Glossary


Here is a collection of every piece of Android and Tech lingo that is used here on Android Explained. If there is a word I use on this website that is not listed in the glossary, and that you do not understand what it means, please send me an email and request it to be added.



 

 

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AOSP -  AOSP - Stands for Android Open Source Project and it is what our Android firmwares are fundamentally based on. OEMs will generally build a skin on top of them(TouchWiz, Sense, etc), but underneath they all have an AOSP base as the framework.
 
APK -  APK - Android Package - An APK is a file with the extension .APK and it is what your Android device downloads and installs when you install an application from the Google Play Store.
 
APKs -  APK - Android Package - An APK is a file with the extension .APK and it is what your Android device downloads and installs when you install an application from the Google Play Store.
 
bootloader -  Bootloader - This is the first thing that runs when you boot up your Android device. Normally at Android Explained I talk about unlocking this bootloader so that we can install custom pieces of software onto your smartphone, tablet or smartwatch. You will need an unlocked bootloader to install a custom recovery on your Android device.
  
bootloop -  Bootloop - The term bootloop is used to describe a smartphone, tablet or smartwatch(or even a PC) that is stuck in a never ending boot and reboot cycle. This typically happens when something is wrong and it causes the boot process to fail. After it fails the device will reboot and it will try to boot again. Over and over and over. If this happens then you should most likely restore from a previously created backup.
  
Bootloop -  Bootloop - The term bootloop is used to describe a smartphone, tablet or smartwatch(or even a PC) that is stuck in a never ending boot and reboot cycle. This typically happens when something is wrong and it causes the boot process to fail. After it fails the device will reboot and it will try to boot again. Over and over and over. If this happens then you should most likely restore from a previously created backup.
  
brick -  Brick - This term can be one of two different things. A hard brick is exactly that, you have completely broken your device and it is in no way recoverable(aka, a brick). A soft brick is much less severe and this is when you run into a bootloop or something and it simply won't boot up. You can repair the device if it has only been soft bricked and these days it is quite difficult to actually hard brick a device.
 
bricked -  Bricked - This term can be one of two different things. A hard brick is exactly that, you have completely broken your device and it is in no way recoverable(aka, a brick). A soft brick is much less severe and this is when you run into a bootloop or something and it simply won't boot up. You can repair the device if it has only been soft bricked and these days it is quite difficult to actually hard brick a device.
 
DPI -  DPI - Dots Per Inch - Is a setting that can be changed within Android(usually with root access) and it designates the number of printed points(dots) per inch. The higher the DPI, the bigger things look, and the lower the DPI, the smaller things look.
  
FAB -  FAB - Floating Action Button - A Floating Action Button is something that was introduced in Google's Material Design guidelines and it typically is used to make the most used action in an application stand out. A to-do list application could make their FAB create a new item in a list while the FAB in an email application could be used to create or send an email.
 
Flash -  Flash - When I talk about flashing something to your device, this is just another word for install. Flashing a custom kernel or a custom ROM(or even a certain modification) onto your device simply means you are installing a custom kernel or custom ROM onto your device.
  
flash -  Flash - When I talk about flashing something to your device, this is just another word for install. Flashing a custom kernel or a custom ROM(or even a certain modification) onto your device simply means you are installing a custom kernel or custom ROM onto your device.
 
Gapps -  Google Apps - Google Apps, aka Gapps, are proprietary Google applications that come pre-installed with most Android devices(aka the Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps, etc). Due to licensing restrictions, these apps cannot come pre-installed on Custom ROMs and must be installed separately. Google Apps are not required to boot or run Custom ROMs, however many users refuse to use Android without them.
  
GPE -  Google Play Edition - Smartphones and tablets that are sold directly from the Google Play Store(excluding Nexus devices) are considered Google Play Edition devices. This means the purest form of Android(aka Stock Android) is running on that device. For example, HTC devices sold in the Google Play Store will not have Sense and Samsung devices sold in the Google Play Store will not have TouchWiz.
  
IoT -  IoT - Internet of Things - is physical objects embedded with software, sensors and connected to the internet(or network) which enables it to achieve greater value and service by performing tasks and/or communicating with other connected devices.
 
mAh -  Milliamp Hours - This is how we measure the capacity of the batteries in our mobile devices. You can think of it like the size of the gas tank in a car. So, the higher the mAh capacity, the longer you will get to use the device before it needs to be recharged.
  
Nandroid -  Nandroid - Sometimes written as NANDroid because it's referring to the type of storage that we have in our smartphones, tablets and smartwatches. A Nandroid backup is a backup that is created for one(or all) of the available partitions you have on your device.
 
OEM -  Original Equipment Manufacturer - When I talk about an OEM here on Android Explained I am specifically talking about the manufacturer of the smartphone. Sony, HTC, LG and Samsung are examples of various Android OEMs right now.
  
OEMs -  Original Equipment Manufacturer - When I talk about an OEM here on Android Explained I am specifically talking about the manufacturer of the smartphone. Sony, HTC, LG and Samsung are examples of various Android OEMs right now.
  
OIS -  OIS - Optical Image Stabilization - is a mechanism used in a camera sensor for both video still images that stabilizes the subject by adjusting the optical path to the sensor.
 
OTA -  Over the Air - When I talk about Over the Air updates I am referring to an update that can be downloaded via WiFi or cellular data. This update will appear in your notification bar and it will guide you through the steps to download and install a brand new Android update onto your smartphone, tablet or smartwatch.
  
overflow -  Overflow - The overflow menu is generally opened by tapping on a three-dot menu button. This button can be located anywhere in the application but it is generally in the top left or top right of the screen.
 
Overview -  Overview is what Google is calling the new Recents/Multitasking page from Android 5.0+. Instead of just showing apps that have been launched since the device booted up, the Overview page now shows all the apps you have opened and have not force closed 

PPI -  PPI - Pixels Per Inch - Is a way to describe how pixel dense a display is. The higher the resolution of the display on your smartphone, tablet or smartwatch is, the higher PPI. It is generally best to have a device with a high enough PPI that you cannot physically see the individual pixels from whatever your average viewing distance is.
  
ROM -  Read-Only-Memory - This is a misused term even though 95% of the community uses it. When I talk about a Custom ROM, I am talking about a custom Android firmware that you can install. Popular custom ROMs for Android include CyanogenMod, Paranoid Android, AOKP, SlimROMs, PAC-MAN, Liquid Smooth and more.
  
ROMs -  Read-Only-Memory - This is a misused term even though 95% of the community uses it. When I talk about a Custom ROM, I am talking about a custom Android firmware that you can install. Popular custom ROMs for Android include CyanogenMod, Paranoid Android, AOKP, SlimROMs, PAC-MAN, Liquid Smooth and more.
  
SoC -  System on a Chip - A system on a chip or system on chip is an integrated circuit that combines all components of a computer, or other electronic system, into a single chip. It may contain digital, analog, mixed-signal, and often radio-frequency functions—all on a single chipset. SoCs are very common in the mobile electronics market because of their low power consumption.
  
SoCs -  System on a Chip - A system on a chip or system on chip is an integrated circuit that combines all components of a computer, or other electronic system, into a single chip. It may contain digital, analog, mixed-signal, and often radio-frequency functions—all on a single chipset. SoCs are very common in the mobile electronics market because of their low power consumption.
  
toast -  Toast - The toast message is a pop-up that appears toward the bottom of your screen to tell you something has happened. These are typically used to inform the user that a task has been completed, or needs to be completed, without popping up a dialog box in the middle of your screen and taking the focus away from the application itself.
 
TWRP -  TWRP - Stands for Team Win Recovery Project and it is a custom recovery put together by some dedicated community developers. This custom recovery is touch-based and it allows us to create full backups of our smartphones and tablets.