With Android fragmentation becoming increasingly worse and networks taking an age to roll out updates to devices, more and more users are looking for a way to upgrade their phone and take advantage of improvements to the operating system.
Although it is possible to gain speed benefits and new features using apps and tweaks, the best way to push your Android phone or tablet to the max is to flash a new ROM.
Traditionally this has been a potentially complex affair, requiring the user to find a ROM suitable for their phone, check that it meets their needs, download it, and then use a dedicated app to flash it. Guaranteed first time success can be hit and miss, leaving you with a lot of messing about and potentially a bricked phone…
Flashify might just change this. While tools such as ROM Manager have improved over time, Flashify offers a new way of flashing ROMs quickly and efficiently. It might be limited to three flashes a day in the free version, but Flashify includes integration with Dropbox and the ability to flash ROMs from your favourite file explorer app.
Designed specifically for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7, 4 and 10 devices, Flashify also works with many others. This straightforward app is easy to use and looks likely to make flashing ROMs a more popular option for anyone missing their upgrade.
Download Flashify (for root users)
The first step is to make sure you install the right app. There are a couple of “flashify” apps on the Play Store, so make sure you choose the one called Flashify (for root users). Once selected and downloaded, it will ask for root permission, which you should grant.
Before You Start, Backup!
Want to flash a new recovery or boot? You will need to back up first. With Flashify installed, loaded and root access assigned, switch to the Backup/Restore menu and select Backup current recovery. Set a backup name and destination and tap Back it up to begin the backup procedure.
Restoring Your Backups
You can also backup the kernel using the same steps and choosing the Backup current kernel option. To restore a backed up kernel or recovery, select the appropriate .IMG file listed further down the Backup/Restore screen, tapping Yup to confirm. These backups are quite small – restoring shouldn’t take long.
Connecting to Dropbox
A key advantage of Flashify is its Dropbox integration, activated by opening the menu and selecting Connect to Dropbox. Agree to the screen requesting permission for this, allowing you to flash recovery, boot and ZIP files from Dropbox. Note you must have Dropbox installed for this to work.
Dropbox Syncing Dangers
Although useful, syncing with your Dropbox account will impact on your phone’s storage. For instance, a 500 MB image saved to Dropbox will eat up the same amount of storage on your Android device. If you have limited storage space, remember to delete images after use.
Using the Reboot Options
Thanks to Flashify you have three reboot options, enabling different flashing and recovery scenarios. Available via the menu, these are Reboot, Reboot recovery and Reboot bootloader. While the first will restart your phone, the others will come in useful for restarting your Android device in different ways.
Preparing to Flash Your Phone
You don’t have to flash your phone or tablet with a ROM containing a new version of the Android operating system – you might use Flashify to flash an enhancement that must be applied at root level. Either way, download the ROM first, saving it to your phone or Dropbox folder.
Flashing Your Phone with Flashify
With your ROM file (containing a full image or just a single root-level utility) downloaded, you will be ready to begin flashing. Note that some ZIP files will need the boot or recovery image extracting before flashing. This can be done with a file explorer such as ASTRO File Manager.
Flashing a ZIP File
It’s easy to flash a ZIP file, just as long as the data is stored where you can browse to it, either on your phone or in Dropbox. Open Flashify, select Flash > Zip file, browse for the ZIP and select the recovery type. Tap Yup to complete.
The Power to Flash
With Flashify you can easily upgrade your recovery, boot and ROM and generally customize your Android device with considerable ease. This gives Flashify a massive advantage over similar apps such as ROM Manager. Remember, however, that you use the app at your own risk – so backup Android before flashing!