“Rooting” your Android smartphone is the newest and coolest fad – people chat endlessly about what amazing things their phones can do now that they’ve opened up the phone’s true capabilities. From increasing the speed and performance of the phone, to completely replacing the ROM, this process can pull many extra capabilities out of the basement of your phone. Rooting an Android is the perfect project for someone who wants a little more out of their device, and have some fun while learning to upgrade it!
What is “Rooting”?
Rooting can be tough to understand, but the basis is simple. Rooting allows you access to the root directories of the phone that are normally off limits. This allows for higher performance, and a wider variety of apps will function on your phone if it is rooted.
This is done by introducing a program into your phone that allows for “elevated permissions” – you act as the “root user”, which has the highest level of permissions, and therefore can do anything inside (and to) the system. For those who are familiar with the concept of “jailbreaking” for iPhone and iPod devices, it is a very similar system and idea.
By giving yourself root permissions on your own phone, you open up a vast array of possibilities. Not only will your Android be faster, better-performing, and more useful… you might even have fun while rooting it! Few things are as satisfying as knowing that you, personally, have upgraded your device – technology enthusiasts in particular find it incredibly fulfilling to root their phone to increase it’s capabilities.
Why “Root” your Android?
With all the hype about rooting your Android, you may be asking yourself, “Why would I tampered with my phone?” Many people are on the fence about rooting their phone, and want to know what would make it all worthwhile.
First off, a rooted phone can let you delete applications you have no need for. All of the apps that came with the phone can be deleted, if you so desire… though, of course, you’ll want to check to make sure that they’re safe to remove. Useless programs are usually referred to as “bloatware” – preloaded (and unwanted) applications that many users simply wish to remove. When your Android is rooted, the option to remove this bloatware is opened to you.
With a rooted phone, you can access the files needed to clock up the speed of your CPU. This can give your smartphone a considerable amount of extra power – it will process faster, and generally have more muscle than the conventional version.
This process will also let you download and use apps that can only be used with rooted phones. These apps can access the deep, hidden files on your phone to yield some amazing results – they can disable ads, improve battery life, and even provide an increased range of internet access for you phone and other apps.
Lastly, the most technical area of rooting can allow you to download an entirely new ROM to your Android – this is likened to loading a completely fresh operating system, introducing new features that most conventional phones wouldn’t dream of having. If you want better overall performance, a smoother system, and additional (sometimes highly specialized) features, you might be interested in getting a new ROM for your Android.
What are the Downsides?
The downsides are fairly obvious straight away – Android did not design your phone or device to be tampered with, thus to root any Android phone comes coupled with several dangers. Android has blocked access to certain areas of your phone for a reason – the risk of destabilization is too high, and all it can take to turn your phone into a useless brick is to push one wrong button.
If you have some background with technology, however, you will most likely recognize what not to do inside the system of your phone. If you’re the type of person who can barely make a computer function, you won’t want to go messing around with rooting your phone (unless you have the money to replace it).
Heed the warnings – any tampering with your Android can lead to fatal errors or damages in the system. As long as you’re willing to accept the risk, you can feel free to begin rooting your smartphone.
Can Any Phone Be “Rooted”?
The real question is this – can any Android device be rooted? The answer – yes and no.
The more popular models of phone will have more conventional methods of rooting the phone – the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, for example, is easier to find a guide to root than a less popular model phone. While there are many programs designed to help in rooting your smartphone, there are always technical anomalies to consider – for instance, sometimes w particular program or method simply won’t work with your phone for unknown reasons, most likely tied to viruses.
If you scour the internet long enough, however, chances are you will find a guide from someone, somewhere, who wanted to root your particular model of smartphone and found a way to do it. If you’re having trouble rooting your phone, simply climb back on the horse that threw you off and try again. Technology is a vast in it’s usefulness, but often times requires time and dedication to making ti work correctly.
The point is this – if you have a Android smartphone, somewhere out there is a step-by-step guide to rooting it. Study up on your model of phone – how it functions, it’s features, everything you can learn about it. Once you know your phone inside and out, you can begin to understand things (and you will be less likely to cause damage) while rooting your Android. It may not be simply, most likely will not be easy, but if you’re smart (and careful) you can end up with a highly functioning device… and have fun doing it!
Fran Richards is a passionate Android user and highly recommends OneClickRoot.com to anyone who uses an Android device.