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Android operating systems are easily the most popular platforms around today and with users raring to gain access to enhanced functionality of their mobile phones and handheld devices in order to customize their phones to suit their requirements, Android presents itself as the answer. With the limitations attached to various manufactured devices, however, users aren’t quite satisfied with the results when trying to customize their devices. This can now be done through a complex but beneficially impressive process called ‘Rooting’.
What is Rooting?
Rooting is a process that allows a user to plunge deeper into a phone’s operating system and modify almost anything on the Android. It provides the user with administrative privileges on the operating system. When the user purchases a new Android device, the user is more of a guest user. In order to make changes and amendments to the system and system files, the user must become the administrator. This can be achieved through rooting.
The advantages of rooting
Rooting helps a user:
– Overcome restrictions created by the manufacturer or carrier
– Run additional apps
– Replace applications
– Overlock your processor
– Underlock your processor
When rooting an Android device, the user is required to back up the existing software and install a new customized ROM. This ROM consists of the modified Android version.
Most manufacturers and carriers do not advise users to go ahead with rooting their Android devices. While the process could be essentially unsafe, the benefits it yields are impressive. The process does involve a certain amount of risk, but if the user is careful he can be assured that this is one of the perfect ways to increase and improve the potential of an Android device.
Of course, rooting involves some risks. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction and in the case of rooting, there are certain pros and cons that you need to know about before carrying out the process.
Let us first look at the pros:
1) Modification of your device
When a user roots his device, the performance of the device is automatically enhanced. The user can delete apps, thus creating the much needed space on his mobile. These apps do not have the uninstall feature through the manufacturer. Hence, rooting is required in order to rid such ‘bloatware’ from the device. Even if a user wishes to add additional features in order to streamline or enhance the performance of his device, he can do so simply by rooting his Android device.
2) Creating essential back-ups
Rooting helps in not just creating a back-up for important data on your phone, but also aids in creating a back-up for applications and settings. Users also tend to take complete back-ups of the operating system.
3) Manufacturer Limitations
Manufacturers tend to offer device bundles that come along with various manufacturer specific themes and tones. The user can only alter these to a certain extent. By rooting, the user can even customize the device according to options provided by other companies.
4) Unlimited Apps
Open source enthusiasts crave more and more apps and download. With the several apps stores and distributors available, users have the freedom to download as much as they please through rooting their device.
5) Updating new features and OS
Manufacturers produce newer and better devices all the time. But what they do not provide the older devices with, are the updates that are introduced in the newer devices. Via rooting, users have the ability to install new features and operating systems.
6) Internal Storage Facilities
Not all users have huge amounts of internal memory on the devices. It gets difficult to move in-built applications to the SD card when the applications are provided by the manufacturers. By rooting your Android device, a user can move any app onto his SD card, thus creating additional space in his phone memory.
Now for the possible cons that rooting could bring upon your device:
1) Potential of Software damage
The process of rooting may take a shorter time or longer time, based on the device. At times, this could also lead to some serious software damage. If the user is not sure about having the device rooted, the user should refrain from trying.
2) Legal Restrictions
Most countries all over the world allow rooting your Android device. However, there are certain European countries that disallow changing the original operating system. This voids the warranty on the hardware.
3) Voiding your Warranty
Some users aren’t aware that manufacturers use rooting as a pretext to annul your warranty. There is a way to avoid this happening. All you have to do is flash the original backup ROM prepared by you, and this will conceal the fact from the manufacturers that your device was rooted.
4) Breach of Security
When a user completes rooting his device, he allows applications to perform activities that require administrative rights. Android’s performance has not been tarnished by viruses and other digital bugs. But knowing the amount of anti-social elements present everywhere, it wouldn’t be long before this security is breached.
So should you be rooting your device or not?
While rooting your device does have its advantages, there exists a fair share of disadvantages too. Rooting a device therefore solely depends on whether the user wants to do it or not. It also depends on what the user utilizes his phone for. A little caution is always advisable when attempting the rooting procedure. It is practical to keep a back-up or storage of all your personal memory on a memory card, so as to not lose any important data in the act.
The rooting process procedure and time varies from device to device. This is based on the operating system installed in the device. Another important aspect that you need to bear in mind after rooting your device is not to delete any application until you’ve confirmed that its deletion will not affect the functionality of your device in any way.
When the rooting of your Android device is done right, it can benefit you in several ways. It puts you in complete control of your device and does not hold you back by the limitations integrated by manufacturers, and getting the best out of your device is always a good thing!
Image Credit: John Biehler on Flickr