If you are a newbie in the world of Smartphones and tablets, you have probably come across some terminologies that have left you completely baffled. Well, you are not alone in this. Most Smartphone users (if not all) usually have a hard time comprehending the meaning of some commonly used terms. One of the common terminologies used by Smartphone geeks is ‘Rooting’. It will surprise you to know that rooting has another meaning other than the act of removing weeds from the garden. In the Smartphone world, rooting means the process that is undertaken in order for a Smartphone or tablet user to gain access to the administrative functions and commands of an operating system. In simple understandable terms, ‘Rooting’ is basically ‘hacking’ a device.
So, what does Android rooting mean and what does it do? Android rooting can be defined as the process of permitting those who use devices that run the Android mobile operating system to attain privilege control within Android’s subsystem. Once the user gains these privileges, he gains the ability to load custom software, install custom themes, enhance performance and also increase battery life. The user also gains the ability to install software that costs much less, i.e. Wi-Fi tethering. Rooting and Jailbreaking mean one and the same thing, only that jailbreaking is done to devices that run the iOS.
Before rooting your Android device, it is imperative for you to be aware of both the advantages and disadvantages that are associating with this practice. The following are some of them: –
Advantages of Android rooting: –
- Allows loading of custom software (ROMs)
ROM is basically the software that runs your device. It is usually stored in the Read Only Memory of a device. If you are stuck with an older Android device that runs an older version of the Android OS, you can root the device and get a chance to load a custom ROM. Custom ROMs are used to enhance a device’s look and performance. With a custom ROM, you can be in a position to load up the most current and greatest Android versions available, and bring your device in par with the newest ones on the market. You can take a look at the wide variety of custom ROMs that are made available for different devices and choose the one that best meets your needs.
- Allows installing of custom themes
Theses are generally the graphics that usually appear on devices. After rooting your device, you will gain the ability to fully customize all the themes on your device. By loading custom themes, you will totally transform both the look and feel of your Android device.
- Helps to enhance performance and increase battery life
There are numerous apps and custom ROMs available for rooted devices that enable users to drastically enhance the performance (speed) of their android devices. Once a user gains access to the administrative phone functions, it also becomes easier to freeze system processes that drain battery life. Unnecessary applications that suck up battery life are commonly referred to as ‘bloatware’. Rooting enables a user to get rid of such applications and boost the device’s performance and battery life.
- Allows updating of basebands
Android rooting gives users the ability to update basebands on their devices. A baseband is what controls the radio frequencies on a device. By updating to the most current basebands, you can significantly enhance both the quality and signal of your phone calls.
- Allows backing up of devices
One of the features that are sorely missed on the stock build of Android devices is the ability to easily backup all apps and Data. This problem is usually solved by rooting a device since it makes it easy for users to back up everything on their device including apps and data. apps such as My Backup Pro and Titanium Backup are some of the must-have apps that you can consider to backup and restore apps and data after rooting your device.
Disadvantages of Android Rooting
- Increased risk of installing malicious software
Even though it is not so common, rooting can increase the risk of unknowingly installing malicious software. Root access diverts the security restrictions that are set up by the Android OS. To counter this risk, it is safe for a user to install a Security App and an Anti-virus.
- It voids the manufacturer’s warranty
If you happen to screw up your device’s software such that it can’t function properly after rooting it, you will be forced to buy another device. This is because warranties are usually voided once a device is rooted, meaning that there is nothing that the manufacturer can do to get you out of your predicament.