What is “Rooting” of Android Devices? Why do people ROOT their devices?

Every user who buys an Android smartphone, at some point of time comes across the term “Rooting the phone”. It often can be confusing as to what exactly does “Rooting” mean. Rooting your device simply means that gaining SuperUser rights to your phone! Since, Android is based on a Linux base, the word root is derived from the Linux term “root user”. A Root user in Linux is equivalent to an Administrator on the Windows platform.

What happens when you ROOT your device?
It simply helps you gain administrative rights to your phone/device by which you can make some critical changes in your device.

SuperUser App

Rooting has a downside however; While Rooting your device, there is a very small chance that your device can get bricked. If the rooting process encounters an error it can damage the files in your ROM and hence your phone becomes unresponsive and doesn’t boot. In short it is a very expensive “brick”, thus comes the term Brick! However there is only a 1-in-1000 chance of your phone getting bricked and it can be avoided by following the Rooting instructions point to point.

“If rooting is so dangerous, why do people ROOT their phones?”, is what you must be thinking. The answer to it somewhat on the lines of “Why people drink when they know the hazards?” or “Why people race when they know it can be dangerous for their lives?”; because it is worth the risk! The advantages of rooting your device are simply mind-blowing! A few of these are listed below:

  1. Remove Bloat-ware: Once you ROOT your device you can remove all those useless apps that were pre-loaded in your phones by the manufacturer, which just slows down your system than actually doing what they are meant to do! These apps are integrated into your system and cannot be uninstalled by any normal process. However if your root you can uninstall them.
  2. Overclocking: OverClocking is one of the main reasons people root their phones. The CPU of your device is restricted to a maximum clocking frequency by the manufacturers for keeping a good balance between battery life and performance. However, who wouldn’t want a faster phone if he can? By overclocking your CPU you can run it at a higher clocking frequency than what is recommended by the manufacturer. However, its a trade off between battery life and performance to which you have to strike off a perfect balance according to your need.
  3. RAM Mangers/Scripts: Another way to make your phone faster is by using different available scripts which manage your RAM settings efficiently. Or using RAM Manager Apps to optimize your RAM and avoid unnecessary killing of apps.
  4. Flashing Custom ROMs: Out of all the listed reasons this is the most important reason to Root your device.

    What is a Custom ROM? A Custom ROM is nothing but a customized firmware. Since the firmware is stored in the ROM of your phone it is abbreviated as a custom ROM. Custom ROMs are made by independent developers of the community. There are 3 types of custom ROMs available: AOSP-based, CM-based and Stock ROM based. AOSP is abbreviation for “Android Open Source Project”. AOSP based ROMs are developed on the lines of the source code of Android released by Google.
    CyanogenMod
    CM-Based ROMs are based on a very popular custom ROM developing team’s ROM called the “CyanogenMod”.

    The Stock ROM based ROMs are based on the stock firmware of that device. By flashing a new ROM you can get update to a newer version of Android which may not be available in your stock firmware. Also, there are in general performance increments in Custom ROMs as compared to Stock ROMs as they do not contain any bloatware.

  5. Flashing a Custom Recovery: Recovery Mode in a phone is from where you can backup the entire system of your phone and/or restore it. You can flash various apps/effects/mods into your phone using the Recovery Mode. The Recovery mode is used to recover your phone if it stops functioning normally or becomes unresponsive.
    ClockworkMod Recovery
    The most popular custom recovery being the ClockworkMod recovery.

These reasons are more-than-enough for anyone to ROOT their device. So, head out and tap into the full potential of your Android devices by rooting them!