57,200,000 hits in 0.17 seconds is what you get by searching 'Root your Android' keyword on Google. Tons of websites are offering rooting guides in detail for your specific phone model and developer hotbeds are getting queries upon queries from aspiring 'rooters' about how to root their specific device make. So what is making people go for rooting their stock Android despite knowing fully that it invalidates handset warranty and can turn their device into an expensive paperweight? We tried to delve deeper into the phenomenon.
What is rooting?
Rooting an Android device basically means gaining super-user access to the file system. Android OS is based on Linux and shares same file directory structure. The root folder in a Linux system holds files critical to system and any changes to these files may make the system unstable. Hence, access to this folder is blocked by default. While you can run any command as a root user by typing 'sudo su' into terminal on a PC, you can't run sudo command on your Android smartphone as it is locked by the device manufacturer. As a result, installing custom themes, fonts and applications that require super-user permissions is not possible until you root your smartphone.
Besides obvious benefits, rooting has its demerits too. Though the process itself is not illegal, rooting voids the warranty of your handset, which is major spoiler for many. Most of the droid owners try rooting only when the device warranty gets expired. However, hackers have made even this part easy as now there are tools available through which you can unroot your phone by flashing it with original ROM, resetting device’s default state, if any such need arises. And it is highly unlikely that the service center guys would ever come to know whether your device rooted or not.
Possibility of ruining your handset also runs high if you don't follow the instructions properly. There are numerous varieties of Android devices available in the market nowadays from an array of manufacturers. Each of them tops up the basic OS with their own user interface and goodies, making them somewhat different from each other. Hence, the method of rooting different devices is also differs. One wrong step and you can end up with a locked device, reviving which can prove to be quite a task. This is the reason why rooting is not for recommended for everybody.
Another concern is that your data security may also be compromised as malwares can take control of phone if you go on installing applications on a rooted device carelessly.
If you keep a busy schedule and don't have time to play with your device, then rooting is certainly not for you. Still, for the curious kind, who finds technical jargon alien but still want to taste some real freedom with their Android devices, some really cool rooting apps are available which make rooting as easy as counting 1 2 3.
All said, the benefits of a rooted handset still outweigh all possible hazards. Once rooted, you can turn your smartphone into a super-smartphone by unleashing its full potential. For starters, you can overclock your processor to make it faster, remove unwanted preinstalled apps, install custom ROMs (customised Android OSes), enhance battery life and signal strength, and of course install apps which require root access. Furthermore, you can also upgrade your device to latest Android version in case your device is not officially eligible for update. Though you can still use FOTA to get device updates in case you are not using a custom ROM, but you'll most likely lose root access, requiring you to root the device again. The re-root method may differ because of the possible security patches installed by update to thwart any rooting attempt and changed OS version.