Android Debug Bridge. A tool used to connect and send commands to your Android phone from a desktop or laptop computer.
Google’s open-source mobile operating system. It’s used primarily in smartphones but also can be found on tablets, Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) or even in kitchen appliances and automobile navigation.
The Android Open Source Project. When you hear about Android being “open source,” this is what we’re talking about. It’s a repository of the code released by Google, which can be downloaded and compiled by anyone. (If you know how.)
An internal mode on a phone that helps in the flashing of ROMs and other behind-the scenes actions.
The online handle of one Steve Kondik, relatively famous in the hacking and modding community and the creator of the CyanogenMod series of ROMs.
Another mode akin to the bootloader, from which you can manually flash low-level components onto a phone.
The act of resetting your phone to its “factory” state. Erases all user data, logins and passwords. May or may not erase what’s on the internal storage or microSD card, too.
Stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity. Basically a unique identification number assigned to every phone.
Collectively, the part of the Android user interface on home screens that lets you launch apps, make phone calls, etc. Is built in to Android, or can be purchased in the Android Market.
Software which is liberally licensed to grant the right of users to study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code.
Literally, “Read Only Memory.” In Android, it’s what you load for a major software update. “Custom ROMs” are just that — developed outside control of a manufacturer or carrier.
A small separate operating mode you can boot your device into, used for device administration. Two popular custom recovery modes are Amon Ra and Clockwork.
A method of unlocking the Android operating system to allow deeper programs deeper access than is allowed out of the box.
A small plastic “card” that expands the available storage memory on your phone. Used by applications to store data, and you can store ringtones, pictures, etc., on it.
The little card used in GSM phones (AT&T, T-Mobile, Rogers, etc.) that connects the phone to the network.
The act of rebooting your phone, whether intentionally or otherwise. Same effect as when you remove and replace the battery.
The act of using your smartphone’s data to provide Internet access to another device, such as a laptop. Can be done wirelessly, or via a USB cable.
Stands for Universal Serial Bus. Is a method of connecting devices to a computer. Most smartphones now use microUSB cables to charge and sync.
A slice or certain view of an application that can be placed on one of your home screens, for quick and easy access.