We figured we’d do a few tips and tricks here for Android, as there’s a lot to learn for those that are new to the platform, but wants to try out a few things. This first one is fairly advanced as it addresses moving apps around in the internal NAND flash memory of your device.
So what’s this all about? Well, all Android handsets have a limited amount of ROM – or NAND flash memory as it really is – at their disposal. This means that sooner or later you’ll run out of memory where you can install your apps. However, many handsets come with lots of pre-installed apps, of which some aren’t so useful. The problem is, even if you get around to deleting them, you can’t actually use this space, well, at least that was the case.
After a bit of searching we found a fairly easy way to make use of this space. As far as we’re aware, all Android devices install the default apps in /system/apps and all the downloaded apps in /data/apps. With the help of the adb, a utility that comes with the Android SDK it’s possible to move the apps into the /system/apps directory.
You need to download and install the SDK first to get access to adb. Secondly, you need a rooted handset (sorry, but you can’t do this otherwise) and something like Root Explorer installed. You have to then manually move your installed apps from /data/app to /sdcard for this to work. Next, open a command prompt window, locate the directory where you installed adb and type adb shell and hit enter. Next, follow the example below which shows how to install dropbox.
# mount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system
# cat /sdcard/com.dropbox.android.apk > /system/app/com.dropbox.android.apk
# mount -o remount,ro -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock3 /system
At the cat step, you can install multiple apps by retyping the same line until you’re finished, so there’s no need to install an app at the time. Hopefully some of you will find this handy and it should allow you to make use of some more of the internal memory of your phone until Android 2.2 becomes the de facto standard on Android handsets.