The 'need' to root Android phones
Honest question, as I'll soon be in the market for a new phone, and am looking at all options.
One of the bullet points that always gets tossed around as a reason why Android (and Apple as well) are subpar OSs is that one "has to root (or jailbreak) to achieve it's full potential." I sort of understand Apple, as I hate the layout of the homescreen.
What would the reasons be for rooting Android, and what benefits would the average user notice?
- CrackBerry Abuser
07-21-11, 11:47 AM #2
- 423 Posts
- 07-21-11, 11:53 AM #3
I am rooted. I don't believe it is a necessity, but it is an advantage to be able to.
Rooting gives you superuser access, so if you are big on customization, you'll like being rooted. Different ROMs, unique fonts, splash animations... the possibilities are almost endless.
There are also some processes that rooting allows the average user to control. One biggie is the built-in wireless tethering that FroYo brings.
All-in-all, I have only 2 or 3 root-only apps; There are alternatives to these apps, but they sure make my device more usable. For example, ShootMe is a root-only sceenshot app. There are alternative methods for unrooted devices, but ShootMe makes it easy.
For the investment (10 minutes with prior research and prepped device), rooting is of huge benefit to me.
The true benefit of rooting, IMHO, is the possibility to extend the life of your device. My wife had a Hero for ages. It was rooted, and had a new, custom ROM on it. She was using the newest software builds on old hardware. She was able to use a phone LONG after the official EOL period. Now, there are hardware constraints, but for her, she was fine. The only reason she upgraded was because she saw another current Android device with the specs she desires for $20 yearly upgrade pricing.
For her, rooting is an invaluable process that saves her money.
- CrackBerry Abuser
07-21-11, 11:59 AM #5
- 423 Posts
Another thing would be beneficial to you if you rooted your phone is to not have to wait for your supplier to release an OS update. For example, I think Samsung has a tendency to delay releasing a new update for a couple months, for whatever reason. If you are rooted, you could easily bypass this and load the newest software onto your device.
- 07-21-11, 01:09 PM #8
I don't know of anyone who has bricked their phone while rooting. Following instructions is key, and I know a kid (14) who has done it a more times than I have.
Also, I have never read of anyone that bricked a device permanently (unrecoverable) even after not following instructions.
Unrooting is almost easier than rooting.
At least one of the carriers has quietly changed their policies with regards to rooting. Now, they take back even rooted phones.
Bottom line? There is nothing to fear by rooting. Geico could write a commercial for it. Still, I tell folks not to buy an Android device because they can root it. Buy it assuming you never will be able to, and you'll enjoy your device. If you choose to root down the road, even better.
- 07-21-11, 01:11 PM #9
- 07-21-11, 01:47 PM #10
1) Most of the manufacturer UI skins both blow and slow down the device.
2) bloatware, cannot be removed otherwise
3) battery life on most stock devices is ABYSMAL. Requires rooting if you wanna use custom kernels that fix this.
- 07-21-11, 03:57 PM #11
- 07-21-11, 04:19 PM #12
Android devices are pretty nice out of the box, and compete favorably with most OSes out currently.
- 07-21-11, 05:14 PM #13
Rooting is not required to make your device work correctly. Rooting jus helps to make your device better than it already is by allowing YOU to take full control and not have to rely on your carrier or manufacturer.
- 07-22-11, 09:21 AM #17
The analogy that I always use to explain rooting is, it is like hot rodding a car. The car works just fine when you buy it, but if you want to make it go faster, or handle better, you hot rod it, or in this case, root it.
- 07-22-11, 02:48 PM #18
I'm new to android and used winmo devices for years custom roms and all, so I was definitely interested in the concept of rooting. I have been reading the pros and cons of it before possibly trying it myself. My casio device is running very well right out of the box, no lags, battery is decent especially after the last OTA update. I'm still on the fence as to wanting to plunge in and do it. I'm not seeing enough positives to convince me yet. Some questions come to mind:
1. Do I need to unroot everytime there is an OTA update?
2. Do I lose all my apps/settings everytime I root/unroot?
3. Is there a way to copy/save all apps/settings in a file for a reinstall, and most importantly is this a good way to do it as with WM it was better to reload one by one.
I have heard conflicting info on this,^ so the reason I ask.
With my BB it was easy to upgrade and reload everything thru DM or App Loader and I lost nothing. The process was painless and fast and very efficient.
I guess since I'm really enjoying my commando as it is and it seems quite snappy/fast to me, I will continue along status quo for now. The bloatware everyone talks about is a non issue imo as I never see it anyway. I have what I need on my five screens and leave the rest off. There is plenty of Ram and bloatware is merely storage memory anyway which I have plenty of. The icons like all the V-stuff are just there and not activated until you choose to do so. So again not a big mem draw.
So, I'll keep reasearching and reading about it and maybe try it sometime, but to fix something that doesn't appear to be broke,has good battery life and is dang fast now is my issue with changing it up right now.
Last edited by cbreze; 07-22-11 at 03:23 PM.
- 07-22-11, 03:31 PM #19
2. Sometimes you have to do a full wipe when installing a new rom, not all the time though. With a full wipe you need to re-install your apps.
3. Titanium Backup Pro. Definitely worth the money.
- 07-24-11, 06:42 PM #20
I think one of the many reasons I won't ever get an Android is that I can't stand the names. "Froyo"? "Gingerbread"? "Ice Cream Sandwich"? They're ridiculous. Even the name "Android" screams Stars Wars geek. But back on topic, I dunno if I would "root" an Android device. Then again, I don't install leaks or hybrids or otherwise alter my BlackBerry's os either. In any case, I'm just jumping in to say a friendly hello in the Android forum.
Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
- 07-24-11, 07:12 PM #21
There is no mandatory reason to root. I've yet to root any of my 4 Android devices. The furthest I've gone is download and install beta software. Other than that, while I'm fully capable of rooting my device safely, I do not feel the urge to especially since my other half would be none too pleased with my carcass should I goof. Trust me that and memories of my Oracle DB classes haunt me enough tread far away from rooting.
- 07-24-11, 07:42 PM #23
- CrackBerry Genius
07-24-11, 11:28 PM #25
- 2,154 Posts
- email@example.com (Google Talk)
As far as rooting goes, it just gives you more power over your phone. You also have to keep in mind, the root privileges given doesn't make it universal. Permission must be granted.
For me, putting custom ROMs have allowed me to keep my Droid humming, despite whatever suffering I'm going through.
Last edited by lssanjose; 07-24-11 at 11:31 PM.