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[Consulting] HowTo (more quickly and easily) switch between firmwares

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Post time 2017-1-10 19:58:59 | Show all posts |Read mode

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Edited by zgfg at 2017-1-11 19:58

There are now several Ulefone firmwares for Ulefone Metal, but they cannot be installed twrough TWRP - they must be flashed via SP Flash Tool (and they overwrite everything, including your custom recovery). OTA upgrades may not work with TWRP and/or root, etc. To the other side, cooked ROMs are made for installations through TWRP. It's interesting to play and switch between ROMs but it's tedious to (re)install the same apps again, to (re)configure same/similar settings, possibly to (re)flash TWRP, etc.

- SP Flash Tools: You can backup the whole ROM with the installed recovery (TWRP), and to re-flash them later. There are some tools on the Net/XDA, maybe it's possible to make an IMG (for installations through TWRP) from an SP Flash Tool distribution, or vice versa. If somebody is familiar with, please provide hints.

- TWRP: Backup all partitions except Cache and Dalwik Cache from the installed ROM with your apps and data, that you can restore them if you later decide to switch back to that ROM.

- Titanium Backup (root required): Backup particular apps and parts of Android settings (accounts, WiFi, Mobile Data, etc.). It's not safe to restore system apps (like GAPPs) from one ROM (like MM stock) into the other (like Nougat MAD coming without GAPPs). But you can install an app regularly and then just restore its settings/data via Titanium. Also, restore the backed-up Android settings only between the same/similar ROMs (like both [stock] AOSP MM or so). If you're only playing with custom kernel (like Jonny's) then backup/restore the System partition.

- Link2SD (root required): To convert between user and system apps (combine with Titanium backing-up). Make updates obtained via Google Play of system apps to also become part of the system (without, updated system GAPPs in some cases may not behave the same way).

- Quarantine (root required): Not directly for switching between ROMs, but to quarantine/disable unwanted system apps or services (like FOTA app and service - disabling OTA functionality but making sure Chinese FOTA does not spy your activities). Do a TWRP backup before, just in case if system won't boot without the quarantined app. Later, when you are 'sure' you don't need the unwanted app, you can really uninstall it by Titanium, but always make its Titanium backup that you can restore if you ever need it again (e.g., to restore FOTA if you would want to enable OTA upgrade). If Titanium does not allow uninstallation, you will need Link2SD to convert the unwanted system app to the user app.

- QuickShortcutMaker: Again, not for switching between ROMs, but to enable hidden activity in a particular [system] service (e.g., as of October OTA, there is no ApplicationLock option in the Settings to protect particular apps with a fingerprint). Find a hidden service:activity and enable a home-screen icon to invoke it (e.g., home-screen icon to invoke ApplicationLock service:activity wherefrom you can select which apps to be protected by fingerprint).

- Flashify and/or rashr (root required): To install a custom recovery or backup/restore your recovery (like TWRP) from the rooted system. N/A for Ulefone, but there are other Chinese brands with pre-rooted firmwares, coming without TWRP/CWM and SuperSU. Flashify the recovery, boot into and install SU, and voila.

- APK Extractor: Make and save APKs from your installed apps, to transfer them (only apps, not their data) to the other system. You can even make APKs for system apps, but on the rooted system. Prepare your first-aid collection of utility apps (like Titanium) that you can easily start 'restoring' things on the new system, instead of first configuring WiFi, Google account, etc.

All the mentioned apps are available from Google Play. URLs to dawnload various firmwares are provided in:
http://forum.ulefone.com/thread-826-1-1.html

For modding, see: http://forum.ulefone.com/thread-296-1-1.html

Please feel free to extend with the additional hints and tools.




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Post time 2017-1-11 03:25:58 | Show all posts
Excellent information, thanks!
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