Changes in the wind

Discussion in 'Android OS' started by Hook, Jan 17, 2018.

  1. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    Suddenly, a wrench in the works.

    DU just released it's first Release Candidate (RC) of Oreo (Android 8.1). I thought, cool. Their RCs are pretty stable. It was mentioned in a discussion that, while there is no bootloader check in the ROM yet, it probably would be best to have the updated bootloader and radios from Oreo. I'm still sitting on the DU eqivalent of Android 7.1.2

    So I thought, great, I'll just go break out Nexus Root Toolkit, flash stock Android 8.1, then re-unlock the bootloader, re-root and there I go. That's when I found out the sad news I had missed because I have been so happy with my Nexus 6p setup for so long that I had missed it. WUGs is no longer working on, supporting or updating the Toolkit, apparently because of being set upon by trolls. Don't know much more than that. This toolkit has been invaluable to me for quickly going between stock and rooted. Simple and reliable.

    Now I'm faced with some choices of how to proceed.

    1) I'm pretty sure NRT still works. It has a factory image for Android 7.1.1. Im pretty confident I could use it to go to stock-locked-unrooted 7.1.1 and then let the updates roll from Google servers. However, I wouldn't trust the Toolkit with Oreo. So, the question is, could I go back to lving without root. Not the only option here, but that's option 1. The only reason i really use root anymore (and the only reason I use alternate ROMs) is to get rid of Google bloat and to create nandroid backups. And, yes, those are important to me, but I might be able to live without those options, especialy because I'm lazy. :vbrolleyes:

    2) Whether I use the toolkit or not, learn finally how to use fastboot like all the XDA folks insist i should. Learn how to unlock the bootloader, install an alternate recovery and root, all using ADB and fastboot. A lot of study up front, but in the long run it would really pay off. However, I have a lot on my plate right now, so do I really want to invest in that?

    3) Go ahead and flash DU Oreo and just see how long I can go without getting in trouble. :vbeek: :vbgrin:

    4) I have a really nice DU 11/ Android 7.1.2 setup that I'm really happy with. Honestly, I could go quite a while just as I am which is why I was happy to wait for DU Oreo. Trouble is, it is no longer getting updates (still on October).

    I'm thinking I will choose either #1 or #3 and then take my time learning Fastboot, probably on Linux. But I am really unhappy about the loss of NRT. :vbfrown:
     
  2. Mi An

    Mi An Nexus Refugee

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    I had to kinda/sorta learn adb with my z play, though you'd do well not to take my advice on any of it. I had a little scare a while back, have mostly blocked the details from memory, but I think I posted about it here back when it happened. I miss wugs a LOT. In theory, I like tinkering and knowing how everything works, but some stuff I enjoy dissecting more than others, and I'd much rather let wugs do all the work. I feel like a iFan, admitting I'd rather it 'just work'. :vboops:

    If it helps (and remember the part about not taking my advice), I don't think you need root to install custom recovery and backup restore nandroid. Still need root for the debloating, of course. But if you oem unlock and either flash or even just boot custom recovery (adb fastboot flash twrp.img or adb fastboot boot twrp.img), I can't think of any reason you'd need root to make the nandroid backups or restore them.
     
  3. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    For me, the best method of debloating is simply the freedom that an alternate ROM gives you to install a minimum Gapps. I honestly don't know if I can live with having all those Google apps on my phone. <shudder> So now I'm beginning to think Option 4 + learn fastboot. :vbwink:
     
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  4. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    Well, that was easy.

    I started poking around a part of Nexus Root Toolbox that I had never done much with because, basically, I never needed to (I'm a very lazy explorer). When it was supported and updated, I only ever needed it to unlock and root, or to relock and unroot so I could take an update from the Google servers. But there is a panel of advanced utilities which I decided to look at. Turns out it is a dashboard of buttons that launch ADB and all sorts of fastboot scripts for any of the Nexus models it has in it's device library. It is actually a pretty amazing library. And instead of using NRT's updates, the scripts ask you to point to the files you want it to work with. They are all manual utilities.

    So, I used the scripts to update TWRP to the latest version, and then I downloaded the January factory Image of Android 8.1 for Angler (Nexus 6p) and extracted the bootloader and radio images. I then flashed them both and everything is working great.

    So while Nexus Root Toolkit isn't being updated or supported, this script library and NRT's script engine will continue to be valuable as long as I have my 6p (I'm not sure I'd trust it with future Pixels, but I'm not sure I'll ever have a Pixel).

    And, for now, I'm saved once more from having to actually learn fastboot. :vbgrin:

    On to installing DU Oreo (probably tomorrow...). :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  5. internetpilot

    internetpilot Flying Dog (...duh...)

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    I had to stop using root toolkits when one hosed my then brand new Nexus 6 to the point of soft-bricking it. I was really sweating it for about 45 mins until I figured out a way to get a Recovery installed via ADB. So, from that moment on anything I couldn't do through Recovery, I did through ADB, usually just one task at a time and only as needed. I never really learned ADB, though, and basically just follow instructions well. Even though I was pretty much neck-deep in ADB back when I had an Acer Iconia tablet, because for whatever reason (just techie jerks?), almost all the developers refused to create Recovery flashable packages for ANYTHING, so it was ADB or stock.

    Unfortunately, I'm seeing a lot of ADB required for my new Moto G5S Plus phone, too. So far that hasn't been much of an issue for me because I'm still stock and not rooted thanks to this being a retail unlocked phone (rather than a carrier branded one), and very little bloat with rather (incredibly) vanilla Android.
     
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  6. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    Yeah, I know ADB/fastboot is in my future, but as long as I have my 6p, the script library from NRT is a lifesaver. And I'm hoping that's another 2 years at least. The Nexus 6p is an incredible phone for me and I'm dreading having to move on, though I'm pretty sure Moto will be on my move-on list.

    So I'm on Dirty Unicorns Oreo now. It's a very early release, which means it's pretty bare bones in terms of adding features (what DU calls "Dirty Tweaks," but that's how DU has always done things-- release a stable base and then start tweaking. Still figuring out where the differences are with Nougat, and whether the differences are better or just different (given Google's tendency towards a "If it's not broken, break it" philosophy :vbrolleyes:). It's running smooth as silk and I even found a version of SuperSU that works on Oreo (everyone seems to be moving to Magisk, but I have just not been able to master installing it. Not sure what I'm doig wrong). But I have my minimal Beans Gapps and am very happy. Once official releases start, I'll stick to those.
     
  7. internetpilot

    internetpilot Flying Dog (...duh...)

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    I never thought I'd see the day that I'd be running an Android phone stock unrooted, but that day has come. I must be getting old. Or maybe a higher power is just helping me adjust/cope for a future move to iOS? I would defiantly proclaim, "NEVER!", but then I go back and read my first sentence...

    Not to jinx you, Hook, but I was hoping to get a lot more life out of my Nexus 6, and it's not like I dropped it in the toilet or left it on the roof of the car or something else that brought about its early demise. You just never know. Coming from that experience, I would definitely advise anyone like us who tends to hold on to devices as long as we like them, to kinda keep a mental list of the things we like about them, and then keep an eye on the current offerings that satisfy that same (or similar) criteria. Being ready to jump quickly on some model of the 5th gen G series from Moto was a huge help for me getting back up with a working phone quickly (and cheaply since it was on the tail end of a Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend). If I would've just started my research when I finally accepted that my beloved Nexus 6 just wasn't working anymore, I probably still wouldn't have a new phone (and would have likely resurrected my Note 2 or my youngest son's abandoned Galaxy S3). It's always nice to have a backup phone ready to go, but when it happens and you go back to using your backup phone, that's when you quickly recall why you moved on to something else. Haha.

    Again, I'm very jealous you're still in a Beans/PureNexus/DU world! I so wish they would add the G5S/G5S Plus to their device list, but I don't think that will ever happen. Their typical supported phones aren't always flagships, but when they aren't, they're always the rare diehard models that are still viable even after several generations of new models, and I don't think the Moto G series fits that bill (at least not for the masses, although it might for me). I could see the Moto Z series or especially the Moto X series now that the X4 is an Android One device.

    Honestly, I've yet to see or even read about any substantial differences between Oreo and Nougat and it seems to be almost entirely a back-end thing. Supposedly there are significant battery optimizations, but definitely with 8.0 and even with 8.1 I've seen just as many problem reports that include abysmal battery life. I think the fact that very few phones are currently running an Oreo OTA update says it all. I'm not actually looking forward to it at all, predominately because of what you said about the DU Oreo RC -- we're back to relatively no tweaks. And I feel like we were just at that same point with Nougat just yesterday. What compounds that feeling for me is that I'm running stock unrooted Nougat 7.1.1 right now, and even it has a surprising number of tweaks from Moto. If even custom ROMs are still at the no tweaks point roughly six months after Oreo's release, what are the stock OTA's going to offer? I don't think I've ever felt so unexcited about an Android update.

    I'm actually thinking about rooting my phone so I can stay on stock 7.1.1 (and turn off the update notification). I would definitely do it if the Nougat 3rd-party ROM support was there, but it's barely there for Oreo and it's virtually nonexistent for Nougat.
     
  8. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    Yeah, I have to confess, my biggest motivations for moving to Oreo is for Dev support and security updates (DU stopped updating Nougat). So far, the biggest difference I've notices on Oreo is that the Settings are more nested for less scrolling. :vbrolleyes:

    Yes, I am constantly researching replacements for the future. Right now, I'm keeping my eyes on the motos (G and Z) and OnePlus. OnePlus has the advantage of not only being supported by DU, but the company announced the DU RC when it came out. I'm also looking at what develops at Honor USA (Huewei) since I like the 6p and recently the company reached out to Alex Cruz with this post on the DU G+ site:

    Then again, could legitimacy kill DU. :vbeek: :vbwink: We've seen it before...
     
  9. internetpilot

    internetpilot Flying Dog (...duh...)

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    I really like what Huawei, OnePlus, Xiaomi, etc. are bringing to the table. They seem to have become what everyone thought Nexus (and Pixel) would always be, but Google seems to have at least somewhat moved away from the reputation of being a developer's choice for phones. A $700, $800, even $1000 phone is not a developer's phone. Even the Nexus 6 when it was first released was $700. I only got it when it was fire-saled at $250, and coincidentally that's when it became popular in the development community, too.

    All that being said, I'm on Sprint, which pretty much eliminates any/all offerings from all of those manufacturers for me personally. :( It's no longer Sprint's fault as they have really loosened up on the bring-your-own-phone thing from how they used to be, but most phone manufacturers simply don't produce phones that support CDMA.

    Uh oh. Isn't DU a strict no donations endeavor? Honor taking an interest in their developers may not be a good thing unless they already have excellent day jobs!
     
  10. Mi An

    Mi An Nexus Refugee

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    The most interesting thing about Oreo to me is project treble. I admit I have yet to see how well it will work, but it's supposed to move more updates directly into google's hands as opposed to the decentralized gambling we do today, and I think/hope it may make devices easily updateable/upgradeable (particularly for security updates) for far longer as it layers the OS differently and updates should be less device specific. Not all devices that are upgraded to oreo get project treble, though all that ship with it natively will, I believe. I don't think mine will get it, but I think nexus/pixel do. This is the only reason I'm even considering maybe upgrading to Z Play 3 eventually, to get treble, otherwise, I could imagine maining my Z Play for longer than I've ever kept any phone before.

    Maybe it'll end up being much ado about nothing, but my imagination says it'll help keep devices years longer and more up to date than ever. :) Of course, forced updates on other platforms haven't always worked out so well, but maybe google can find a way to not break stuff. :fingerscrossed:
     
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