What You Should Know Before Rooting Your Android Device
To root or not to root, that is the question. Rooting your Android device has a lot of good things, but it also has it's dark side. By rooting your Android device, you can enjoy the freedom that many are already enjoying, but you could also end up with an expensive paperweight. If you have always wanted to root but have been too scared because of the many doubts you have, keep reading to remove all those doubts and enjoy rooting.
What is Rooting?
In Layman's terms, rooting is like being the administrator on your Windows PC. By rooting, you are adding a basic Linux functions and a file called Switch User (SU) that turns you into a superuser. You will now be able to remove things that you couldn't before and use functions that you never had access to before. For example, you can bypass the software your carrier installed and remove those apps that came with your phone and are just taking up space in your phone's memory.
Rooting Terms to Become Familiar With
If you're thinking about rooting your Android device, the guide you follow is going to depend on the model and variant of your Android device. In that guide, you are going to see a series of terms that might need to look up, but in the following list, I will explain the Android rooting terms you should learn.
- Custom Kernel
Is a much better version of the kernel that comes with your device. The kernel that your device came with is the primary component of your device that acts as a bridge between the apps and that hardware.
These are all those apps that came with your phone and are practically useless. They are the apps that can only be disabled but not uninstalled.
- ADB- Fastboot
These belong to Android SDK (Software Development Kit), and you can use them to free up the bootloader. ADB is a command line tool that you will use on your computer and helps you communicate with your Android device.
Is a code that runs before any operating system loads. It's like your brain telling you to put your shoes on and when you have them on you can run, build a fence or make yourself breakfast. Bootloaders are hardware specific; they are specific to the board they're running on.
- Custom ROM
It's a personalized and more advanced version of the Android version you are currently running on your device.
- Nandroid Backup
It's an exact backup of your Android device, and that includes the software that is running and all the apps you installed. Th only files that are excluded are pictures, music and other files you might have on your SD card.
This makes your Android device perform at a higher speed than it was designed to. By overclocking your Android device will perform more operations per second but be careful since this will also produce more heat.
- CWM/TWRP Custom Recoveries
They are a third-party version of the recovery environment your Android device came with that is a runtime environment that can perform a lot of tasks that are related to the system. In this recovery environment, you can put your phone back to the settings it was when you first took it out of the box. Custom recoveries can do extra things such as make and restore a backup you have created.
This is an application that automatically installed when you root and can either deny or grant access to other applications.
This means installing something on your Android device.
It means that you have done something wrong during the rooting process, and your phone won't work anymore. Now you have an expensive paperweight.
Can my Android device be Unrooted?
Yes, it can. Don't worry, if you didn't enjoy your rooted Android device like you thought you would, you could always go back to the way it was.
Does rooting void Warranty?
Yes, it does. Sometimes, it is possible for you to unroot and take your phone into service if you need to. Be careful, though. There are some smartphone's that features a digital button or switch that can't be reversed and therefore, there is no way to undo it. I would recommend doing your homework first to see what your personal case is.
Can I Still Get Updates from My Carrier?
If you don't install a custom RIM after rooting your device, you will still get them, but remember that they will destroy your root. If you want to stay rooted, don't accept these updates. If you were to take the OTA updates, keep in mind that you might not be able to re-root your Android device for a while. What if you do install a custom ROM? In that case, you won't get OTA updates, but you could get updates for the ROM you are running.
Tips to Keep in Mind Before Rooting Your Android Device
Before you begin the rooting process, you should backup all your information just in case something were to go wrong. If you carefully follow the rooting guide and do your homework before, everything should be OK. Before rooting your Android device, you should also have your battery fully charged since you never know how long the rooting process is going to take.
Remember that you are also going to need to download the necessary drivers for the Android device you are rooting. You can get those drivers from the official website of the company that made your phone. Make sure that the rooting method you are following is for your model and variant. For example, just because a rooting method is for a SamSung Galaxy S it doesn't mean that that method is going to work on your variant. If you follow a method that is not intended for your variant, you will brick your phone.
Ah, before I forget, you will also need to disable your computer's firewall or antivirus since it could interfere with the rooting method.
Rooting has its pros and cons, but if you do your homework beforehand, then you should be OK. Rooting sounds complicated, and that's why it's important for you to ask as many questions as possible and never have to even think the words, " I believe this is what I'm supposed to do." Do you think that you will go through with rooting your phone? Let me know in the comments.
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I can never get enough of tech in general, whether it's Android or web apps, but helping others solve their tech problems also brings great satisfaction. I carry a device wherever I go and I'm always connected. Life without Internet just sounds too scary to me. :-).