1. Download our Official Android App: Forums for Android!

Root root phone?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by R Deep Singh, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. R Deep Singh

    R Deep Singh Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    38
    Posts:
    122
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011

    Mar 28, 2011
    122
    12
    38
    Sorry for the dumb question guys but I'm not that good with smart phones...
    WHat does it mean to "root your phone"? And how do u do this? what are the benefits?
     

    Advertisement

  2. Steven58

    Steven58 Reformed PH
    Rank:
     #3
    Points:
    3,933
    Posts:
    32,986
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010

    Feb 19, 2010
    32,986
    25,407
    3,933
    Male
    People say there are always two classes of technology users; those who take and use technology the way it is brought to them, no questions or complaints, while others who want to indulge deep into the very essence of what’s being offered, and want to empower themselves with everything to take the maximum out of that technology. This rule of thumb holds true for mobile phones as well. The power user crowd has always been different from the average.


    If you want to skip the details and get straight to the rooting process, feel free to head over to our guide on how to root your Android phone or tablet device.

    Back from the old Windows Mobile ROM cooking days, people have been questioning limitations of every device and finding workarounds. When iPhone was launched back in 2007, the power user (a.k.a hackers and geeks) side of the users quickly realized the true potential the device held, and the cruel software limitations that Apple had sealed it with. What became ‘Jailbreaking’ on iPhone was quickly translated to other platforms as well, and when the world saw the first Android back in 2008, the same concept got adapted there too.



    Android, despite being open source, still did not give a user complete control over the device. This laid basis for many potential abilities remaining dormant, and subsequently Android devices began to get ‘rooted’. Now this begets the question, why root? With so many Android-based handsets out there now, this question has become even more important.

    Rooting essentially means gaining root-level access to your device. Those who have used Linux OS will easily understand, but for users like me who have been loyal to Microsoft’s operating system all their lives, this means that by rooting your device you get complete control over what should remain in the device and what not. Rooting means you are the master and in control, not to mention the fun of it.

    Hence, here’s a list of my top 10 reasons (in no particular order) that I consider worthy of rooting your device for.

    Performance Update
    There are just too many flavors of Android in the market, with every OEM or carrier adding their own personalization and customization to devices. While they may appeal to some, they do not let the device take full advantage of what the hardware is capable of. With root access, you can actually tweak the OS to behave entirely differently, and with infamous developers like Cyanogen working on custom ROMs and mods, people have actually reported performance boosts. Take the G1 for example. The device never got 2.1 officially, but thanks to Cyanogonmod G1 owners can not only the tastiness of Eclair but also report much better performance than the stock ROMs.

    Hardware/Software Interaction
    Most Android devices come with hardware that is fairly heavily capable, yet the OS limits them and becomes the bottleneck. By rooting, you actually remove the bottleneck and hence can take full advantage of your beloved Android. For example, overclocking a device’s CPU is fairly simple and rather safe thanks to many third-party apps, yet the OS does not allow it natively, and hence overclocking can only be done with a rooted phone. Or suppose you want to use your mobile’s LED as flashlight (HTC Desire, anyone?) but cannot because HTC won’t allow it? Rooting will allow you to bypass this limitation!



    APPS2Sd
    One of the most talked-about feature (or disadvantage) of any Android device is the limitation where you can install applications only in the phone’s internal memory and not the SD card. While Google may reason that SD cards are slower in general and cannot run apps as effectively as internal memory, fact of the matter is that most Android devices do not come with massive internal storage spaces, and hence greatly limit the number of applications that can be installed at a time. With rooted devices, you can use Apps2SD, which will copy ALL your applications to a ext2/3/4 formatted SD card an will also store future builds in card. Freedom to choose!

    Unavailable Features
    When Google brought forth the Nexus One, one of the aesthetically pleasing features was Live Wallpapers. Unfortunately, most of the Android phones vary so greatly, that despite the hardware being compatible with Live Wallpapers, the software won’t allow them to run. My Samsung Galaxy Spica is a perfect example. The handset’s hardware can easily handle Live Wallpapers, yet Samsung chose to exclude it. Thanks to rooting, you can have them on your device as long as hardware allows.



    EXTRA APPLICATIONS
    Folks at XDA-Developers have created a wonderful application, SetCPU, which allows easy overclocking of various Android CPUs. However, due to the permissions required for such level of operation, a superuser access is necessary, and that can come only from a root access. This is just one example. The internet is flooded with many such applications that remain useless unless you have rooted your phone.

    Multitouch
    If you have ever typed on an iPhone, you would always remember the smooth, fast typing action that you achieve on that amazing keyboard. Or if you can recall that pinch-zoom actions. These are the products of a multitouch screen.

    While most Androids can deal with multitouch, various manufacturers have decided to omit it in their devices. This is not always because the hardware is incapable, but because the software does not let it happen. This becomes even more irritating when you see that HTC Hero had multitouch input support back from the Android 1.6 days, but more modern more powerful 2.1 devices never got it (again, my Spica).

    Thanks to rooting, it has become possible to get multitouch input in various devices, most notably the G1.

    WIFI AND Bluetooth Tethering
    After having rooted your device, you can also use WiFi or Bluetooth tether to share your cellular data connection with your laptop or PC. The application works with ad hoc connections and will get you up and running online on your laptop in no time. Similarly, tethering can also be achieved over a Bluetooth connection. You may check out the app in question here, but remember, rooted-phones only!



    Better Keyboard
    I have expressed before and I will say again; I do not dislike the Android keyboard. However, it just isn’t enough. HTC, with their SenseUI, brought to their devices the revered HTC IME keyboard which had predictive text input, and made typing a breeze. Since it was an HTC only keyboard, people with phones from other manufacturers were left blindfolded. Again, the root-developer community ported the keyboard for all platforms, making possible for all rooted phones to take advantage of the better input method.

    APPS From Other Builds
    Almost every build of Android OS differs from others when it comes to default apps. G1 hasn’t got the same stuff as myTouch 3G; Nexus One differs from HTC Desire. What’s more, these applications from one build cannot be ported to another. Hence you are stuck in more than one ways. However, with custom ROMs, the developers usually gather the best of the lot in one complete package, that would leave a user satisfied, not craving. And to get these custom ROMs running on your phone, you need root.

    Because You Can!
    I am serious, I consider this a reason. You have a powerful, capable device that you have paid for. You should have the right to modify or change it in any way you like. The device is your property, and you would naturally want to see it working at its maximum potential. Hence the point of rooting.

    With the latest Froyo announcement at Google’s 2010 I/O conference, most of these reasons may become useless. But Froyo will not be pushed for all devices, at least not immediately. While it will aim to reduce the fragmentation in Android division, until it happens, a rooted device is the only option you have.

    Last, please do remember that rooting voids your warranty. Although you can always go back to a stock version of the OS, it is risky business, hence proceed with caution.

    Start rooting

    Now that you have learned all about what rooting is and why you should root your phone, head over to our guide on how to root your Android phone or tablet device and start rooting!
     
  3. Inmatxu

    Inmatxu Newbie
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    15
    Posts:
    21
    Joined:
    May 31, 2011

    May 31, 2011
    21
    0
    15
    LiveAndLearn
    London
    but Froyo is history now, Gingerbread is rolling out is not it? I am running Gingerbread.

    If your reasons are useless, as you said, with Froyo then with Gingerbread will be even more useless?
     
  4. sandeep89

    sandeep89 Member
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    16
    Posts:
    54
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011

    Feb 6, 2011
    54
    4
    16
    this isnt the case. many devices are not being allowed gingerbread, even the same device across networks. also, manufacturer branded firmware has its limitations - custom firmware generally has better features, even small things you wish the manufacturer had thought of.
    an example of this is my desire hd - i had gingerbread on vodafone but many are still waiting for it. htc has a quick settings bar but they only put a couple of things on there, like wifi, bluetooth, mobile data and airplane mode. my custom rom (leedroid) has a quick setting for silent mode, vibration mode, a slider for brightness (which i love) as well as all of the other things htc thought of. it is also overclocked (which is a big no-no for manufacturer branded roms) and has a better battery life. it also has access to apps you cant use without rooting.

    in my eyes there is simply no comparison - if you have the hardware to handle high-end roms, you dont have to wait for your manufacturer to say its ok to have their version of the lastest technology available. developers work very hard to make it available to everyone extremely quickly.
     
  5. RisingMoon

    RisingMoon Member
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    36
    Posts:
    54
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011

    Jun 23, 2011
    54
    7
    36
    Wasteland Wanderer/Prospector
    New Vegas
    I'm not sure if i'm missing something here. My DHD can do many of the things you give as a reason for rooting. I think the CPU performs well enough to run the programs I use, so if it's not broken, why should I fix it? I can use the double LED camera flash as a flashlight, it has multi touch capabilities, I have USB tethering, swype's keyboard... Would rooting this phone give me any true satisfaction more than I have now? The only satisfaction I can think of is removing the tweeter app (and a few others) that are locked into my phone...

    The fact that my warranty would be void should I root my phone un-nerves me as well.
     
  6. D-U-R-X

    D-U-R-X turbo drinker
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    1,343
    Posts:
    16,881
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011

    Apr 20, 2011
    16,881
    7,194
    1,343
    Work to live, not the other way round!!
    Sheffield, South Yorkshire
    I understand that you may be worried about voiding warrantee, which is understandable but, if you read Steve58's reply carefully, you'll see that he gives all reasons for rooting.

    Yes, your non-rooted DHD does have some pretty amazing capabilities but, by rooting, you open up a whole lot more possibilities:

    I can confirm that, having rooted and been running CyanogenMod 7 for a couple of months, it is a lot slicker than the stock offering... amongst other things, allowing me to overclock and thus the phone runs faster:

     
  7. RisingMoon

    RisingMoon Member
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    36
    Posts:
    54
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011

    Jun 23, 2011
    54
    7
    36
    Wasteland Wanderer/Prospector
    New Vegas
    Thank you for your reply. I'm becoming more and more tempted with each passing moment. But I'm hearing so many things about different ROM's etc... I have no idea where to start or what my desired goal would be... Research is needed.

    Also, I never read into tonality on forums etc... It's just impossible to convey, so don't worry, I didn't think your message sounded harsh at all. I'm worried now that mine do though!

    EDIT

    Ok I'm not sure now, I've been browsing through the custom roms and all I see are homescreens that look 'slightly' different to the stock one and leaked versions of gingerbread...

    If I root my phone just to overclock the CPU the only thing I expect to experience is a decrease in battery life... My phone runs all of the 'few' apps that I use, lag free (with debugging on).

    As for bluetooth/WIFI tethering, I have to carry my USB cable around with me anywhere I go anyway in case the battery dies, so it wouldn't make things much easier tethering without the cable.

    Sorry if I sound like a wining b***h I just can't see any black and white benefits to root the phone...

    Again, more research.

    PPS EDIT

    Ok I've just looked in my running apps and there is a phenomenal amount of crap there that I don't use (such as weather, calendar storage, maps, locations etc...)

    I'm guessing this is the bloatware that people have been talking about and can only be removed if I root the device...

    Getting Closer

    (Sorry for keep editing but I figure my journey might be helpful to others)
     
  8. D-U-R-X

    D-U-R-X turbo drinker
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    1,343
    Posts:
    16,881
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011

    Apr 20, 2011
    16,881
    7,194
    1,343
    Work to live, not the other way round!!
    Sheffield, South Yorkshire
    Hi again RisingMoon! Don't worry about how your post sounds... I don't think they read like that... you don't sound like a whining B***H either!

    Bloatware that people talk about is usually if you have a carrier branded phone (mine is from Orange UK and had a load of Orange apps - game demos and stuff like sound hound) - it is worth noting that bloatware cannot generally be removed as normal apps can, which is one of the reasons I rooted my phone!

    I'm pretty sure you can remove calendar storage/maps/locations though (not 100% sure, as some of it may be HTC specific stuff).

    If you want to have a look at full info on how to root a DHD, see this thread:

    http://androidforums.com/desire-hd-all-things-root/354749-how-root-install-custom-rom-desire-hd.html

    EL P has put all links, etc that are needed to do the process... if you do go for it, then read, read and re-read... better to be prepared. Think it took me a month to build up the courrage, but I haven't looked back!

    Custom ROM's are the best... the link above is the best starting point though!! :D
     
    RisingMoon likes this.
  9. D-U-R-X

    D-U-R-X turbo drinker
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    1,343
    Posts:
    16,881
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011

    Apr 20, 2011
    16,881
    7,194
    1,343
    Work to live, not the other way round!!
    Sheffield, South Yorkshire
    I guess it's also worth saying... I am on a 2 year contract (only 3 months in to it at the moment). Having rooted my phone, I can try different ROM's every now and then, thus making the 2 year contract a little more bearable... it's almost like having a new phone, as you get to play about with it again each time!! :D
     
  10. RisingMoon

    RisingMoon Member
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    36
    Posts:
    54
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011

    Jun 23, 2011
    54
    7
    36
    Wasteland Wanderer/Prospector
    New Vegas
    I'm also around 3 months into a 2 year contract. No chance of me getting out of it so I guess I may as well do what I please with the phone. How did you decide which ROM to start off with? I don't have a clue what the differences are between them or what they have to offer me!
     
  11. D-U-R-X

    D-U-R-X turbo drinker
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    1,343
    Posts:
    16,881
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011

    Apr 20, 2011
    16,881
    7,194
    1,343
    Work to live, not the other way round!!
    Sheffield, South Yorkshire
    Generally, there are Vanilla ROM's (which has a standard, out of the box feel to it)... these are like the ROM's on (amongst many others) the Nexus S... I've been on one of these, CyanogenMod 7 (CyanogenMod | Android Community Rom based on Gingerbread), for a couple of months and really like it... I have had no issues with it. I have read on here though that some people have had issues with a few force closes or WIFI problems, but then a lot of people have moaned about the official Gingerbread ROM and WIF (amongst other things)!

    There are also the Sense based ROM's... like, again amongst others, LeeDroid (LeeDrOiD HTC Desire ROMs Official Mini-Site!) that others have used... these look and feel like the stock HTC offerring... they usually have a few performance tweaks and have had bloatware rubbish removed from them.

    When you root, you usually (depending on the version of Android you are currently running) have to downgrade (as you are on Orange, you would probably need to create a goldcard, the same as I did) to a rootable version... the rootable version is a stock HTC version of Android... this got rid of ALL carrier branding and Orange bloatware apps. If you do not want to go the whole hog and root fully so you can install custom ROM's (if you're going this far though, you might as well), then you can (correct me if I'm wrong El P ;)) just flash the Stock HTC unbranded ROM on your phone - this would mean that you had an unbranded phone, with no Orange junk on it. In my mind though, you've done the hard part (downgraded)... you have voided your warrantee... you might as well go for it and root your phone!

    As I've said, it means that you can flash a different ROM every couple of months, so it's like having something to play with every couple of months!

    So far, I've only tried CM7, but my plan is to try a couple of different ROM's, giving them a couple of months each and then flash the best one for me back on to the phone!

    Also, once rooted, you can back your phone up completely and so, should anything go wrong during the flashing of any ROM's, you can restore to EXACTLY how it was before you tried to flash the new ROM. This actually happened to me a couple of nights ago, so I can't stress how important it is to do backups!

    Hope this info helps a little - certainly hope it's not confusing matters!

    I am, by no means, an expert at this... only rooted my phone a couple of months ago!

    Let me know if I can tell you anything else! :)

    EDIT - sorry... didn't realise that this post had turned in to War & Peace!!
     
  12. D-U-R-X

    D-U-R-X turbo drinker
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    1,343
    Posts:
    16,881
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011

    Apr 20, 2011
    16,881
    7,194
    1,343
    Work to live, not the other way round!!
    Sheffield, South Yorkshire
    Rather than edit my post above... I thought that it was worth mentioning that, as the custom ROM's are developed by smaller groups of people/individuals, they are generally updated a lot quicker than stock versions. The devs of these ROM's also tend to listen and fix bugs a little quicker, as they do not have all of the red tape that larger organisations have.

    A good example of this is Lee... the guy who brings you LeeDroid... he is like, by all accounts, a machine... he seems to bring out updates, fixes and improvements ALL the time (as many will testify)!
     

Share This Page

Loading...