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  1. psufan32's Avatar
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    Default 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?
  2. 01itr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxg331 View Post
    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?
    You don't necessarily "need" to root your phone, but there are some benefits. However, by rooting it is possible that it will void your warranty, and it always makes you more likely to encounter bugs.

    [Updated] Rooting Explained + Top 5 Benefits Of Rooting Your Android Phone

    Top 10 Reasons To Root Your Android Phone
  3. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
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    #3  

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    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.
  4. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01itr View Post
    You don't necessarily "need" to root your phone, but there are some benefits. However, by rooting it is possible that it will void your warranty, and it always makes you more likely to encounter bugs.

    [Updated] Rooting Explained + Top 5 Benefits Of Rooting Your Android Phone

    Top 10 Reasons To Root Your Android Phone
    Good info... I'd say the first is pretty accurate; the second is a bit dated.
  5. 01itr's Avatar
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    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.
  6. DarkPhoenix's Avatar
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    #6  

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    Quote Originally Posted by cxg331 View Post
    Thanks for the responses, guys. It sounds as though a lot of the talk about "having to root the phone in order to achieve full potential" is a bit overblown. If I do go Android, I'm leaning towards an HTC device - if they ever release a good one for AT&T. I think I'd already have the Sensation if it were on AT&T.

    The Inspire 4G is a great device on AT&T.
    HTC EVO 4G - GingerDeck 1.3
    Crackberry 9930- Meh, it's a Blackberry

    "What if we don't want to use a Blackberry, because they are stupid and pointless?" -Dwight Schrute
  7. mjs416's Avatar
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    Not only do you void your warranty - you could possibly brick your phone.
  8. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs416 View Post
    Not only do you void your warranty - you could possibly brick your phone.
    Yes and yes to both.

    But...

    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.
  9. Rickroller's Avatar
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    #9  

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs416 View Post
    Not only do you void your warranty - you could possibly brick your phone.
    While these are possibilities..they aren't the norm. It is very easy in most circumstances to un-root your phone..and thus revert back to stock for warranty purposes..unless you totally brick your phone..which as I said..is possible but not likely (especially only rooting).
    "Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all." -Sam Ewing
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  10. papped's Avatar
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    #10  

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    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.
  11. mjs416's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickroller View Post
    While these are possibilities..they aren't the norm. It is very easy in most circumstances to un-root your phone..and thus revert back to stock for warranty purposes..unless you totally brick your phone..which as I said..is possible but not likely (especially only rooting).
    Thats fine and all and as a tinkerer I think rooting is neat but you shouldnt have to hack your brand new $200+ phone to make it operate correctly.
  12. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs416 View Post
    Thats fine and all and as a tinkerer I think rooting is neat but you shouldnt have to hack your brand new $200+ phone to make it operate correctly.
    Since Android OS is doing reasonably well, and that the VAST majority of users are not rooted, it can be inferred that most users think their devices do "operate correctly" as-is.

    Android devices are pretty nice out of the box, and compete favorably with most OSes out currently.
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  13. avt123's Avatar
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    #13  

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjs416 View Post
    Thats fine and all and as a tinkerer I think rooting is neat but you shouldnt have to hack your brand new $200+ phone to make it operate correctly.
    The devices work correctly out of the box. Please stop exaggerating.

    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.
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  14. K Bear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkPhoenix View Post
    The Inspire 4G is a great device on AT&T.
    The Nexus S is coming soon. Pure Android for AT&T.
    (AT&T)Nokia 5110(2001)-->(Cingular)Nokia 6102i (2007)-->(T-Mobile) Blackberry Pearl 8120 (2008)-->(T-Mobile) Blackberry Bold 9700(2010)-->(T-Mobile) T-Mobile G2 (2010)--> (Sprint) HTC Evo 4G White (2011)-->(T-Mobile) T-Mobile G2 (2011)--> (AT&T) HTC Inspire 4G (2011)(AT&T)HTC Vivid (2012)-->(Verizon) Samsung Galaxy S III White
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  15. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K Bear View Post
    The Nexus S is coming soon. Pure Android for AT&T.
    I think I am gonna check out the next pure Android device on Sprint. I like Sense, but I want a clean one next. Hopefully, HTC makes the next one.
  16. avt123's Avatar
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    Samsung hardware (the guts) > HTC IMO. The next Nexus is rumored to be made by Samsung again anyways. I think they are calling it the Nexus 4G or something like that.
  17. spotmark's Avatar
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    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.
    A cigar is man's opportunity to reflect on the past, and dream about the future.
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  18. cbreze's Avatar
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    #18  

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    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; 07-22-2011 at 02:23 PM.
  19. spotmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbreze View Post
    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.
    1. Rooted roms generally disable OTA. So when an update comes out, you just need to wait until the devs release a rooted version of it.

    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.
    A cigar is man's opportunity to reflect on the past, and dream about the future.
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  20. Tõnis's Avatar
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    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
  21. K Bear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tõnis View Post
    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
    Froyo, Gingerbread, & Ice Cream Sandwich are just code names for the OSs. Froyo is 2.2, Gingerbread is 2.3, Honeycomb is 3.0 & 3.1, Ice Cream Sandwich may be 2.4. It's just Apple who not only assigns a numeric value to its OSs, but also names like Snow Leopard, Lion, etc. Even Ubuntu has even crazier names for their OSs.

    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.
    (AT&T)Nokia 5110(2001)-->(Cingular)Nokia 6102i (2007)-->(T-Mobile) Blackberry Pearl 8120 (2008)-->(T-Mobile) Blackberry Bold 9700(2010)-->(T-Mobile) T-Mobile G2 (2010)--> (Sprint) HTC Evo 4G White (2011)-->(T-Mobile) T-Mobile G2 (2011)--> (AT&T) HTC Inspire 4G (2011)(AT&T)HTC Vivid (2012)-->(Verizon) Samsung Galaxy S III White
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    #22  

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tõnis View Post
    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.
    Naming each version of the OS after a dessert may sound silly sure... but is it really all that far off from naming a piece of technology "Blackberry"?
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  23. Tõnis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmjones101 View Post
    Naming each version of the OS after a dessert may sound silly sure... but is it really all that far off from naming a piece of technology "Blackberry"?
    I used to think BlackBerry was silly ... until I got one and experienced how wonderful it was. But BlackBerry, together with its logo, is a one-of-a-kind. It's iconic.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  24. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tõnis View Post
    I used to think BlackBerry was silly ... until I got one and experienced how wonderful it was. But BlackBerry, together with its logo, is a one-of-a-kind. It's iconic.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    I won't disagree with that.

    And I refuse to refer to the Android OSes by name. It gets me in trouble with the kids.
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    #25  

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    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; 07-24-2011 at 10:31 PM.
    I will never understand these "help me to decide" threads. Grow a pair, or put on your big girl panties (whichever applies), and make the decision that works best for you. - AmazinglyGraceless.
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