Pages

Saturday, May 5, 2012

ROOTING- ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

What is rooting? This question might be going through your mind if you aren't using an Android device or haven't heard much about the term. If you are familiar with the term, then you might be thinking whether you should try rooting or not. If you have an Android phone then this article is a must read for you. The article would explain rooting in simpler terms, introduce you with its advantages and disadvantages, show you ways to root your Android device and much more. Read on to find out everything related to rooting

SO WHAT IS ROOTING ?  Rooting, in simpler terms, "is a process which enables you to gain complete control of your device by removing almost every limitation or restriction imposed either by the manufacturer or your
network carrier or both." The word Rooting is derived from the word Root in LINUX OS which means the very basic of the operating system. Rooting gives you capabilities similar to having a Administrator account in windows- you can do everything with your device which other users can albeit giving you ability to control everything and do much more.

WHY DO MANUFACTURERS AND CARRIERS PLACE CERTAIN LIMITATIONS?  The open nature of Android OS means that it can be customized in many different ways. For example, You will always find the HTC sense UI in HTC phones based on Android OS which changes the appearance of the OS tremendously allowing HTC to be different from others when it comes to looks of the menu,etc. You might like it but there is a strong probability that you won't. HTC places a restriction which doesn't allow you to change or remove SENSE UI because that would mean that there efforts for creating and providing it would go in wain if they allowed you to so. Network carriers place certain limitations like blocking tethering and placing certain apps in the device which whether you like it or not cannot remove or uninstall. Manufacturers and carriers do these for their profits and also to make sure that inexperienced or casual users don't mess up the phone's software (more on how this could happen later) which justifies their purpose of implementing restrictions.

 DO THESE RESTRICTIONS CAUSE ANY BIG PROBLEM WHILE USAGE TO AN GENERAL CONSUMER? Here a General consumer means any person who buys a phone for the purpose of general usage. It depends on a number of factors whether these restrictions would affect you or not like your usage habits, your preferences, your views, your device and your region. Still there are a few restrictions which any consumer would like to remove( read on to find about these in-depth). There might be certain restrictions which might force you to root whether you want or not.

GOOD THINGS FIRST-REASONS TO ROOT: So you have understood what rooting is and now you might be thinking what you can gain with rooting. 
Following are the advantages of rooting-

1) ABILITY TO INSTALL CUSTOM ROMs: ROM( standing for read only memory) in this case refers to your phone's internal storage where your apps/firmware are stored. When you purchase a phone, it already contains a ROM developed by the manufacturer and thus might not be exactly how you want it to be. For example, your in-built ROM would focus on increased battery life and to do so might under-clock (reduce the speed of) your processor to make sure battery life is increased. If your usage demands better processing speeds then this might become very annoying for you. In such circumstances you might want to flash (install) a new ROM. This is possible only if your phone is rooted (since manufacturers have put restrictions so that you don't change your ROM. ROMs in general are of three different types-

a) FUTURE VERSIONS OF ANDROID: If you want an upgraded version of Android but don't want to wait for the manufacturer to release it or if your phone has not been listed to get an upgrade( even if your phone's hardware specs are capable of handling the new one) then this type of ROM is for you. Some experienced developers constantly develop such ROMs and release it which means a little bit Googling will get you what you want.

b) ROMs THAT ADD NEW FEATURES: Some ROMs might bring features which were not in your device before such as more customization abilities, etc. These features might not be major ones and you might find apps that would add such features but such ROMs have these features pre-installed and thus save you from a lot of hassle.

c) THAT FOCUS ON SPEED AND STABILITY: As mentioned above, certain ROMs can increase clocking speeds of your processor, or make your OS much more stable. They don't focus on adding features but their aim is to increase performance and stability. Note that though man ROMs say that increase speed and stability but the ROMs that are specifically built for the purpose do so. Also such ROMs can get rid of unwanted apps installed by manufacturer or your network carrier.

2) INSTALL CUSTOM THEMES: If you want to change the appearance of graphics that appear on your device but don't want to change your ROM than custom themes are what you need. Note that they custom themes mentioned here are much different from the themes which you usually can download from the Google place or other sites because they not only change the looks of your device but also enable you to further customize every aspect yourselves.


3) ABILITY TO INSTALL NEW KERNELS: Kernels are layers of code that handle the communication between the Firmware and Hardware of your device. Kernels don't usually bring visually noticeable changes but can help increase your battery life or enhance the performance of devices.


4) ABILITY TO COMPLETELY BACKUP YOUR DEVICE: Android phones have some in-built back-up features but they have found to be of no use in certain circumstances. For example, they may back-up your settings and configurations but cannot create a system restore point( just like windows does so that if anything goes wrong you can revert back your device to previous restore point. For some reasons, there aren't any app that do so without rooting your device. If you want peace of mind and want to have back-up of all your precious files then you have to root your device whether you want it or not.


OK SO WHAT'S THE CATCH? WHAT ARE DISADVANTAGES: As you know nothing in the world is perfect and there are certain issues with which you have to deal with if you decide to root. Firstly, if you don't follow rooting processes properly( which can happen) then you might completely brick your device. What must also be noted that even though Rooting is completely LEGAL you still lose your warranty if you root your phone so if anything goes wrong then you are on your own unless you unroot your device ( yes you can). For this it is necessary that you always backup our existing ROM if you decide to flash a new ROM and back-up everything before you proceed with rooting (REMINDER: ROOTING DELETES EVERYTHING SO YOU SHOULD BACK-UP).
           
Also, there is a tremendous amount of security threat once you root your device because there won't be anything that would block malicious softwares and malwares contained in dangerous apps so you have to be extra-cautioned. Apart from these, rooting might block OTA updates released by Google to reach your device because of which you have to unroot. A very rare situation is experienced when you root your phone properly but the phone keeps on booting and switches off for what seems like infinity (This can continue to happen for lifetime.)

OK, I STILL WANT TO ROOT. HOW CAN I? YOU can find many useful and easy to use rooting apps in the android market itself. Keep this in mind that not every method can be used to root every device so you might have to search for a method that works for your your specific device on Google.

Have you ever rooted your Android device? Will you prefer rooting your device considering the disadvantages? Comment and let us know.

[Image credits:dotech.org, smsbackupandrid.com, software2tech.com, 1800pocketpc.com, Ubergizmo.com, Pcworld.com] 
       




2 comments:

  1. i want to know more about how to root any android device what are its disadvantages. i have samsung galaxy s ii and want it to update to Android Jelly Bean. is warranty of device is lost after rooting it?

    ReplyDelete
  2. You would be happy to know that Samsung Galaxy S2 is going to get the official Jelly bean update soon.So you don't need to root the phone for that purpose.
    Read the disadvantages paragraph above to get the answer to question no.2
    Every android device has a different rooting method so,only googling for specific device will help you in rooting a particular device.

    Hope you got all your answers.

    ReplyDelete