No other mobile operating system is used as much as Android. I wouldn’t for a second argue that Apple has a die-hard fanbase that will seemingly support the fruit company for a very long time, but Apple also limits its software to only its own hardware. Jobs’ once famously took a jab at Microsoft with Bill Gates next to him during a rare sit-down interview and said something to the effect of he’s always thought that a great hardware company should use its own software and nobody else’s.
While not a direct stab at Gates and his corporation, it did passively suggest that the hardware companies that were choosing to run the Windows environment weren’t great at producing hardware. And that’s also going to hurt Microsoft as a whole. So as Apple thinks of itself as a hardware company with great software for nobody else’s use but its own, it’s apparently within Jobs’ vision to concede running on the most devices for just catering to themselves.
Similarly to Microsoft, Google is not a hardware manufacturer, instead choosing to distribute its software to all the manufacturers that want to use it. There’s no shortage of them either—Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Sony, OnePlus, Lenovo, Micromax, ZTE—you name it, they’re all using it.
Most people who buy phones that run Android aren’t too concerned with the oodles of features that it comes with. As long as the software offers the all-important portal to the internet, the time and date, access to the apps that they want to use, then that’s about as deep as the average human will delve. But the Android partisan might also know all about the status bar that stretches the top of the screen, the way the notifications can help draw attention to something that’s urgent, the Quick Settings panel that allows for more efficient access to often used toggles, the cute Dock with the most relevant icons ready to tap, or the home screen that acts as the mobile desktop itself.
To know everything that Android has to offer requires a lot of sitting down and learning. But also to make the study sessions longer, the Android operating system extends outside of Google Android. There’s a whole other side to Android out there that’s based on the Android Open Source Project, the same kernel that Google Android is using as a foundation. Third-party developers are creating custom software that is based on Android but comes with different features, a new design, altered layout, and could be just what you’re looking for if the stock version of Android hasn’t managed to hit the nail on the head for you on a personal level.
Before you can even think about what custom ROM you want to get installed though you’ll need to think about swapping the stock recovery image that is installed on your device right now for a custom one. The only custom recovery image worth installing today, assuming that it’s available for your device, is Team Win’s TWRP Recovery. A group of four guys is continually developing it, and it’s being maintained by many more folks on top of that. There will also be some custom ROMs that request it as the custom recovery you should have installed before going ahead with the installation of the custom software, so it’s always a good idea to install TWRP if you have more than one custom recovery image available to you.
Details of Note
- The custom recovery images available in this guide are only to be installed on the Samsung Galaxy J5 LTE (SM-J500F) smartphone. Most devices have a custom recovery image developed specifically for it, and you shouldn’t install one that is intended for another device unless advised it is okay by a professional.
- The codename for the Samsung Galaxy J5 LTE (SM-J500F) TWRP Recovery image is “j5lte.” You will see that codename in the TWRP image file path and also from your About Device menu so you know you are flashing the right file on the right device.
- You can find the device tree files over at its GitHub page.
- You can find the official support thread for this specific custom recovery image on the XDA-Developers web forum.
- You can install the official TWRP Recovery application from the Google Play Store or from the TWRP website as an apk, if you have root access on the device already, and get the TWRP installed that way, no adb required. Once the app is installed, it will be in your Downloads folder. Navigate to the Downloads folder and select the TWRP application. When the application opens tap on the option for flashing the TWRP.
- Download on your computer the latest version of TWRP Recovery: Primary (Americas) | Primary (Europe).
How to Install TWRP Recovery on Samsung Galaxy J5 LTE (SM-J500F)
1. Firstly, you need to know that the Odin flashing tool is really easy to use, but it only works on the Windows operating system. You won’t get the flashing tool to load on a Mac or Linux computer. It doesn’t really matter what version of the Windows operating system that you’re using as long as it is something above Windows XP.
2. Download and install the Samsung USB drivers on the computer if you don’t have them already.
3. Download the stock ROM from the links above directly to the computer. Extract the file by right-clicking on it and choosing the option to extract. When you do, you’ll see the tar.md5 file inside. That’s the file you’ll be using to do the flashing.
4. Download the Odin flashing tool. It doesn’t really matter what version, but the latest is the most up to date so grab that one. Extract the Odin file and then double-click on the Odin executable file (.exe) that is found from within the Odin folder after extraction. You should now have the Odin interface open on the computer and waiting for you to connect to it.
5. Boot the Samsung mobile device into the Download Mode by first powering it down and then rebooting by holding the “Volume Down + Home + Power” keys at the same time.
6. A yellow warning triangle will come up on the device’s display. At this time you need to press the “Volume Up” button. You’ll then see the device getting into the Download Mode. It’s then ready for the flashing.
7. When in Download Mode, connect the Samsung mobile device to the computer with the USB cable.
8. If you have installed the USB drivers correctly, the Odin flashing tool should detect your device. You can tell this by observing the ID: COM port lighting up with a color, usually yellow or blue. (It doesn’t matter what color, it’s the lighting up that counts.)
9. After the device is picked up by Odin, click on the “PDA” or “AP” button, depending on what button your version of the Odin flashing tool has.
10. Navigate to the stock ROM folder and upload the tar.md5 file to this location in Odin.
11. Without changing any of the default settings, click on the “Start” button in Odin, and the flashing then begins.
12. Wait until Odin shows a “Pass” message before disconnecting your device.
TWRP App Installation Method (Root Required)
If you decided to download the TWRP application from the Google Play Store or the APK file from the official TWRP website, then after you open the application you will be given a few different options to choose from. But before even going that far, it’s important to note that you should only install the TWRP APK file from the official TWRP website. If you’re installing it from Git, or any other file hosting website, it might not be the official version, and thus, it won’t have been built or tested by the official TWRP developers and maintainers.
Once the application is open, you’ll need to agree to not hold anyone from TWRP responsible for any issues that your device may face while using the application. This is a standard disclaimer that Team Win puts on top of each of the recovery image files from the official website as well, so it’s nothing new. It just explains that it is your decision to put the custom recovery on your device, and while they work hard to provide a quality product, there are no guarantees that your device isn’t susceptible to damages relating to TWRP while the custom recovery is installed. You can grant the application root permissions now as well. Root access can be obtained by flashing SuperSU, or other appropriate rooting files, from the custom recovery itself. Without root, you won’t have access to some of the app’s features, such as image flashing. It’s here also where you can enable InsightCore (a feature to monitor and record the network performance of your device).
Once you’ve accepted the agreements, you’ll see the TWRP application’s home screen, where you can choose to flash TWRP or view the network statistics. When choosing to flash the custom recovery, you’ll need to scroll and select your device from the list to make sure you are flashing the correct file. When the device is chosen, the TWRP application automatically then searches for the latest version of the TWRP for that device and will continue doing so every day for as long as the app is installed. This interval can also be altered from the Settings in the top right-hand corner of the device’s display when the apps open.
If root access has been enabled, you’ll see the chance to select the custom recovery image and the buttons for flashing the images to boot or from recovery. You should choose to flash the images to recovery. Only use the boot image flashing when you are flashing full boot images, not just kernel zimages.
DD Installation Method
You can also get the custom recovery installed on the Samsung Galaxy J7 Exynos SM-J700 smartphone by using the DD install method. To do it this way, download the latest recovery image file for your device from its downloads page on the official TWRP website (Primary [Americas]| Primary [Europe]) and then place the file in the root of your /sdcard folder. Rename the image “twrp.img.”
You then need to run the following commands from the ADB shell or a Terminal Emulator application:
dd if=/sdcard/twrp.img of=/dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/recovery
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