What is Rooting?
In essence, Root allows you to run as “superuser” , effectively giving you total control over the OS.
Linux user will recognize the ‘su’ command. For windows, you can think more along the lines of ‘Administrator’.
The purpose of rooting is simple! To make the most of the device that you own by getting around the limitations that the manufacturer or carrier has put in place—and again, many of those barriers were put in place to prevent you from accidentally destroying your own device.
For older devices it is a must to root android:
- Breathe New Life Into Your Aging Device
Since many device (on Android 1.6 or earlier) aren’t supported for newer firmware updates, it becomes essential to update them with custom firmwares.
- Before the advent of Froyo (Android 2.2), many popular & useful features like tethering, multi-touch etc weren’t available for a non-rooted user.
Here are some examples of what a root user can do:
- Remove pre-installed stock apps
Free up space.
- Backup installed apps
A simple app like Titanium back pro will do that.
- Install apps to SD card (Samsung Galaxy Ace)
Completely move apps to SD card using Dark Tremor’s a2sd
- Moving Caches to SD Card
System memory on Android phones are still a luxury. Recovering every bit of the precious space by moving the Caches to the external SD Card will yield better performances. This can be done again with DT’s a2sd
- Access to Newer firmwares of Android (Ace)
Non-root users are at the mercy of phone manufacturers and wireless carriers when a new version of Android rolls out.
Meanwhile, root Android users have had access to 2.2 for more than a month. Stock versions of Froyo have been available for a while. There’s no wondering when you will see an official release for your device, if at all. As soon as someone compiles and releases a version for your phone you can download and install it.
- Custom Recovery (CWM for ACE | A70)
A custom recovery can take Nandroid backups, partition SD cards and many more things.
- Custom Roms (ACE)
Customs Roms like cyanogenmod 7 (CM7) and MIUI are one of the main reasons that made Android such a big hit. And seriously CM7 adds a plethora of new features while MIUI competes head on against the beauty of Apple’s iOS. Even if these roms aren’t available for your phone, then don’t fell disheartened. You will find some custom rom available for you device which will feature many features over the stock one.
- Use Features Not Available In Stock Android
With custom ROMs come tons of features not available to stock Android users like overclocking your processor, FLAC support, full 360 degree orientation etc. If you want to, you can even pair a Bluetooth mouse with your phone and use it for navigation.
- Better Themes | Bootanimations (A70)
Change each and everything from status bar to lock screen, boot up animation to shut down animation. Make your phone like WP7 or convert it into an iPhone.
- Access Apps Only Available to Root Users:
There are lots of excellent apps that require root permissions. This partial list only scratches the surface of root applications. Must have root apps review coming soon!!
- ROM Manager makes it easy to flash Custom ROMs to your phone.
- Titanium Backup can backup/restore your apps
- App Quarantine will freeze our apps. (In-depth review)
This feature you might find in most of the latest phones. But it wasn’t always true.
And finally the most important one, Freedom! – Once a proper su (Super User) is obtained, the opportunities are limitless. Freedom to do whatever you want with your device!
Ok, What’s the catch?
Well there must be one, right? Otherwise, with all of these advantages, why doesn’t phones ship with devices root enabled. And even if they ship unrooted, why isn’t everyone rooting their phone?
Disadvantages To Rooting Your Phone
- Void your warranty:
Rooting voids your warranty. But the process is reversible. You can go back to stock ROM with unrooted phone & the so called people at your beloved phone’s service center won’t even know the difference.
- Brick (What is bricking?)
But the problem is what you do after rooting. You might brick your phone & if you do so your precious will be nothing more than a paperweight. It mostly happens due to one’s own stupidity.
- Overclocking damage
Depending on how aggressive you get with your overclocking, there’s also the potential for permanent damage to processor. Push the CPU too far and you might burn it out. Even if you play it safe overclocking still reduces the lifespan of your processor.
Finally, some phones aren’t able to take full advantage of root access. Root access can be gained, but it appears that the phone won’t boot unless it detects an official bootloader.
Deciding to root your phone shouldn’t be a split-second decision. But ultimately, it’s your phone, you own it, and you can do what you want. The casual user will never need to root their phone unless they face some major limitation like wifi not working or too little internal memory and even the majority of average smartphone users will find Android more than capable of doing whatever they want. But we all know it’s the things we can’t have that we often want the most…!! and that is exactly what rooting allows. Like the lure of the siren’s song, never what it seems to be, yet who among us can resist?
With each android update, Google bridges the features gap in between rooted & non-rooted. By the time Android 4 ICS hits the market many of the above stated advantages will become standard features of android.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.