Rooting Android – One of the biggest unique selling points about Android is the fact that it is so flexible and malleable. While Apple’s iOS is workable right off the packaging, it is also more closed in than the Android, which is why Google’s popular operating system has been such a hit among developers. To truly understand just how much you can do with the Android, though, you have to root it.
What does rooting android even mean?
Before we get into the pros and cons of rooting Android devices, let’s look at what rooting android involves. In the simplest terms, rooting means getting root access or administrative privileges for your device. You may have paid for your Android device, but it’s worth noting that no matter how much or how little you pay, the internals of the device are still locked away.
Think of it as operating on a desktop computer through a user account. You get to take advantage of most of the features of the phone, but you can’t do anything without administrative rights. Rooting android device gives you exactly that, for your device. It makes you the administrator of your phone, and not just a user.
With great power, however, comes great responsibility. You have more things in your hand, and some of the security and protection that you take for granted on your unrooted device will not work on a rooted one. Still, you do get entire control over your device. You can browse the Android root folder and make changes to the system files, which means altering and installing or removing some of the key elements of your phone.
Rooting android device gives you total control over the entire Android system. You can use and download all the blocked features and tools, but this power comes with some risks. A lot of the blocked features and tools are present to protect you from malware, for instance. Once rooted, you won’t have the protection of an unrooted Android version. And that’s what this article gets into: the advantages and disadvantages of rooting Android devices. Before you start rooting your own device, read this once to get a clear understanding of what you are getting into. Let’s be optimistic and get into the advantages first:
Advantages of Rooting Android Devices
Following below are some of the major advantages described.
#1 – Installation of custom ROMs
You can install a custom ROM or Kernel after you root you device, which essentially means you get a new device software-wise. In fact, this is often the biggest reason for people to root their devices. Custom ROMs offer several performance fixes and tweaks to your system, and are typically more user-friendly than stock ones. They are optimized for battery and performance and update more frequently than stock ROMS do.
A kernel is part of the Android operating system that helps apps and others control hardware aspects of the device. There are several goodies that accompany a custom kernel for a rooted Android device. For one, you can add features previously not available and improve the battery life and performance of your device. A ROM is essentially a modified Android version that can be installed, once again with extra features and several other benefits. Custom ROMs can be installed even without rooting, but it is much better to use one on a rooted device than an un-rooted one. They can significantly change the look and feel of your device. What’s great about them is that they also come as stock Android, which gives you the basic Android install typical in most devices. This can come surprisingly in handy when you want to un-root your device.
#2 – Removing pre-installed OEM apps
Every Android phones comes with a bunch of apps directly from the manufacturer. Some of them are good, but most of them are plain useless, if not worse, and you cannot even remove them. Once you root your device, however, all those apps can go away and you can get the most out of your machine.
#3 – Ad-blocking for all apps
Ad-blocking is simple on a web browser, but it gets infinitely more complicated on a smartphone or device. Pop-ups are considered a regular problem in most games and apps, but rooting takes care of it all immediately.
#4 – Installing incompatible apps
Some of the best apps right now may not even be compatible with your phone. But Rooting Android gives you access to all the apps you can find. You even get the latest Android updates before your phone maker release its own, plus bonus features. You can run special applications that require root access, which are generally more power and feature-rich than other apps. These applications directly deal with Android system files, tweaking your Android operating system more extensively than other surface-level apps can. For instance, you could silently uninstall several applications after you download e Uninstall with root access.
#5 – More display options and internal storage
Most devices come with three to four default skins to choose from, but rooting android phone lets you install new ROMs to fully customize and tweak your device skins for a truly unique display. Another big benefit is that rooting android frees up your device’s internal storage. People with low internal storage space can transfer whatever application they want to the SD card after they root their device. Some applications can be transferred by default, but an un-rooted device typically blocks you from doing this for all devices. Once rooted, you can force move an app with a symlink.
#6 – Greater battery life and speed
While most of the above benefits have been largely cosmetic or convenience-based, this one is a more practical benefit. Rooting Android helps unlock the full potential of your phone. You can use apps like Greenify to close useless applications automatically, effectively improving your device performance. But it does need root access to do that.
#7 – Making full device backups
When you have an unrooted Android phone, you can only back up so many things, like your apps or some settings. Once rooted, however, you will find plenty of apps like Titanium that will entirely back up your rooted device.
#8 – Access to root files
When you are Rooting Android device, you have access to a number of files, sections and parts of your device that would otherwise not be available. This is what gives you so much access and freedom to do what you want with your device. You can use existing apps or, with a little knowledge, tweak the files and sections of your device yourself.
#9 – CPU Clocking
Un-rooted devices typically do not have CPU clocking capabilities, which enable you to increase and/or decrease the CPU or processor speed of your device. Increasing processor clock speed helps you extract maximum performance, while lowering it helps extend batter life. No Frills CPU Control is one such device that does this with ease, and it is free from Google Play. You can find other such apps that quickly let you take control of your CPU performance without worrying about the technical terms or setting, and while ensuring that the device is working within safe limits.
#10 -More tweaking
With a rooted Android device, you can configure and optimize your device for a customized feel and for better performance. Android can be tweaked to a significant extent, which is why it is so popular in the first place. Depending on what you want with your device, you can make several changes.
Disadvantages of Rooting Android Devices
Given below are some of the disadvantaged of Rooting Android Devices.
#1 – It can brick your device
One of the most common threats to a rooted Android device is misoperation, which could turn your device into an expensive, unusable brick. To avoid this, you should always get your apps from reliable sources, like Google Play, and do not delete files that rooting apps suggest not to delete. The risk of ending up bricking your phone is even greater if you are new to rooting. You can find some pretty detailed tutorials on the internet to root your device, but it can still be a daunting task. If you flash a corrupt zip file or miss any step, you will likely end up with a bricked device. If this happens, you will have to either get your device fixed at the manufacturer’s service center or, if you are a power user, fix it yourself. If you opt for the first option, you will face the second big disadvantage of rooting an Android device. Bricking is a dreaded term in the rooting world. Although there are ways to fix it, it can be surprising easy to brick a device.
#2 – No more warranty
Another big disadvantage of rooting Android is the fact that you lose your device warranty. Device makers will not cover damage caused after you root the device or if you realize that the phone was bricked while it was being rooted. In some devices, you can still unroot the device after rooting so that device makers do not know whether you rooted it or not. On the other hand, device makers can go to great extents to find out the truth about your device. For most users, your phone warranty is pretty much permanently voided once you root your phone.
#3 – Root and super user access
Having root access sounds amazing, and it is too, right up until things go wrong. A wrong setting or moving the wrong item into the wrong place and the wrong time can cause huge problems. Similarly, CPU clocking can also turn out to be a disadvantage. Overclocking or increasing processor speed can maximize performance but also comes with the risk of overheating your processor, which is the heart of your device. That means you may likely give a heart-attack to your device.
#4 – Tweaking risks
There are also risks that come with tweaking your device. What will happen when you adjust certain settings. The worst case scenario is that you will brick the device, but another likely situation is that nothing will happen, which is frustrating too!
There is also the risk of getting the wrong kernel or ROM, which comes with its own problems. Your device could end up bricked or worse. Fixing these disasters can also cost a lot of time, money and effort.
#5 – Ad-blocking
Ad-blocking is listed as an advantage, so how can it be a disadvantage to rooting? Well, the truth is that those ads generate revenue for developers, which is used to further develop the app and give you, the customer, more features. If too many people root their device and block these ads, it translates to revenue lost, causing a big problem for developers and you in the long run. Apart from that, changing or editing the app manually for blocking ads could turn the app useless.
#6 – Update problems
A good thing about unrooted Android devices is that the system update, no matter how late it comes, will definitely install and work well. The risk with rooted devices is that this may not happen. You may find that automated firmware updates may not be working. In some cases, updates will not install because of software modifications made during the rooting process itself.
Now that you know the pros and cons of rooting Android, you should be able to make an informed decision on whether it is worth the hassle and risks or not. It all depends on how much risk you are willing to take, the kind of usage you have with your phone, and what your expectations are. If you choose to root, root with caution.
You may have also noted that some of the pros and cons are very similar to each other. That is, in fact, the greatest benefit and downside of Android itself. It gives you immense power, but you also have to be careful with that power. Your decision should be based on your answers to these questions:
- Are you willing to risk facing and trying to fix the disadvantages of rooting your device?
- Have you made a backup for your device before it is attempted to be rooted?
- Have you done enough research online to find out how to root your specific device?
If your answer to these three questions is a ‘yes’, then you should be ready to handle rooting your Android device and facing the consequences and benefits. If your answer is ‘no’ to two or all three questions, then you should probably think a few more times before you take the leap. Or leave out rooting your device altogher.
This has been a guide to Rooting Android devices. Here we have discussed the basic concept, with advantages and disadvantages in a descriptive manner. You may look at the following articles to learn more –