Android is one of the most open systems I’ve ever seen. What makes Android great is it’s literally designed from the ground up to be customised in a very powerful way. Sundar Pichai.
This post addresses the pros and cons of rooting an android phone. It is the current and a simplified approach. And I believe by the time you read through the post with complete attention, you’d have known the great benefits of rooting your Android phone and wish to exploit the awesome benefits if you’re yet to do so.
Before I give you my top 10 benefits of rooting your android device, Let’s discuss what rooting is? I implore you to read every bit of my words for better understanding.
I define Rooting as an operation performed on smartphones, tablets, and other devices that run the Android or UNIX-like Operating Systems (OS) for users to gain absolute authority (superuser access/root access) over numerous Android subsystems.
It is possible on Linux-based operating systems like Android and other UNIX-like Operating Systems.
Most often than not, the aim of rooting compatible devices is to overpower the restrictions posed by hardware manufacturers to users. In other words, it grants users the administrative privilege to use specialized apps, modify or change system settings and apps and as well perform some operations that are inaccessible to normal Android users. For instance, the ability to Change (or tweak) the International mobile equipment Identity (IMEI) number of your Android mobile device to blackberry or otherwise for specialized functions.
Rooting is so powerful that it makes absolute removal and replacement of the OS possible and this might be done to have a feel of an updated version of the current OS. If you’re able to root your device successfully, a Superuser(US) application is automatically installed on your device and helps to Allow or deny access to other apps installed from “Unknown sources”. It, however, prompts in most cases for the user’s permission to run those apps.
Jailbreaking is a variant of rooting which is commonly used for devices such as iPhone, iPad, iPod and other devices running the Apple IOS platform. However, to “jailbreak” is to bypass various Limitations put on the devices that run the iOS for the users by the Apple inc. Users can also modify the operating system or install other third-party apps aside from the app. store. Read more on rooting here.
Also read: which is better? iPhone iOS or Android OS
Top 10 Benefits of Rooting your Android Phone
Almost everything has an advantage and disadvantage, Just that one may outweigh the other. Fortunately, the pros of rooting surpass the cons in this case.
It is important to stress that there are guidelines to rooting a specific android or UNIX-like device, otherwise, chances are that you may brick your phone which I really detest. I will discuss this in detail in my subsequent posts, so stay tuned.
1. Run the Latest Android OS:
The developers ensure that the OS is updated frequently to include new features and more importantly to add the most recent security patches to enhance users’ privacy and confidentiality (security). You’ll also agree with me that you may no longer be passionate about your phone when you go through the same operational procedure for the long haul. So, there is the need for developers to introduce newer and alluring features to meet users’ demand and remain ever relevant in the bandwagon of OS development.
So, once there is Superuser access, you can replace your current OS with a more recent version.
2. Do complete backup of Your Android phone
Backup refers to an exact copy or complete image of your phone contents including the user data, system settings and apps (NANDroid backup).
This is invoked in case you mistakenly delete your data or lose it. Rooting your android device gives you the privilege to make a complete backup of your phone. There are various backup apps that do a total backup of the system settings and apps which help the user to initiate an absolute restore at once and not reinstalling your apps one after the other.
A great app in this category is Titanium Backup, though the pro version will cost you few bucks but you’ll find it worthy.
3. Install Apps Outside the Google Play store
One of the major reasons why users root their phones is to have the authority to install more applications to enjoy more functionalities. Android developers are granted the privilege to modify and customize the software (being open source) to suit customers’ need. This account for the largest share Android OS has in the mobile market. With root access, you can install carrier – blocked app like MobileUncle that can change or tweak IMEI number of your android device for specialized functions, Ads blocking apps like Adfree, AdAway and other apps that are not accessible to normal Android user.
4. Increase the speed and battery life of your Android phone
A ‘regular’ android user can close or uninstall unnecessary apps to boost the phone’s speed. If there is root access, you’ll have the power to even do more. You can install an app to automatically close unused apps running in the background. Moreover, If you install Tasker, setCPU, you’ll be able to manage and optimize the performance of your processor. You can ‘underclock’ processor usage to help boost battery life or ‘overclock’ to increase the speed of the processor. Greenify is another great app that works fine in this category to help boost your battery life.
5. Block Ads in Applications
Android is fortified with numerous free applications both in and outside the google Play store. Developers program a random display of Ads for profit making which I don’t object to anyway. Unfortunately, the Ads display at a point become frustrating to users. With Superuser access, you can block these ads by installing AdAway or Adblock plus. Google recently removed AdAway from the Play store but you can download it from the website of the developer.
6. Install Custom ROMs
Custom ROMs come in four different categories; Release candidate, Milestone, Stable and Nightly and they are improved constantly. Custom ROM is a modified version of the Operating system. It comes with additional themes and features. If you have root access, you can possibly use a newer or enhanced version of your OS which is not possible with the standard software fro the factory. Get to know more about customROMS from the developers’ website.
7. Remove Bloatware
Bloatware means pre-installed software with many features that come with your phone. It may be from the carrier of your phone or software directly from the manufacturer. Applications like NASCAR app, Contact app stores part of user data on the carrier’s server, such apps occupy unnecessary memory space. By rooting your device, you can remove the apps completely. Definitely, you can disable such apps without rooting but that won’t completely free the memory space.
8. Automate your Phone operations
If you are able to circumvent the restrictions from your phone manufacturer and have superuser access, you can automate almost everything on your Android phone. Titanium Backup, pro-version though has an appreciable level of automation. Backup can be initiated by making use of the schedule backup feature. Tasker is another great app that toggles the 3G, GPS and changes the CPU speed of the processor. However, Tasker can also work on ‘unrooted’ phones but you won’t enjoy the full capacity of the app.
9. Add External (secondary) Storage
As you know that the tech world is ever dynamic, hardware manufacturers and developers never stopped brainstorming on new ideas and features to satisfy the demand of customers.
Android devices are now equipped with USB-OTG ports which make a connection with external devices possible. By having the root access, the free USB-OTG helper can be installed to enable you to manage connections to memory sticks and external hard disks on your Android phone.
10. Track your Android device
Rooting offers the possibility of tracking your android device by installing an app like Cerberus anti theft in case it is lost or stolen. This app offers many great features including location tracking, taking snapshots with front or rear camera. It has the ability to periodically check the call logs, store location history as well as wipe off data remotely.
These disadvantages of rooting are almost negligible (my opinion);
- Void of warranty
Rooting may void the warranty that comes with your phone but I don’t actually regard this as a disadvantage because the process of rooting is reversible. You can unroot your device to reclaim your warranty.
- Brick of phone
If the right procedure is not followed to root your phone, you may end up bricking it and render it inoperable. However, a “soft brick” may cause the phone to boot half way. In such case, the phone can still work perfectly.
Other issues associated with Installing a Custom ROM include;
Hardware issues: While installing Custom ROMs gives you the freedom to replace your current OS to a more recent version, the aftermath might be hardware problems. For instance, the camera may begin to malfunction.
- Effect of Bugs: