Rooting an Android phone tends to be a difficult decision to make, since usually it is something that nullifies the phone’s warranty according to many manufacturers. This never happens in the European Union though; if the phone brakes, the company has to prove that it was due to the rooting. But, what benefits does rooting an Android have in 2018?
Rooting Android: absolute control of the phone in your hands
Rooting a phone means getting admin or superuser permits. Thanks to it, we can have complete control over the system and modify any aspect we want. Without a root, we can’t install apps that change things like the status bar and customize buttons such as GravityBox via Xposed Framework (a must if you are on the root team), or Titanium Backup to delete or copy any application (including the bloatware or the system apps we don’t want to use).
Regarding elements of customization, Android has been adding more functions that before were only available on root, such as showing the battery percentage, changing the order of the virtual buttons or changing the default theme of the phone. The root means being a step ahead of what Google offers currently.
In order to root a phone, you need to follow a series of steps, starting with unlocking the bootloader. Thanks to this, we can set a customized code on the phone. This is what usually nullifies the warranty of some brands and it is even possible that they refuse to fix the phone if they find the bootloader unlocked, although in some brands it can be locked back.
From now on, we can root our original ROM through ADB, install another ROM with modified stock with root from the computer or any other kind of ROM through a modified or customized recovery.
Modified recoveries are the most comfortable way to install ROMs. Since we can even make backup copies in case we don’t like the new one and restore it. For this, the most sensible thing to do is to install TWRP Recovery, the most extended and up to date custom recovery.
Reasons to root an Android phone
Everyone has its reasons to root a phone, but today, we will mention the ones we think are the most important:
- Compatibility with new apps, additional frameworks or functionalities from other apps. Examples: Titanium Backup, Xposed Framework (with infinite modules for everything, such as GravityBox or Greenify),etc
- Deleting pre-installed apps you don’t need (bloatware)
- Modify everything you want from the system: icons, bar, buttons, screen, etc. Add functions like network usage or changing the LED in each app one by one.
- Enhance the performance of the phone. When deleting bloatware, you gain RAM memory. You can also do overclock to enhance the speed or undervolt to gain in battery usage.
- Backup copies of your ROM and apps at any moment or state you want
Having said this, there are also reasons not to root your phone. There may be some functions you don’t need, although there sure are things in your phone you want to change and you will not be able to do this without a root. Moreover, you lose the OTA updates of your manufacturer, thou you can probably install the modified ROMs before the official OTAs arrive to your phone since they tend to get leaked. Finally, there is the fear of losing the warranty, although if your phone is more than two years old this doesn’t affect you.
Because of this and until all customization options from the root are available on Android Stock, it will still be useful and necessary to root current or future versions, like Android P.