Full details about the latest version can be found on the official TeamWin site, but the biggest change by far is the inclusion of an on-screen keyboard in the recovery, which enables you, for example, to give your nandroid backups names that are easier to remember and enter your password when decrypting an encrypted data partition within recovery. The keyboard includes support for long-press, rapid backspacing by holding down the delete key and will delete everything left of the cursor when you swipe left after holding the the delete key. Also new to the TWRP party is a terminal command function that allows you to enter basic adb-style commands if your device is in dire straits and you can't get to a PC with the Android SDK on it. The file manager view in TWRP also replaces the "." and ".." items in the directory with an "(Up A Level)" option to make it more user-friendly. While the update apparently only warranted a decimal point, the significant new features reminded me of upgrading to Froyo from Eclair, or from Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean.
Kicking the Tires
In case you're wondering if the major new features also introduced major bugs or stability issues, let me put your fears to rest. I put TWRP through what I consider a rather rigorous series of tests. They included the following:
- I made a nandroid of my existing setup (ICS) and gave it a user-friendly name using the new on-screen keyboard.
- I flashed a different ICS ROM and a different Gapps package after formatting /system and doing a factory reset.
- I flashed a transparent calculator mod for the new ROM in recovery.
- I flashed a Jelly Bean ROM and a special Jelly Bean Gapps package.
- I restored my 192 user apps while in the Jelly Bean ROM so the recovery would have more work to do on the next factory reset,
- I made a nandroid of my Jelly Bean setup and also gave it a user-friendly name.
- I wiped /system again, did another factory reset, and restored my initial ICS nandroid.
- I saw that virtually every app, app setting, theme, and ICS ROM setting was exactly as it was before I put TWRP through its paces.
- Finally, I restored my Jelly Bean setup and am using it now (again, after wiping /system and doing a factory reset).
"How do I get this awesome new recovery," you ask? If you have Goo Manager, simply tap the menu button and choose the "Install OpenRecovery script" item in the list, and it will download the recovery image and install it for you. Otherwise, you'd have to go into fastboot on your PC and flash the recovery images manually.