Configure AOSP Extended

This is my checklist for basic setup of a new Android phone, running AOSP Extended. Depending on how you like your phone configured you may wish to create your own list.

This checklist starts when an Android phone first boots after having its data partition wiped – this is usually after:

  • The phone has had a factory reset
  • The phone has just been upgraded to AOSP Extended
  • The data partition has been wiped in a recovery environment such as CWM or TWRP.

 

My Philosophy on configuring Android

I setup mobile phones to be as independent as practical from online services, including having no accounts at all setup on the phones (Google, Facebook, Twitter etc) and certainly no data being transmitted to these organisations where I can prevent it. This increases security, performance and the reliability of the phone. I install whatever apps I need either locally or via my website. On phones to which I’ve flashed AOSP (Open Android), I don’t install Gapps, so there is no Play Store on the phone.

 

Customise Home Page

  1. Remove widgets and shortcuts from the desktop. Press and hold on the desktop, tap Settings, Home Screen then:
    1. Disable Bottom search bar.
    2. Scroll to the bottom and don’t show Home screen date and weather
  2. Scroll up the dock, tap Settings, Network and Internet and enable a wireless network.
  3. Press and hold on the desktop, select Wallpaper and then open the bottom (blue) wallpaper library and select a wallpaper. Make sure you have an Internet connection to see all the wallpapers.
  4. Welcome to this, welcome to that, would you like to tap this? etc. If they’re there, I only keep the clock widget, weather widget, Sony Music Player widget and a shortcut to settings.
  5. Place a clock at the top of the home screen and a shortcut to settings somewhere on the home screen. Add a weather widget and Sony Music Player if you like to whistle while you work.
  6. Remove all shortcuts from the Android dock (bottom of the display) and replace them with (left to right) – phone, messaging, contacts, camera.

 

Customise Desktop

  1. Remove all widgets and shortcuts on all screens, including Google search bar, welcome to this, welcome to that, would you like to tap this? etc. If they’re there, I only keep the clock widget, weather widget, Sony Music Player widget and a shortcut to settings.
  2. Place a clock at the top of the home screen and a shortcut to settings somewhere on the home screen. Add a weather widget and Sony Music Player if you like to whistle while you work.
  3. Remove all shortcuts from the Android dock (bottom of the display) and replace them with (left to right) – phone, messaging, contacts, camera.

Customise Android Settings

Open Android settings:

  1. In display – disable Auto-rotate, set Sleep to 5 minutes, Font to large. If you’re able to set Quick Settings (icons in the Notification Panel) then change these to your liking. Select a theme that matches your mood.
  2. Under Wireless & networks – make sure Bluetooth is off. Under More… disable NFC. Under Mobile Networks, check Network Mode – if you’re on 2 Degrees NZ, the most reliable setting is WCDMA (or 3G if it’s called that). If you select LTE or 4G your phone will cling to that even when network signal strength is low and outside city centres 2 Degrees’ LTE strength tends to be low. Obviously LTE is much faster when signal strength is up, so your call which you choose. Check Access Point Names – there should be at least one APN configured if your Internet settings downloaded correctly.
  3. If you had an APN configured under Internet settings then you can now switch off your Internet connection (Wi-fi or mobile data) unless you wish to keep it up.
  4. Under Location services – disable everything.
  5. Under Security –
    1. Setup a screen lock you can remember. I set automatic lock to 15 seconds after sleep (my preference, you might like the default 5s).
    2. Enable installs from Unknown sources.
    3. Disable Verify apps.
  6. Under Language / Input – check your language is in your locale (NZ in my case) so that spell checking is relevant to you.
  7. Under Backup and Reset – make sure nothing is being backed up.
  8. If there is an Auto-sync setting, switch it off
  9. Under About Phone – disable automatic updates under Software update and check that preferred updates only occur on Wi-fi. Tap on Build number 7 times to enable Developer options.
  10. Under Developer options – enable USB debugging.

 

Connecting to your computer

If you’re going to be connecting this phone to your computer to install apps or run the MyPhoneExplorer app (highly recommended for backing up and restoring contacts, text messages etc), then we should test this now.

  1. Make sure you have ADB drivers installed on your computer for this phone (Windows 10 comes with generic ADB drivers that work with most phones).
  2. Plug a USB cable into your computer and then your phone.
  3. If you have MyPhoneExplorer on your computer then run this up and click on the monitor (under Other). This will prompt the phone for status.
  4. If your ADB drivers work, the phone will now present a window asking you to confirm the RSA key of your computer. Tap Always allow from this computer and OK to confirm the connection between the phone and your computer.
  5. If your phone doesn’t have a File Manager built in (yeah, really – some phones come shipped like that) then push a File Manager onto the phone with MyPhoneExplorer (under Files\Applications).

 

Standard apps

Next thing is to add standard apps to the phone. I get these from https://kell.co.nz/product-category/android/.

 

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