Many Tablet or Android users are quite satisfied with the performance of this operating system.
However, it is hard to satisfy human wants and need (including me, because I’m still human too :)), after a while using Android phone, many were found some of feature that Android can’t provide or they just want to maximize the phone or tablet performance.
Therefore, Android user start to looking information how to unlock all the Android potential and after some time searching, they found “root” term. But what is Root Android? Is it necessary to root Android phone? What are the pros and cons? Don’t worry; I will explain it to you in easy way.
Definition of Root Android
Android root function is to give full rights to Android users to access the Android system. By doing root, user can add, delete, or modify files or data that is located on the Android system which when in the default state (not root) the files are not accessible.
If analogous to the Windows computer operating system, it is almost same like giving administrator privilege to the user. And not just the user, it also gives “administrator privilege” to some applications that need to access file system. By rooting Android phone, it will not directly increase performance or capabilities of Android phones. It is only “unlock the door” for you to develop this operating system.
Why Android operating system developers do not give root access from the beginning?
The main reason is to protect the operating system from damage. If the user inadvertently or intentionally modify or delete one or more system files, it can cause instability on the whole Android system. The effect is the phone become slower, some feature is not accessible and the worst, it can cause brick or you can’t turn on the phone.
Is It Safe To Root Android Phone Or Tablet?
In most case, it is safe enough to root your Android phone. It won’t make your phone brick or dead. What you do next (after root) is the one that can cause problem. However you should follow the procedure correctly because it still has some risk. If you can’t take the risk, or you don’t have time to fix the phone in case some problem appears, DON’T DO IT!
Root Android Disadvantages
Disadvantages #1: It may void the warranty
Why rooting Android can void the warranty? Well, even though is not a same thing, but rooting Android is almost like the warranty seal. For example, most of electronic device have warranty seal, if you open the case when the device is not broken (maybe you just curious :)), you will break the warranty seal. By opening the device case won’t make the device malfunction or damage right? But it will absolutely void the warranty.
Same as rooting Android, if some of your phone hardware is damage, for example the camera is not working, and you bring your phone to the service center with rooted condition, there might a chance that the service center will decline your claim. They say it’s because you root the phone, even though that is not the cause.
However, if you want to root your phone, you don’t have to worry too much. Because not like warranty seal, you can make the Android back to the state where it is not rooted. The process name is unrooting Android. So, if you unroot and factory reset your phone, it will activate the warranty again.
Root Android Disadvantages #2: Security issues
This topic actually is still debated. It is said that by doing Root, the malware applications such as viruses or Trojan can easily go into the file system and damage the system or steal user data.
However, although the Android phone is not rooted, if the application is dangerous, then it won’t make any difference whether you root the phone or not, even in some case, malicious application can automatically root the Android phone.
Advantages of Rooting Android
Advantages #1: User can install applications that require root access.
Some of applications need a root access in order to work properly. These apps usually have better and cooler feature than normal application. Here are some examples of Android application that need root access. Actually these applications are one of (often the main) reasons to root android:
- App2Card or Link2SD: This application will allow Android user to move ALL of their applications from internal memory to SD card. Note: Android Froyo 2.2 or above are already have feature to move application to SD card, however some of applications cannot move to SD card. App2Card or Link2SD can break that limitation.
- Titanium Backup: With this application, user can backup application + user data. Not just that, it also can freeze the application. Freeze Android application mean it makes the application always in off state hence it won’t use system resource such as RAM and processors. Freeze application is not uninstalling application. Every time user wants to use the freeze application, they can “defrost” it.
- Screenshot Application: This application allow user to take screen shots of their Android mobile phone screen.
- Wi-Fi tether: This application can make Android phones share Internet connection via Wi-Fi network. Note: this application is usually installed on Android phone that running Eclair (Android 2.1) or below, because on Android 2.2 Froyo this feature already become a standard.
- SD Booster: This application can make the read speed of SD card faster
- Some other apps
Advantages of Rooting Android # 2: Install latest or different Android Operating System
Note: In some type of Android phones, it doesn’t need to root the phone in order to install different Android OS, but most of Android phones need root access before the user can install different OS. By rooting your Android phone only will not automatically makes you able to install different Android operating system. There are still some other steps to take. But rooting Android is the first step to take.
Android operating system is often called ROM. By rooting your Android phone (and some other things to do) you can install different Android OS (ROM) than the one that came preinstalled on your phone. You might be ask, where do I get different or the latest ROM? Well, it’s from the internet of course. This condition can happen because in some case, other countries already receive latest Android OS while in your country is not yet available. For example, right now (July 2011) Samsung Galaxy Mini, Fit, Gio and Ace already have Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the user in Europe, while for the Asian user, they have to wait a little longer.
Therefore, if you currently in Asia and don’t want to wait longer to taste the Gingerbread, you can install Gingerbread update (Europe version) on your own. However, there are must be reasons why the official vendor not give the update on your country yet. For example, the availability of your native language support, language keyboard support, some bug, etc.
If you want something different, you can install custom ROM. But, what is custom ROM? Custom ROM is a custom Android operating system that made not by the official phone vendor. These custom ROMs or custom Android OS are made by Android developer community. They made it because of several reasons. Some people made custom ROM because they want to add or remove some features that they consider necessary or not necessary, eliminate some OS bug, improve the performance, etc. Some other people made custom ROM to make their phone looks different, put some spice or simply because they can do that.
Benefits of Rooting Android #3: Maximize your phone performance
By rooting Android, you can do several things to maximize the phone performance or make your phone more reliable. For example, you can overclock your Android phone processor. Overclock means you make the processor work faster than their current state which can improve overall phone performance. However, overclock processor can shorten your processor life, use more battery, raise the phone heat and cause instability, so you must be careful to do this. In contrary, you can also downclock the processor speed; this will increase the battery life of your Android phone.
Overclock and downclock processor is just an example. You can do other things to make your phone perform better, more stable, have longer battery life, etc. It all starts by rooting your Android phone.
Many people ask me; do I need to root my phone? My answer is you don’t have to if you thing is not necessary. You don’t have to hear or care of what people says that tell you “if you not root your phone, then you are not the real Android user” It is true that rooting your phone will unlock more possibilities, but in the end, your phone or your tablet is just a tool. If you thing that tool is work perfectly, why fixing something that is not broken? But, the choices are yours 🙂