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SECURITY

Hacker Zone (Part 2) - Take photos with your Bluetooth headset, Jargon Buster

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Take photos with your Bluetooth headset

The Android hacking and tweaking scene is a source of constant amazement for what it produces.

A Chinese user has discovered that a Bluetooth headset paired to a HTC One X (and, presumably, a HTC One S as well) can be used as a remote camera button.

Description: Remotely control your camera with a Bluetooth headset
Remotely control your camera with a Bluetooth headset

No real setup is involved -you simply pair your headset to the phone and then run the Camera app. You then need to press a combination of buttons on the headset to take a photo - such as pressing the volume button a couple of times. Not all headsets work, and you will need to discover the button combination yourself as it differs from one unit to another. The likelihood of this is the result of a bug in the software rather than a hidden feature, so it may be removed with future updates. To see a video of it in action visit: http://bit.ly/KVGDRT.

Manage files on your device

There are lots of file managers available for Android, but surprisingly none that have implemented the common dual-window display often found on desktop managers.

Description: Solid Explorer is feature rich and looks great
Solid Explorer is feature rich and looks great

Solid Explorer solves this and allows for easy drag-and-drop moving of files instead of fiddly copy and paste moves. Add in the fact it looks stunning and has lots of features, such as an FTP client, support for SMB shares and Dropbox, and it could quickly become one of the most popular file explorers. The current alpha version can be downloaded from: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1537189.

Jargon Buster

Get up to speed on all the terms you need to know when hacking your phone

OS

Short for ‘operating system’. Often the Android ROM will be referred to as the OS - this just means the system files on the Android device that make up your user experience, similar to Windows, Mac OS X or Ubuntu on a desktop computer.

ROM

Stands for 'read-only memory’. In the context of Android, the ROM refers to the files that make up the operating system installed on your device.

Gaining root privileges allows for replacement of the standard ROM with a custom one.

Root

‘Rooting’ your phone gives apps access to parts of the OS that are normally hidden from consumers. This enables you to run more powerful software and install custom ROMs on your phone.

ROM Manager

An app available from the Android Market that enables you to install a whole new version of your OS with a single click. It requires a rooted phone to use and is ideal for those new on the scene.

Titanium Backup

This app from the Market enables you to back up everything on your phone - apps, data, settings and all. It means that you can restore your phone to how it was, even after you’ve updated or changed the ROM.

Unrevoked

Available from www.unrevoked.com, this is a one-click tool that can be used for rooting many popular HTC smartphones.

ADB

Stands for ‘Android Debug Bridge’. ADB is mainly used for software development, but it also has some uses for hacking your phone. It can be used to push files onto the system folder, for instance.

Description: Android Debug Bridge’

Android Debug Bridge’

Nandroid

You might come across the phrase ‘perform a Nandroid backup’. This means using a custom recovery tool to make a back-up image of everything currently on your phone: OS, apps, data, etc. It’s very useful should you wish to restore your phone to its previous state later.

Radio

‘Radio’ refers to the software on your Android device that deals with making phone calls and data connections. Updating your radio version can bring better battery life and signal strength to your device. Some ROMs require the latest radio.

Flash

The storage in your device comprises flash memory, a type of solid-state storage. The terms ‘flash’ or ‘flashing’ mean installing new software onto your device’s storage.

 

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