Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Standalone Android Flashing Tools Now Available

One of the fun bits about using an Android device is being able to flash device software on your own. You might get these software from open source development community, or even from your own device manufacturer. In the latter case, you might have to do the update manually because the manufacturer hasn’t officially release it to you yet.

I’m sure many novice users have heard about these software flashing possibilities, and even as novices, might be tempted to try them out. After all, the online community would undoubtedly tell them that it’s really quite easy, that anyone could do it.

Well, I’m not going to say it’s hard or easy. But many casual users might find it rather inconvenient that the basic tools required for flashing software images is contained in the Android SDK or Android Studio. They are a massive download. It seems like quite an overkill to just get hold of two programs: fastboot and adb.

So some helpful people have put up for download those essential tools, thus avoiding the necessity of massive downloads. However, with these 3rd party downloads, do you trust them to give you legit tools? Do you worry that they could be tainted? That they could have virus or trojans contained in them?

Now, Google has released the standalone platform tools for Windows, Mac and Linux. This is the entire platform tools, so it’s more than just fastboot and adb alone. Still, it’s a far more manageable download, and will surely occupy far less disk space.

To be clear, these are not different standalone tools. They’re the same thing that would have been provided if you installed Android Studio and Android SDK.

These smaller downloads are more convenient to install if you need to quickly get access to your phone via fastboot or adb while you’re at some other computer other than your own. For most users who have no interest or intention to do any Android development, this is also the easiest way to get the official tools required for flashing and updating Android devices.

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