Android 101: Rooting for dummies. Rooting, as the name aptly states, entails gaining access to not only the consumer aspect but the absolute base (or root – think of a plant, now think of where it begins) of your Android phone, tablet or phablet. Rooting, as is everything else, comes with it’s own specific list of pros and cons. In the article you have now begun to read, we will restrict our mandate to the pros. Let get to the meat of it:
Disclaimer: Rooting can sometimes be a complicated process so please, for your own security, make sure you take the adequate precautions including backups of all your important data. Guides to root your phone are available all over the internet and sometimes vary between devices but some of the more comprehensive ones can be found here and here.
10. Custom ROMs
Beginning with an entry from the glamorous end of the spectrum, rooting allows you to take absolute control over the firmware of your device. Mods such as CynogenMOD give you the ability to completely revamp the look, feel and functionality of your device to your heart’s content. As some of our more advanced readers may know, you don’t always need to root your device to flash a custom ROM but the process does require you to unlock your Bootloader (a process that rooting takes care of seamlessly) which can be complicated for the inexperienced.
See also: Top Android Custom ROMS
9. Custom Kernels
Android hides it’s best features under the hood, just out of reach of the average consumer. With kernels to double your battery life, make games more interactive and add new hardware shortcuts to (and within) your favourite apps.
8. YOUR Update Schedule
Despite the fact that the title of this is self-explanatory to a large extent, let’s continue to elaborate. Given the present fragmentation of the android platform, rooting allows YOU to choose which version of Android you wish to run; gone are the days when you’d have to wait months upon months for a firmware issue to be resolved.
7. The end of bloatware
My absolute personal favorite reason and the bane of all hardware companies that make a kick of installing the apps THEY want you to use effectively limiting storage space for the apps YOU actually want to use. Rooting allows you to remove any and all software from your device as per your requirements. (As an added bonus: Rooting also allows you to save your application on your external SD card storage essentially creating space for absolutely unlimited apps on your teeny-tiny Android)
6. Tasker and it’s friends
Tasker is a brilliant app on the Play Store that allows you to associate actions with one another (for example: turn off my pattern lock screen when my phone connects to my home WiFi) and by rooting your device you can an absolutely new section of access to your phone including the ability to toggle 3G, prompts from your screen, CPU speed, GPS based prompts and a lot more.
Simply put, overclocking allows you to control what speed your CPU runs at. Turning the clock up for times of high-intensity use will result in graphics you’ve never seen your device render before and by turning it down in times of critical battery, you’ll see your usage ability double.
4. Ultimate Customisability
IT. IS. THE. ABSOLUTE. PINNACLE. OF. CUSTOMISABILITY.
As far the world of mobile computing goes, there is hardly anything out there than allows you as much customisability over your device as does a rooted Android. See anything at all that you don’t like about your device? Rooting it is always a google search and a couple of clicks away. Yes, this applies to everything – no exaggerations.
3. Better Backups
Apps like Titanium revolutionized backups by not only backing up your contacts, your calendars, your call logs and your messages but also your apps, your home screen preferences and in some cases even the preferences and setting within your apps. You could lose your phone and have the exact same thing back the next morning, courtesy Titanium and rooted Android.
2. Larger App Base
Simplistically said, there exist a lot of massively functional apps on the Play Store that specify within their description “root required”. You have earned the right to access their features and options when your coughed up the cash for your device and there should be nothing stopping you from doing so.
1. Because it’s YOUR device
This last reason is the most important. It’s YOUR device. You paid good money for it and you deserve the return for yours or your parents’ hard-earned money. Rooting gives a whole new jolt of life to the devices you may consider to be dull and/or obsolete. A combination of all of the above factors: MODs, Kernels, Customisability, Tasker and Overclocking in particular will make you feel like you’re holding an entirely new top-of-the-line device in your palm that was specifically created to cater to exactly what you need, where you need it and when you’d want it to be done.
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