The stock Android you see preinstalled on the phone you bought does not really tells you how capable an Android device is. In fact, the true power of Android devices is unleashed after you root your phone and install custom software on it. As part of doing so, there are several processes involved. A custom recovery is one of those.
Every Android device comes with a preinstalled recovery. It can perform certain basic tasks such as restore your device to factory settings, update the OS version etc. For a normal user, this is more than enough. But what if you want to install a custom-made Android version into your phone? That’s where custom recoveries come into help.
What is a custom recovery?
A custom recovery is provided by a third party (obviously) and will replace the default recovery software in your phone. This is basically like flashing a ROM but is easier to do.
Why should you flash a custom recovery?
As mentioned earlier, the stock recovery in every Android device comes with very limited options. When you are running on a custom recovery, you can unleash the true power of Android OS and perform tasks such as taking a full backup of your phone.
This might sound unimportant, but trust me it is. Taking a complete backup of your OS is very helpful when you like to test a lot of ROMs on your device. There can be different scenarios such as you might end up having bugs in the new ROM or you might not like it etc. etc. In those situations, you can simply restore the backup you took on your custom recovery software.
You can also perform additional operations such as flashing a ROM via ADB Sideload.
How to install and use custom recovery
To install a custom recovery, you first need a rooted Android device. So make sure you have rooted your phone.
The second thing you need is a USB cable to connect your phone to your PC and the appropriate drivers to connect your phone.
Once you have all these in possession, you can flash a custom recovery.
The problem here is that there are specific instructions for every Android device to flash a recovery. There is no universal method.
Some of the best custom recoveries for Android
CWM (clockwork mod) is one of the popular custom recoveries in Android The interface is simple and you can use your volume and power button to navigate inside the menus. The app for CWM lets you easily select a custom ROM and directly flash it without going into the recovery manually, which is a nice feature.
Another popular custom recovery is TWRP. Unlike CWM, the TWRP recovery is touch based. Which means you can actually use it just like you use any other normal app. You don’t have to use the volume and power buttons to use it.
Custom recoveries are a great addition to the Android ecosystem. When used in the right way, these customer recoveries can unleash the true potential of Android OS.