Everything about Rooting an Android phone.
Being an Android user (I really wish you are an Android user, not an iOS one), It is almost certain that you’ve heard the word “ROOT” being thrown around. People would have asked you whether your phone is Rooted or do you have any plan to do it. For many new users or people who don’t know much about Root, it can be a bit scary. What do you mean by ROOT android ? What are the advantages and disadvantages of Rooting your phone ? What are the various risks associated with it ? So, for clearing all these thoughts and getting a deep idea of Rooting go on with this article.
What is Root or Root Android?
The first question every new user, as well as an old user asks, is, What is Rooting? So the basic definition which sums up about rooting is :
“ROOTING IS A PROCESS OF UNLOCKING YOUR ANDROID PHONE WHICH LETS YOU CONQUER THE LIMITATIONS THAT THE CARRIER OR THE MANUFACTURER OF YOUR PHONE HAS IMPOSED UPON IT.”
It is the process of gaining access to (all) administrative functions of the operating system. The term originates from the word “root”, which is the name of the most powerful administrative user in the Linux Operating System.
Of Course, this simple definition is not enough to actually decide whether you want to root your Android device or not. To make a sound decision, it is important to dig deeper and understand rooting and the benefits and risks involved in it.
Disadvantages of Root Android
Everything comes with a price and so does rooting. You can’t just have all the amazing benefits without risking anything. So, we will first discuss the disadvantages we have to face after Rooting.
Say Goodbye to the manufacturer’s Warranty – Once your phone has been rooted, your manufacturer warranty is null or void. This is probably the number one reason for people, not root Android devices.
There is also a Unrooting process which can unroot your device like it was never rooted. However, as tempting, it might sound, but your carrier will already know this and there is a slightest of chance that they might find out.
So if someone says just root android and unroot it when required then ask yourself, do you really want to risk your warranty just to make some tiny tweaks?
“Bricking” Your Phone – While rooting your phone if you make any mistake or change something in firmware there is a good chance you might end up bricking your phone. And you should know that a bricked phone is as good as a brick. So, if you end up bricking your phone, be creative and think of its uses as a brick.
However, completely “bricking” your phone is quite rare, there is a chance that you will be able to repair some “soft” bricking but that will require some great software and hardware expertise and your career will not be there to help you in that matter.
If you choose to root android, please read instructions carefully. The most important steps – they’re all important – are likely in bold, red, or bold and red font usually followed by exclamation marks. Pay close attention to those steps.
Vulnerability to “Bad” Programs – With an unrooted Android, the bad programs have quite limited access and also it is quite hard for them to get in. However, when you root your Android device bad programs can gain access to deeper areas of your phone, all you have to do is make a single mistake of tapping on “Allow” when a bad program requires access to deeper areas.
The programs have greater access to the device which means the damage may be more too.
Yes, you do receive a notification that an app is asking for access to the elevated area, but there are many users who don’t actually see it. This problem is less common with unrooted devices and you can just allow access without much worry.
May Keep you from (official) automatic OS updates – Rooting can lead to stopping all updates from your OEM or carrier, but it is not compulsory. There can be many critical security updates which you might never get and not to mention all the enhancements and added features.
Although, some people actually like not being bothered by all those updates and features which they don’t even want. Root Android will not stop these updates, but flashing a custom ROM will surely stop these updates. So you will be on your own to look out for valid sources.
The good news is that your phone is probably running the latest OS after you have rooted it.
Advantages of Root Android
When it comes to advantages, the list is nearly endless. However, there are a few that truly stand out from the crowd. These benefits are also the main reason why you would want to root Android. If you just want to root your phone to make some minor tweaks then it is better to stay away! It is not worth all the risks. However, if you would like to reap all of its benefits, then it is definitely worth all the risks you are taking. Here are some core benefits of rooting your phone.
Full control – You have full control over your system. You can install applications like SetCPU that allow you to set the CPU speed of your device manually. It also allows you to overclock (set the processor speed higher than the manufacturer rating) your device, but I wouldn’t recommend that unless you know what you’re doing. Other performance tweaks like the relocation of caches (browser, maps, market, etc.) can also be utilized with root access to improve the speed and battery life of your device.
Access to more powerful apps – If you go to Google Play Store you can access apps that are worth drooling over, but what if you could get access to even better apps? Well, this is where rooting helps. There are so many apps right on the Google Play Store that requires you to root android and the functions they provide are astounding. Like you can use Undelete to recover files which you didn’t actually want to delete. There are also some apps that work with the Factory-shipped device, but when you root android, they can offer amazing new functions. For example, Tasker is an amazing application but when you root it the possibilities of its use become endless.
The best part is you can get all these apps right from the Google Play Store so at least you will have some satisfaction that the source is reliable. For now, Google is taking rooting quite easy, so you can get some good apps from this trusted source. Just stay away from other shady sources as the “bad programs” including malware and viruses can do some great damage to your phone and they can gain deeper access to a rooted phone.
Removing Bloatware – The most annoying thing about buying subsidized phones is the carrier bloatware that nobody really wants to have to filter through. With a regular device, you can’t delete them, and they will consume storage space and possibly computer memory. Instead, when you have root android, you are the administrator of the phone which means you decide what to keep and what to delete.
You can just delete all the carrier apps which you don’t want and free some space and stop them from using your phone’s memory. However, make sure you only delete the one which your system doesn’t require or you will be in big trouble. Root access will let you delete a critical app or service!
Boost Speed and Battery Life – There are some apps which require root android and that can help underclock or overclock your device. This means they can change the processor frequency to speed up or slow down your device. The results can be drastic, you will be able to easily get your phone through the day or remove performance-pressure situations.
For example, you can just use (at your own overheating risk) an app called SetCPU which will set some specific rules to either boost your phone’s speed or slow down the CPU (main processor) speed to increase battery life.
When you delete apps from the carrier it may also boost speed and battery life. Most of the apps provided by the carriers keep working in the background that can lower battery life and performance.
Access to recent (unofficial) OS Updates – Generally, Android OS are carried over-the-air by Google and selected carriers to their Android-released devices. And this usually takes a while to happen. Luckily, there are developers who make this updates available and the only way you can install them is to root your phone. The best part is, there will also be some added features along with the original update that is worth having. You can just search for the update specifically for your device and simply install it.
Customizing your device – Customization is what Android is known for and by rooting your Android(root android) phone you will be able to customize your phone in a way that you won’t even be able to identify your phone’s OS.
There are custom ROMs (firmware, or base phone Operating System) that you can use to completely change your phone’s look, it will look nothing like the regular Android OS that came with your phone.
Custom ROMs are different versions of Android that have been modified by developers to make it look, feel, and operate however they want. Using custom ROMs, you can have both your hardware and software of choice, given that the hardware you choose has developers working on it.
You can control your phone using only gestures by installing GMD Gesture Control. In the notification bar, you can add widgets or make it behave differently. There are Keyboard apps that could completely change the way keyboard works like you can use Keyboard Manager to switch between keyboard types automatically.
Access to Amazing Backup Capabilities – There are many backup apps which you can use on your unrooted Android device to backup your music, contacts, and pictures, etc. However, when you root your device you can even backup your apps.
Additionally, the data inside the apps are also backed up which means if you worked really hard on clearing those difficult Angry Birds levels and suddenly need to factory reset your phone, you will not have to start over again. The most famous app for this purpose is Titanium Backup.
Conclusion – Is Root Android really worth it?
For going on with the Rooting process, first, you have to check and ask yourself that the benefits you are going to get after rooting must outweigh the risk associated with it.
It’s not that everyone has to Root Android, some people will live happily ever after without ever having to root Android device.
If you just want to make some visual changes or to access a single app, then it is better to avoid rooting as all this is not worth all the risk you are taking, at least in my opinion.
However, if you want to root android because you want more control, and are tired of all the restrictions which are stopping you from all the fun you could have, then rooting is definitely for you.
The most important part of all is knowing your risks. Root android can be dangerous if you don’t have the proper know-how and jump into the process all willingly. Be patient, read instructions carefully, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. You also must now that you are doing this at your own risk. If your device becomes damaged in the process, no other than but you are at fault. I am not telling anyone to go root their device now, I’m simply educating on what it is and how it can be used. You have been warned.
Just make sure you do it right and understand and try manage the risks the best you can. If you are careful and informed, the risks involved in rooting can be kept to a minimum. Yes, the warranty is typically an issue, but it is definitely worth it if you properly take advantage of your rooted Android phone.
Final note: Rooting is a slightly different process for each device. Make sure you find the proper set of instructions for yours.