know. >> Correct. >> So, it's simply a process of installing that RSDLite and choosing the SBF Recovery file and plugging your phone in via USB, and then you power on your phone while holding the up button on the D-pad when you've opened the keyboard and it will show up in your software. And after that, all you hit is start, you cross your fingers and a few minutes later, your phone reboots and you've now got this boot loader. You're not gonna see anything different in your home screen. You don't have root yet, there's no special [simultaneous talking]. >> Doesn't change anything else, it just puts the extra software on there for you to access when you need to. >> Right, right and then to get into that, it's simply a matter of holding down the X button while you power on the phone. So now that you've go this awesome boot loader that were logged into right here, you can see that I've got that these fancy menu options like, see here. I can reboot the phone, I can--I can wipe the data, I can do a factory set and I can also do, you know, back up and restore different firmwares. I can even install a new one. So let's go ahead and go through the process right now. The first thing I'm gonna choose using the buttons on the side here. >> Yeah, the volume rocker. >> Volume rocker, I'm gonna come down to wipe data, factory restore, that's going to clear everything out. You'll see I have to come all the way down here. No, no, no, no, no, no. Yes. >> We want you to be sure that you wanna wipe it all, so-- >> You know, and that takes just a few seconds. >> I'm sure. >> So this is gonna wipe-- >> Is it a secure wipe? >> You know, I've heard things about how when you do that it doesn't necessarily take care of some cash stuff that might be on your SD card. >> Okay. >> So, if you were doing this because you wanted to reset your phone and sell it on Craigslist, you'll probably want to mount it as a removal USB on your computer first and just go-- >> Destroy it. >> Yeah, format that SD card. >> Right. >> Yeah. So once we've done that, we also want to wipe the cache so it come down here to wipe cache partition, hit the camera button, takes just a few seconds. And then it's just a matter of coming down here to install. We're gonna hit install and you'll see I've got the choose ROM from SD card. I've got allow update.zip installation and I've got install slash--SD card slash update.zip. So I first wanna come down to allow update.zip installation and that's just gonna say, "Hey, I go a file on my SD card and you'll rename it. All of the updates, you'll rename to update.zip even though when you downloaded it from-- >> Right, right. >> --like MyDroidWorld or something. It was something like, you know, FRF84B-Release.zip. But-- >> Sure. >> So since we've, you know, put this update.zip on our root of our SD card and now we've said allow update.zip which has come down to install SD card update.zip deprecated. We hit the camera button and there we go. >> And we wait. >> And we wait about-- >> Shall we be saying something here like this is for entertainer purposes only, if you destroy your own phone, don't call here. >> Yeah, don't call any of us. [ Laughter ] >> Now, this is--you know, this isn't for, you know, the wicked part. Just go ahead and-- >> Yeah, it is a little intimidating. You see that super small, you know, text in there which I actually think is pretty cool to look at. ^M00:30:04 >> Yeah. >> To know that you got this like command [inaudible] not really command line, you know, surface under there. But it's a little intimidating to think about rooting and wiping your phone and oh, if you do it wrong you're gonna destroy things. I mean is that really that dangerous? >> Well, I mean if you mess it up, you know. You don't wanna do this when you [inaudible]. >> But it's hard to mess up. >> You don't wanna--if you follow the directions and it's really super simple, just follow--just click through the links in the show note. I'm not saying go out and do this because you're--'cause you know, you need to do this to be cool. >> Right. >> You're perfectly cool just waiting for the Froyo release that's gonna come out here in the next, what, week or two on Verizon. >> Right. If you already have an Android phone, you're so much cooler than most the people out there-- >> Exactly. >> Yeah. >> You're already cool. >> Yeah. But if you are going to be able to take, you know--if you're a Linux geek that wants to get into the shell and actually use su and--if you know what su is and can use root, then do, this is a great way to bring new life into your device that's already a year old. >> Absolutely. Alright, well cool, we will check back on that and continue on with the show while it does its whole reprogramming there. Thought we might start kind of noting some of the notable new apps that are hitting the marketplace, just real quick hits on this just to let you know some new apps to check for. I will scan on today's open sport--or sorry, Open Spot by Google. And it's basically a program that will predictively show you where open parking spaces are. I don't know how well it works. >> I think the concept is great. It's just you need critical mass out there. >> Yeah, you need a lot of people using it. >> And then what the incentive actually say, "I just left the spot." >> Yeah, right. >> Well, that's true. >> Except for karma points. >> Yeah. >> Don't forget about karma points, right there on the screen. >> That's right. And then we have SwiftKey which is a predictive text keyboard replacement which they say if you don't like swipe and kind of the functions of that, this is a good alternative for that. Fox News has a new app which you know, whatever, the Onion which, hey, awesome. Album Art live wallpaper which actually is kind of similar to what you get in iTunes where it does the whole wallpaper made out of Album Art from your MP3 library. >> That's pretty cool. >> I'm terrified about this app. >> Why? >> Because you know it would be so cool you'd be totally rocking like, dude, I got like Dr. Dre and all the Snoop Dogg and boo, and then you're like your friend picks over. Oh, hey, looks it's--really, are we gonna go there and it's-- >> Justin Bieber. >> Yeah, yeah. [ Laughter ] >> And finally, we have the Samsung Road SMS which I almost was just like, yeah, whatever, it's only for Galaxy users. But it's the quintessential app that uses your camera to show you what is in front of you with an overlay of a keyboard so you can text while you're walking and not run into things. >> Yeah, I think this is the coolest new one that's out there and I don't understand why it's only for Samsung. >> Hey, they gotta have a killer app, right. [ Laughter ] >> I guess so, but it's pretty cool. >> There will be others, I'm pretty positive. But yeah, so that's what we got for notable new apps. And let's see here, I guess the next segment would be tip of the week and I'll go ahead take this [inaudible] in here. >> You should take this 'cause I don't know what it is. >> Well, I did a fancy little search about 3 weeks ago on Twitter and Android tip and I found a resounding result of extend the keyboard in Froyo. So as you--if you've used the touchscreen keyboard just on Android in general, you know that it's kind of difficult to get to things like, you know, punctuation and numbers and stuff like that, or at least it requires a second key press and it changes the whole layout. Well, now in Android 2.2 default keyboard, you can extend 2 more rows to display those keys for punctuation and numbers, if you swipe your finger over the top of the keyboard. So you swipe it up and 2 more layers kind of appear above it. You can get to those really easily, and as you got to say 'cause I use the touch keyboard all the time like I want that now. >> Yeah. Does this only work in portrait mode or does it work in landscape mode as well? >> That is a good question. I don't know if it works in landscape mode. Actually that's a really good question because there really isn't a whole lot of extra space. >> In the landscape mode, yeah. And I actually find the portrait mode trying to use that virtual keyboard almost impossible for me. >> Yes, I agree. [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> But did you say that it works on the larger screens off to get [inaudible] right. >> Yeah, and check out the Incredible later. Interesting, so along the same lines, we got an email from along the same lines of root in your phone I should say. >> Right. >> You wanna check in on the root real quick 'cause we just made some excellent-- [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> Well, at the very bottom it [inaudible]. >> I feel like this is a cooking show. >> I know, I know, I know, the turkey is almost done here so at the bottom it says that installation from SD card complete, we hit the power button at the top, that's your back button, don't get scared hitting the power button there. So it goes back in the menu and all we have to do is come down here to where it says--no, that is install, sorry--to where it says reboot system now, hit the camera button, and there we go. Okay, so we'll check back on that again. >> So let me ask while we're--we should have probably discussed this upfront about rooting your phone. Why do you wanna root your phone besides being pretty cool? >> There are applications that require root access, for example that--that application that that--packet sniffer. >> Yeah, the packet sniffer requires that you could install that front-end but it's not gonna do anything for you unless you have tcpdump installed. >> Right. >> And to get tcpdump, well, you need root access because you need to be able to write to certain areas of the file system, you need to change permissions, you need to run a Linux application. So you know, there is many more--just like on the iPhone when you, you know, jailbreak your iPhone, there's many more apps that you can get that you can't, you know, on the stack one. It's the same thing with the Droid. >> Yeah. >> And what do you think are kind of the most popular rooted apps? I know we're gonna add a segment to this show so we don't have to go to all of them but-- >> The ones that I've seen really are power user stuff, you know, shells, Linux apps. But I will say the number one that had me all excited about this to begin with was just the idea of using it as a cheaper MiFi, of using it as a wireless access point for you and for your friends without having to pay the extra fee to your wireless carrier. >> Yeah, right. >> So, this has a tethering feature essentially for free. >> Yes. >> Okay [inaudible]. >> So we'll get in, you know, if you want we could--I could come back to tell you guys about some other root apps. >> And set CPU as one that I have heard a lot. >> The overclocking? >> Right. >> Yeah, that's where it's at too. >> And yet that would be optimized, yeah, to get better battery life when you don't need all your CPU IE when your phone just sit in there doing nothing. >> Yeah, but anybody that's been using a Droid for a while would just shudder at the thought of underclocking this poor thing. [ Laughter ] >> Yeah. >> Well, if it's underclocked when you're not actually using it, if it's just underclocked while it's just sitting there idle checking email. >> Right. >> That's probably alright. >> And to check back in, it looks like there we go. Nothing broke, we actually had the little Android man here and it's just a matter of, you know, clicking him and following the prompts to, you know [simultaneous talking]. >> It's like you just bought a new phone. >> It's just like I just bought a new phone, it's so happy. >> It's kind of like unwrapping even, you know, like when I worked here and we get some new technology. Being able to open the box or whatever even though it's not mine still feels awesome. Something like, oh man, it's cool, it's brand new, get to unbox it, it's kind of the same feeling. >> Right. >> So anyway, if you set up your Google account before, it's the same exact thing and there you go. >> Yeah. >> Nice. >> The only difference that you're gonna find is that you've got a little application called superuser privileges which is kind of like your task manager for what applications can use root and which can't. >> Oh, okay. >> Yeah, that's it, and it's a cool ninja icon so there you go. You show somebody your ninja icon, you get the [inaudible] point right there. >> Well, you should have said ninja a lot earlier. >> I know. [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> Why did I bury the lead? >> Get the pirate instead and really like [simultaneous talking]. >> Chuck Norris would have been the one too. >> One last rooting question here, so is there anything once you rooted your phone that you can not do anymore. Can you still access the marketplace, can you still get updates? >> Yes, you can access the marketplace and it would totally turn off updates. Go into your settings and it's one of the buried options under advanced. I wanna say it's one of the bottom options but that's also listed in the show notes and it's essentially you don't wanna do the over the air updates because that's going to take away your root. >> But if you choose--I know there's probably a lot of people that are like I want 2.2 now but I want the official 2.2 when it comes out. So if they use this to upgrade and then they take the over the air, that wipes it and they're back to normal and they're happy. >> There they go. Yeah. >> Right. >> Awesome. >> That's great. >> Best of all world. >> Yeah. >> No kidding. >> We have one final email here from Kelly in Illinois who basically says that he just made a switch from--he or she actually, just made the switch from a regular cellphone to a Motorola Droid and misses Verizon Navigator which is a navigation app on a lot of the kind of flip Verizon phones, the last featured phones. And basically, Kelly is looking for tips on locating places and easily getting directions to those places for, you know, if you're traveling for summer vacation and you say wanna enter in fast food. Show me which fast food places are really close. Kelly has tried Places Directory and said wasn't able to figure out the best way to look for specific restaurant by name or category but I'm pretty sure I've used places in that very fashion. There is a search function, it's just in the menu which is kind of weird, but-- >> Right. I think there's a couple of good ways to do this, so Places is one, maybe it's not the best UI. > And I really like Places by the way and--yeah, it's not--I actually really like it. It integrates with Google Maps really well as well too. >> I suggested the very simple but not super nice. You can just Google whatever you're looking for. It uses your location in the browser. >> Right. >> And then you can instantly jump to navigation from there. And then Darren has some question. >> Well, I've been using this a lot 'cause, you know, I'm only been in Bay Area for a month now and let me tell you, Yelp has become my best friend. >> They just came out with a 2.0 release, right? >> Right, the new Yelp and it's got the Monocle feature and it's really good. I think if you haven't checked out Yelp in a while, give it an update and take a look because that might be what you want because they have those categories. You can say, "Hey, I'm just looking for Mexican food or fast food or whatever it may be. I haven't found gas stations, I would like that. >> Yeah, that would be a good one, yeah, for sure. >> But you know it's-- [ Simultaneous Talking ] ^M00:40:04 >> I guess they don't, but maybe they need to. >> Maybe they need to. This gas station always has really cheap gas. [ Simultaneous Talking ] >> I think that's another app though, isn't it like gas station prices and things like that? >> Yeah, my prices. Yeah. >> And then I should also mention Genie [phonetic] in the chat room throughout Gobi, G-O-B-I which I've never heard of but I trust Genie, she's a fellow Droid head too. >> You'll also get the Urbanspoon [phonetic] suggestion which is a [inaudible]. >> Oh, okay, yeah. >> I haven't used that one. >> Great. Well, I hope that helps you out, Kelly. >> And I think that is it. We are all rooted and ready to go. >> And hungry Android people we've covered. >> That's right. >> Yeah. >> So if you would like to email us your question to be a part of the show, you can do so at aaw@cnet.com. You can check out the show live every Thursday 2 p.m. Pacific on CNET Live. That's cnet.com/live/android. We also now have a Twitter feed, twitter.com/androidatlas where you'll find updates from our Android Atlas blog which is at cnet.com/androidatlas. >> As well as when this podcast post the show posts, right? >> Yes, the podcast episode is actually post to that blog. And you can find all this information that I just throw out at you and you're like what, I don't understand, it just all few by me. You can find it all at the Android Atlas blog cnet.com/androidatlas. Okay. >> And for any of my stuff, you can check out HAK, the number 5 dot org. I specifically recommend episode 618 where we do a little bit of Droid rooting and show you how to tether it via USB to your Linux computers. >> Yeah, you do a lot of actually Android kind of techie stuff on your show. >> And if you wanna learn the program on Android, it's a--you got a great Android program, in fact you should have them on, Jason Appelbaum, great guy. Have you guys had developers on yet? >> Not yet. >> No. >> Yeah. This guy is the guy to talk to. >> Nice. >> So anyway, Hak5.org. >> Awesome, we'll get the details. >> Nice. >> Thanks for having me on. >> Thanks for coming it was-- >> Yeah, thank you so much. We'll definitely bring you on again. >> Cool. >> We would love to have you on the show again. [ Background Music ] >> And thank you, Justin. >> Thank you, Jason. [ Laughter ] >> Good show. >> And thank you, Chris, for producing and we will see you guys next week. Bye. [ Music ]

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