Android is by far one of the most open, versatile and customizable mobile platforms out there. While there are thousands of different apps to choose from such as themes, launchers and icon packs the most powerful way you can customize your device is to acquire root access. This allows you to access all the inner workings of Android enabling power users to do a number of things, this guide will explain the overall concepts and why you may or may not want to root your phone/tablet.
What Does Rooting Android Mean?
Before analyzing the pros and cons of rooting Android devices, let’s look at what Android is about. In simple terms, rooting means getting access to the root or administrative account for your device. This process is somewhat similar to the Administrator account on a Windows PC however the root user is far more powerful been able to access every file on the system and make any changes. Despite paying for your device however many of these internal parts of the system are blocked from standard users hence the reason to root your device and regain control of your device.
This article will cover the various benefits you can gain by rooting your Android device as well as some notable risks with the process and help to give you a clear idea about what your getting into, so let’s go ahead and get started.
Advantages of Rooting Android:
1) Install Custom ROM’s
In a lot of cases your carrier or mobile manufacturer will discontinue updates for your device within a year or two leaving you with an out-of-date system which is potentially buggy and insecure. These aftermarket ROM’s can help extend the mobile life-cycle and allow you to continue receiving updates and enjoy the newest versions of Android.
Another benefit to using custom ROM’s is that you often get better performance as unnecessary services and other back-end features are disabled which in turn can improve battery life and offer options such as overclocking your CPU to increase performance or disable certain features you don’t need.
Lastly custom ROM’s can be personalized to your liking often including various themes, icons and skins to tweak your interface according to your taste. Custom ROM’s generally have communities behind them where you can suggest features or request any fixes to bugs in the ROM something you can’t always do with a stock ROM on your phone or tablet.
2) Remove OEM Pre-Installed apps (bloatware)
Most phones and tablets come with loads of preinstalled applications some from your carrier or manufacturer which are often unnecessary and are not used. These applications not only consume storage but often waste a lot of resources such as battery and WiFi/mobile data.
Due to been installed as a system application they cannot be uninstalled like normal apps due to system restrictions. With root access you can rid your system of these apps and reclaim precious storage and resources for more important things.
The video above shows you how to remove bloatware on your device with a file manager once you have root access, this process can be followed on any device so long as you have a file manager capable of accessing system files on Android.
3) More Storage Options
If you have ever had an older phone then you may have been frustrated with the limited storage capacity. Many older versions of Android will also only install applications to the internal storage of the phone which is often filled very quickly.
Rooting your device gives you far more storage options than most Android users. For instance you can partition an sdcard to use it as a second internal storage system for your phone or create “symlinks” to move large data files from your internal storage to your more spacious sdcard.
With great power comes great responsibility and when it comes to modifying your phone or tablet it is no different. Whenever making changes to the phone there are a number of risks involved which will be covered here.
- “Bricking” your device, this means that it won’t boot after changing the ROM or making a change. In most cases this is due to a bad ROM and can be fixed by wiping the phone and reinstalling or installing a new ROM.
- If you made some changes such as installed a new ROM or partitioned your sdcard without backing up you can often lose lots of data such as contacts, apps, pictures and other information.
- Voiding your warranty, when you root your device you void it’s warranty meaning that your on your own when it comes to repairs as most manufacturers won’t fix it under warranty if its been modified.
- Increased malware risk, when your system has high level privileged so would any malware that gets installed. This is more of a problem if you install unsigned random apps which is why it is always important to download apps from trusted stores.
With all the above taken into consideration hopefully this blog post has helped you to decide for yourself if you wish to explore the deeper depths of Android and unlock the full functionality within.
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Alessio Rigoli is the founder of AGR Technology and got his start working in the IT space originally in Education and then in the private sector helping businesses in various industries. Alessio maintains the blog and is interested in a number of different topics emerging and current such as Digital marketing, Software development, Cryptocurrency/Blockchain, Cyber security, Linux and more.
Alessio Rigoli, AGR Technology