What’s the heck is Rooting?
Rooting is simply the process of gaining administrative rights over the phone’s software and operating system or attaining superuser access in a Linux or Unix operating system(known as root access). This is jailbreaking in iPhone. Most Android phone users love to root their devices in order to gain this root access privilege but rooting Android phone has its pros and cons, which I am going to explain in this article.
After manufacturing phone, there are restrictions that are set on almost all phones to make sure normal users do not mess up with the Android operating system or the main functions like booting, firmware, kernel, and other critical functions unaware Basically, the restrictions are effected on your phone to ensure the smooth running of your operating system as alterations or changes, if done by someone who doesn’t have enough knowledge on how it’s done, may be regrettable.
By rooting your Android phone, you break all the boundaries set by the manufacturer of your phone, this makes you realize the full potential of your phone. Rooting Android device gives you the permission to make any changes, delete default applications that you feel are useless, alter settings and files and run apps that cannot be run when you don’t have administrator-level permissions. A successful rooting will work in the same way as in windows. If you try to make changes in disk C in windows, you will be asked administrator permission. This is very different from an Android operating system. In Android phone, you are totally restricted to certain features
Still confused? To make this a bit easy to understand, let me put a real-life example, let’s say you are renting a 4 roomed house, If there is need to renovate the house(make any changes), you can only make small decisions like, changing doors, padlocks, window panes but big renovations decisions like painting the whole house or extending rooms, it’s landlord’s decision to make because it’s not your house (you are restricted by the owner), isn’t it? But this scenario only changes from the time you buy and given ownership papers ( on your phone, that’s rooting), from then you can do whatever you want to do.
Rooting also allows you to modify the software code and install some applications that cannot be installed by a normal user. There are applications and software, manufacturers of smartphones wouldn’t want you to alter. For security reasons, not all software and Apps must be accessible to normal users in the eyes of the manufacturer
Terms you may need to understand
To understand this topic well, you may need to have a full understanding of the terms used, before I dig deep into the topic, take a minute to go through the following terms;
SOFT BRICK-This happens due to software problems like boot loop ( freezing of the phone during boot). If this happens to your phone during rooting, then you must know that the operating system you were installing was not successful. If you your phone is soft brick, you don’t have to lose hope, you can always revive your phone from this state. To correct this soft brick, you can flash a clean and working version of Android to your device.
There are several reasons for this;
- Rom may not be compatible with your Android device
- Low battery-ensure your battery has enough power to finish rooting for it may cause soft brick
- If your ROM is not properly installed, it may also cause soft brick
When rooting a Samsung phone, if the phone stuck in boot loop, the phone logo will appear on the screen during boot, it will display the logo for some time, then it will automatically restart and repeatedly displaying the Samsung logo.
HARD BRICK-This is a worse situation as compared to soft brick. At this state, usually, your data would have been wiped out. This doesn’t interpret dysfunctional operating system only but the system used to load operating system also(system recovery)This would simply mean, you would have no alternative way to install your custom OS or ROM. This is usually a result of trying to flash ROMS in a mobile device that has a weak recovery system
Stock-Stock Android is the most common Android operating system used by Google in its Pixel and Nexus smartphones(also called Vanilla Android). Stock Android was developed by Android owner and developer, Google. It is known for its simplicity, and all Apps and services are Google products. The applications include google photos, google camera, Google messenger, chrome, calendar, clock and google dialer etc. In some case, Stock may mean Android version that came with your phone.
Kernel-This is component of the OS that enables swift communication to take place between your software and hardware, Kernel is the core program that is responsible for running system memory, files, and all your Android device’s processes
This means when starting up your device, its the Kernel which loads the App into system memory and creates all the processes required to start the Application. In any case, when the App needs networking or memory, its the Kernel that allocates it to them.
Flash-basically means installing an Application or a software on your device, whether kernel or ROM.
Now that you have a full understanding of what rooting is as well as some rooting-related terms found, let me explain in detail, the pros and cons of having your Android phone root.
Advantages of rooting
- You gain much control of the functions of your phone as a result of bypassing the manufacturer of your phone’s restrictions
- Rooting can make you realize the full potential of your device if done properly.
- You can block annoying ads that keep popping on your screen whenever you open an App.
4. No need to wait for the manufacturer for updates, if you are not a Pixel or Nexus device owner, only by root, you can get updates on time as many manufacturers tend to be slow on releasing updates especially on aging devices
5. Rooting allows you to uninstall OEMs App, every Android phone come loaded with default applications, some of them are useful but others are useless. If your Android phone is not rooted, it’s impossible to get rid of these Apps, after rooting you can decide on which one to remove or keep, which will end up freeing a lot of space on your device
6. You can install whatever App you like. Some of the best Apps right now may not be compatible with your device but by rooting, you can have access to any Application you want.
7. Saving battery-it is a known fact that many Android phones batteries can hardly spend a day long with power but this is may be caused by too many Apps, some of them, plain useless. Removing other Apps helps to extend battery life.
8. When your device, is rooted, you can entirely backup your rooted device, unlike unrooted device where you can back up only selected Apps and files.
9. CPU Clocking- this enables you to increase or decrease your CPU Processor speed. increasing processor speed is critical for a good performance of your device. Decreasing processor speed enhances an extended battery life. You can only perform this task if your device is rooted. Frill CPU Control is an example of an App you can use for this task and it’s free on google play store.
Disadvantages of rooting
Of course, rooting comes with some advantages of having full control over your device BUT, you must be aware that there are a lot of disadvantages also, which you mustn’t ignore. Most Android users store very important information like school work, your privacy, videos, and photos of your family and friends, you cannot lose all that because you fail to observe the cons that come with rooting your device. For some important guidelines on securing your Android device’s data click here. Below I am going to point to some issue that may arise after rooting.
1. Rooting is not advisable if your Android device is still on warranty, most manufacturers don’t warranty rooted phone because of the belief that, rooted devices are prone to security threats and attacks.
2. Security-After rooting device, most Android users try to play around the Operating System and the system, this may lead to high-security risk because many users lack technical know-how of how Android OS works
3. Brick-any slight mistake may cause might lead your phone to be useless and that may end up costing you more. Yes, believe it, tampering with your software code may lead end up damaging your phone and turn your Android device into a mere brick.
4. Vulnerable OS-rooting involves removing security restrictions, this may leave your Operating System vulnerable to viruses, Trojans, worms, and spyware. You will need to put in place effective antiviruses to protect your device.
Note; If you brick your phone, there are steps you can take to recover your data using another device
What do you think?
Does rooting worth it, what’s your conclusion after weighing the pros and cons of rooting your Android device. I will greatly appreciate if you leave a comment below of your take. If also you may have any advantages or disadvantage that you feel may be of great help, always feel free to leave it in the comment box below so that everyone will benefit from it.
If you have any question or help, don’t hesitate to contact me through my Email below and I will be more than happy to help you out.