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XDA Developers' Android Hacker's Toolkit: The Complete Guide to Rooting, ROMs and Theming Paperback – June 5, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1119951384 ISBN-10: 1119951380 Edition: 2nd

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XDA Developers' Android Hacker's Toolkit: The Complete Guide to Rooting, ROMs and Theming + Android Forensics: Investigation, Analysis and Mobile Security for Google Android + Android Hacker's Handbook
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1119951380
  • ISBN-13: 978-1119951384
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #715,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Join the millions of rooters worldwide who are making the Android devices truly their own.

Do you love your Android device, but feel like you’re not getting everything out of it you could? Written by Android expert, Jason Tyler, this book shows you how to take total control of your Android smartphone or tablet, regardless of brand name or release.

With the tools provided in this book, you’ll be able to customize your device to suit your needs and style, while maximizing its power and capability. In plain English, Tyler introduces you to the inner workings of the Android OS, walking you through the terminology and functions, from major file system nodes to basic OS operations. For the more adventurous rooter, Tyler provides links to key information on the XDA site that shows you how to achieve an even higher degree of expertise and capability. In no time you’ll learn to:

  • Identify the right tools for any job on most Android devices
  • Back up your OS, data and apps
  • Modify your device’s ROMs or flash ROMs from other devices
  • “Theme” the look and feel of your device to reflect your unique style
  • Teach your old Android device amazing new trick

The ultimate beginner’s guide to Android rooting, XDA Developers’ Android Hacker’s Toolkit gives you the knowledge and tools you need to make your beloved Android phone or table truly your own.

About the Author

Jason Tyler has been an IT instructor and is currently Director of Technology for Typefrag.com. An avid Android hacker, Jason has been rooting and ROMing every Android phone he can get his hands on since the OG Droid.

Will Verduzco is a Johns Hopkins University graduate in neuroscience and is now currently studying to become a physician. He is also Portal Administrator for XDA-Developers, and has been addicted to mobile technology since the HTC Wizard. Starting with the Nexus One, however, his gadget love affair has shifted to Google's little green robot.


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Customer Reviews

I found the book to be well written, clear and concise with excellent examples and notes.
S. A. ROBBINS
Instead what you get is a very unbalanced mix of procedures and descriptions that you can find just about anywhere online with a little search.
Mometan
If you have installed Cyanogenmod or any of the other replacement roms for Android you already know 90% of this book.
Alan Olsen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By D. Wortham VINE VOICE on August 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Some preliminaries. My phone is the LG Esteem and it is rooted, ROM'd, themed, and I've swapped the kernal out a few times. My previous phone was an LG Optimus. I also rooted that phone but didn't ROM or theme it. That phone had very little internal storage and a lot of bloatware. I think I doubled my internal storage when I got rid of the junk that was deemed uninstallable by the OEM.

I've done all that just using on-line forums, gumption and finger crossing. I'm a geek and I love computers and computer stuff and I dabble in programming. If that sounds like you then you don't need this book. Don't waste your money.

With all that in mind, I wouldn't have bought this book. It came up for free to review with the Vine program and I was very interested in seeing what it contained. So, on with the review...

It is a boutique book.

If you:

1) are overwhelmed by the online forums for rooting
2) heard of rooting but know nothing else
3) some combination of 1 & 2
4) aren't going to miss the money you spend for this book

...then this book was written for you. In most respects, it is the beginning of your journey not the end-point. It is a map. A guide. An overview.

Note #4 carefully. If you are not squarely inside of this bracket then don't buy this book. Period. The book description is accurate when it says 'simple' resource. The authors avoid getting into the complexities of Android as much as possible. The Android operating system is ... Linux. A highly specialized version of Linux made to run a very complex piece of technology - your mobile phone.

If you are super geeky and a computer person then you aren't really overwhelmed with on-line forums.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Alan Olsen on June 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book bills itself as a "complete guide to rooting roms and theming". It is far from complete. I was hoping for something that went deeper into the internals of Android. This book is not it. Much of the information is pointers over to the XDA developers forums. If you have installed Cyanogenmod or any of the other replacement roms for Android you already know 90% of this book. The retail price of $35 is not worth it for a small format book that barely hits 170 pages.

There is definitely a need for a book that covers the internals of Android, as well as how to modify it to fit your needs. Unfortunately this is not that book.

You are better off reading Android Forensics: Investigation, Analysis and Mobile Security for Google Android. It covers more of how everything fits together under the hood.
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mometan on May 31, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this with the hope that it will introduce some depth on android hacking/rooting. The subtitle "The Complete Guide to Rooting, ROMs and Theming" was partly responsible for that expectation. Instead what you get is a very unbalanced mix of procedures and descriptions that you can find just about anywhere online with a little search. Sometimes the descriptions are so mediocre that makes me wonder what theses guys were thinking. I didn't expect in a hackers' guide text to find things like the definition of a script, or spending pages on how to use adb to push a file to a device, etc.

If you are really looking for a super introductory text with not much substantial material beyond it then you might find this book a little useful. Even though I'd still argue that even in this case spending few min online would get you better results and you get to keep your money.

Returning the book...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. A. ROBBINS VINE VOICE on September 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is a must read for anyone starting out doing Android Apps. I've done a lot of programming in many different languages but mainly on micros (assembler), PCs and similar. I've not created any Android Apps yet but working on it. I expected to do some Rooting on Android but until I read this book I didn't realize you could turn your smartphone into a useless blob if you did the Rooting wrong. That's new to me, I wasn't expecting that could happen. I know there have been some really bad programs that could seriously mess up a PC but that was a long time ago. I never expected that you could do that to a smartphone just by Rooting it.
This book will probably save me from ruining a $500 tablet smartphone. If I do decide to experiment with Rooting on a smartphone, I'm going to find an older one that is cheap.

This book not only explains the pitfalls to Rooting a smartphone but the benefits. And shows that the primary benefit to Rooting will be to extend the life of a smartphone to allow new versions of Android to run on it.
It has excellent examples on various smartphones (but probably old news already). It shows examples of tools that will be needed, how to unlock, boot, flash and update Android devices.

I found the book to be well written, clear and concise with excellent examples and notes.
Overall, a must read to anyone inexperienced with Android but considering doing any Rooting of an Android smartphone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dame Droiture VINE VOICE on September 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
xdadeveloper's Android Hacker's Toolkit is a solid introduction to basic android hacking. The main purpose of the book is to introduce rooting, ROMs and installing themes onAndroid phones to beginners. In the process of covering these topics, Tyler covers the major issues and *dispels* some of the common fears that arise. After reading the book, even a novice should have gained the confidence to attempt these feats on his or her phone.

There are two main parts to the book. The first is a general presentation of how to "hack" an Android phone, whereas the second part is device specific. Because the second part isn't very useful if you don't have the particular device covered, I will focus on part one.

The first two chapters are key. The first covers the Android Operating System (OS). While the book will *not* turn you into an OS developer, it is important to know how Android works so that the possible exploits for gaining root make sense.

Chapter two begins a lengthy discussion of rooting Android phones. The chapter covers why a person might want to root his or her phone (although presumable, if you're thinking about buying this book, you already know why you'd want to root the phone) and preliminary steps (such as backing up data).

Chapters three and four get to the heart of rooting an Android phone. I found these two chapters to be the most useful. Having rooted a couple Android phones, I certainly would have benefited from these overviews. Read them carefully.

Chapters five and six talk about ways a user might customize his or her Android phone once root has been secured. Basically, this points the user to already existing ROMs and themes, as actually creating ROMs and themes is beyond the scope of an introductory text.
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