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Read before you root : Points to ponder before you root your Android device

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Nidhin Chandramohan,Chief Financial Officer

“What is rooting? Why should I root my Android device?”

These are the common questions that I get asked quite often.
So I thought about writing this Article from My experience in Rooting My HTC Wildfire with Ice Cream Sandwich OS.
Android is an open source operating system, Even though you still don’t have full “root access” to do what you please on your phone.
Rooting your Android phone enables you to use the superuser, or root, permissions of the Linux-based operating system (OS). Rooting can be entertaining for techies, but there are also plenty of practical benefits. When the world saw the first Android back in 2008, the term “rooting” was born.


Unlike jailbreaking (equivalent to rooting) an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, you can search for and download apps that require rooting directly from the official Android Market.


Rooting your phone does come with some risks. Before rooting, you should understand the two main risks.

 

For starters, rooting can void your phone’s factory and/or service provider warranty in many cases. However, most rooting applications and methods can be easily reverted. If the rooting process doesn’t complete correctly it could damage the software. This would require a factory recover, causing all data on the phone (contacts, apps, media) to be lost, or it may even render your device useless, to the point where it can’t be saved unless examined by a technician. However, if you follow the instructions for the rooting method you use carefully, you shouldn’t have a problem. Of course, before attempting any sort of root or jailbreak, make sure your phone’s data is backed up using any of the back up applications like Titanium Backup which is available in Market. Why root your Android phone/tablet? Freedom and control, it is the main reason for rooting the android devices and after you gain full control over our system and can tweak it to your liking. Improved performance: You can speed up your Android device by relocating your phone’s cache, thus allowing you to save phone memory and have a faster phone. There are applications available in the Android Market that will allow you to overclock your device to make it go as fast as you dare. We can easily change the . Kernel, speed, and battery life. Custom Themes: Rooting your device allows you the ability to fully customize just about every graphic on your device. We can load customized themes which will change the entire look and feel of our phone. Altering system files: You can replace many parts of the “Android core.” Doing so, you can add new themes, edit the core apps (Maps, Calendar, clock, etc.), change the recovery and boot images, add Linux binaries, and many more.


Latest Android OS: With many carriers holding back the updates to the latest Android operating system, rooting your device will give you the option to install any current and future OS’s by installing custom-tailored ROMs which will be released by cyanogenmod team and all.


Baseband: After rooting we can update the baseband of our phone. By updating to the latest Basebands, you can potentially improve both the signal and quality of your phone calls.

More application choices: You will be able to install apps that are only compatible with rooted phones.

Install applications to your SD card: With rooted devices, you can use Apps2SD, which will copy ALL your applications to an ext2/3/4 formatted SD card and will also store future builds in the card. For eg. Backing up your device: You will get the ability to take the whole back means the applications and data back up of your phone using apps like Titanium Back up. You will get Similar Back up applications from Android Market.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Tethering: After having rooted your device, you can also use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth tethering to share your cellular data connection with your laptop, PC, or other capable mobile devices.

 

Some of the Disadvantages of Rooting?

The main 2 Disadvantages of Rooting is Bricking and Security.
“Bricking” your device means screwing up your phone software so badly that your phone can no longer function properly and is pretty much as useless as a brick. It is of 2 types. Hard-bricking (device won’t turn on) and Soft-bricking (device boot loops/stuck in boot loader). Soft bricked devices can almost always be saved. You would likely need to purchase a new Android device since the manufacturer of your device will void the warranty after any attempts at rooting


Security: There is an increased risk of unknowingly installing malicious software when you root an Android device. Root access circumvents the security restrictions that are put in place by the Android OS. Some cases are reporting in different parts of the world nowadays.


And one more thing to keep in mind when we root is once we completed installing OS after rooting, if we did some wrong steps on the way, some applications like camera, sound won’t work(as I experienced ?). Don’t get scared. Just root again, you will get those if the ROM you are installing contains that driver and update if it is available.

 

How do I learn to root my device?

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to teach someone how to root their Android device. Each device has a unique method to rooting and some research most be done on your part. As I mentioned earlier, the best place to start would be the XDA Developer Forums. Another option is to simply Google your model phone and the term root (ex. “HTC Wildfire root”) as I did.
Take a Complete back up of all your Contacts, Data’s in Phone and Memory card before you start the process, otherwise…

 

The procedure for rooting an Android device varies from device to device. So, in almost all cases, a rooting solution for a particular device will not work on another device. Also, a particular device can have several different rooting solutions. So do complete researches about rooting of your phone and the Custom ROM you would like to install.
Try installing Different ROMs after rooting, it’s a wonderful experience and thrilling some times. And you can learn a lot of new stuffs about android and Custom ROMs.

 

Have fun and good luck to all of you! I hope you found this lesson on rooting to be helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.