Android Hacks

By: Mel Joelle

The never ending debate on which mobile operating system is the best rages on. One aspect of the argument, however, has long been put to rest: which operating system has the greatest customization? The answer is Android. Google's open source platform allows users to tweak nearly every aspect of Android software. Most modifications can be made through applications available on the Android Market. Other, more sophisticated ones require hacking. Here are some of the most useful hacks on Android:

Immediately Install Software Updates

One caveat of Android is that there is only a single version of the operating system that must be tweaked by phone manufacturers to run optimally on their given device. This is as opposed to Apple's iOS which only has a single device on which it is licensed to run -- the iPhone. What this means for Android users is that system updates are not immediately available to download as soon as Google releases it. They must wait until their phone's manufacturer tweaks the update. If, however, your phone is rooted (a term used to describe devices that have been hacked to access its underlying functions) you can install updates as soon as a developer has produced a ROM for it.

Install Apps Not Available On the Android Market

Despite being an open source platform, there are many apps that for one reason or another do not make their way to the Android Market. Many of these allow you to control under-the-hood operations of your phone such as access to additional memory and options to quick booting. There are also tremendous cost saving apps that allow users to tether their device's data signal to a computer -- a service that can cost as much as $30 per month through a wireless carrier.

Play Games From Classic Consoles

Game enthusiasts will appreciate this one. Androids open source approach enables it to run emulators of classic video game consoles such as the NES. Admittedly this hack treads the line between open sourcing and piracy. None of the software emulators such as Ataroid or SNesoid have permission to use and manipulate the products of original game creators. On the other hand, the same creators have long since stopped profiting from these games and the emulator developers are not using their content to make a profit.

Swap Out Your Car's Satellite Navigation System

This hack is only feasible if you have a phone has TV-out cable support and a car with a screen that will display the signal. Some devices with TV-out include the Droid Incredible, HTC EVO 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S. If you have these two components, you can cut ties with your car's navigation system and save significantly. The hack will display whatever is on your phone on to your car's screen. This means you can also access your music collection or view text based content.

Install Android on an iPhone

Although this is only possible on the first two iPhones (iPhone and iPhone 3G) running Android on one of Apple's safety guarded devices makes for an interesting thrill. By doing so, you can run some of the many programs Steve Jobs has prevented from appearing on iOS, including one that provides access to the wikileaks cables. Of course, developers did not stop at migrating Android on the iPhone. There are several other devices including ones that normally run Windows Mobile that can also be hacked to run the little green alien.

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Click here to read the rest of Android Hacks. If you enjoyed this article, you also might like to read about Droid Apps

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