A custom recovery tool for Android lets you make a complete backup of your device, replace your operating system, install updates, or make other changes that are hard to do from within Android.
You can install them on most rooted Android devices with unlocked bootloaders.
But custom recovery apps don’t exactly have a reputation for being user friendly. Up until recently, the most popular recovery tools required you to navigate with your volume and power buttons instead of a touchscreen.
These days there are a number of touch-based recovery tools — and one of the best just got even easier to use thanks to the addition of an on-screen keyboard.
Team Win Recovery Project, or TWRP lets you backup, restore, or wipe your device. You can use it to connect your phone or tablet to a computer and mount the internal storage as a USB flash drive. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Now the developers have released TWRP 2.2, with a number of improvements. The biggest change is the keyboard.
While earlier versions of TWRP supported touch-based navigation, TWRP 2.2 is the first that lets you enter text. To take advantage of the new keyboard, the TWRP team also added these features:
- Name your backup folder before saving a new backup.
- Rename existing backups.
- Rename any file or folder using the file manager.
- Type in a terminal emulator.
Other changes include the ability to enter a password to decrypt an encrypted data partition on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, split backup archives to allow for backup and restore of data partitions larger than 2GB, and other bug fixes and improvements.
You can find out if TWRP 2.2 is available for your device by visiting the TeamWin website and checking the “Please select your device” drop-down list.
That’s also where you’ll find instructions for installing TWRP on your device. But on most supported (and rooted) devices, all you have to do is install GooManager Beta from the Google Play Store, tap the menu button, and choose the “Install OpenRecoveryScript” option.