If you’ve done any Internet searching on the topic of Android, you’ve most likely run across either forums or articles discussing “rooting” your Android phone. This is intended to provide an impartial summary of the advantages and disadvantages of rooting an android phone.
What is “Rooting?”
Rooting is a process that allows you to attain root access to the Android operating system code (the equivalent term for Apple devices id jailbreaking). It gives you privileges to modify the software code on the device or install other software that the manufacturer wouldn’t normally allow you to. And for good mobile security reasons: they don’t want users to make modifications to the phones that could result in accidents beyond repair; it is easier for them to offer support if they allow users to only use the same unmodified version of the software. But tech savvy users have already developed rooting methods, which vary depending on device. They are available on the web, and more and more Android users are resorting to them because of the powerful perks they provide, such as:
- download of any app, regardless of the app store they’re posted on
- extended battery life and added performance.
- updates to the latest version of Android if your device is outdated and no longer updated by the manufacturer.
- full customization for just about every theme/graphic
Basically, “rooting” means to get to the root of the operating system and to have the ability to make global changes.
There are two main disadvantages to rooting and Android phone;
- Rooting immediately voids your phone’s warranty- Once rooted, most phones cannot be serviced under warranty.
- Rooting involves the risk of “bricking” your phone- In essence, a “bricked” phone is no better than carrying around a brick in your pocket. The phone is dead when it has been “bricked.” Combine that with the first disadvantage, and you have a now-useless phone that will not be repaired under warrant.
“Rooting” your Android phone has some benefits, including;
- Running special apps – Superuser is an app that can only be run on a rooted Android phone. This allows you to control which apps have access to the “root” system. Rooting also used to be popular for those who wanted to tether their phone before phone carriers allowed access.
- Freeing up memory-When you install an app on your phone, it is stored in the phone’s memory. “Rooting” allows you to move installed applications to your SD card, thus freeing up system memory for additional files or apps.
- Custom ROM’s-This is the most powerful feature of “rooted” phones. There are hundreds of custom ROM’s that can do anything from speeding up the processing speed of your phone to changing the entire look and feel of your phone.