Custom Recovery for Android devices

In order to understand a custom recovery we first have to know what a recovery is. Just like all the devices with operating system android has some basic components like a bootloader, an operating system and a recovery. Now we have already seen what a bootloader is. Bootloader is first software that run on device when device is powered on and it decides whether to load operating system or to load the recovery. If you don’t know what a bootloader is check following post.

Read: Android Bootloaders and Unlocking


What is a Recovery?

A recovery is a like a mini operating system with system maintenance functions like:

  • Installing OTA updates
  • Flashing stock recovery
  • Factory reset phone
  • Clearing cache

In terms of a computer system it is like a BIOS except it doesn’t control IO neither it is a necessary component for loading system. Android can run fine without it. But when system (ROM) fails due to some recent buggy app install or any changes to system it is recovery to the rescue.

Android comes with a stock recovery installed. Bootloader by default loads the ROM, but in order to go into recovery mode user has to press key combinations while starting phone. Key combinations may vary depending on the manufacturer.

Now a recovery comes handy but it doesn’t provide much functions that’s why a Custom Recovery.


What is a Custom Recovery?

A custom recovery is more advanced version of android recovery with tons of options, for android maintenance and modifications, like :

  • The ability for third-party ROMs to be installed over the stock Android image
  • The ability to perform Nandroid backups — these are very good backups that saves literally everything from your personal data to the operating system itself
  • The ability to communicate with the Android Debug Bridge, or adb, on a computer for debugging and other developer-type actions, which is otherwise only possible when enabling developer tools within Android
  • A more useful and/or visually-pleasing interface for the recovery, which can include touch capabilities or an interface not driven by menu options.

The few functions may vary depending on the recovery you choose but most of them are provided by all popular custom recoveries, some of which are listed below:

Long story short, custom recoveries allow you to do various things that the manufacturer may not want you to do with it. They make the stock recovery so limited for the sake of making sure that you don’t turn your device into a brick, but you know what you’re doing, right?

Read: Installing a Custom Recovery

Let me know what do you think or have any suggestions.

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