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October 14, 2016
To root or not to root your Android device
October 14, 2016
So here we are, close to Android 7, or N (for Nougat)'s release. The biggest mobile platform in the world (1.4+ billion users) with Google's new mobile operating system.First of all, let me clarify something: this will not be a how-to guide, I won't try to convince anyone to root or not to root their device, nor I will post some links to play around. Just want to explain (I didn't find a similar post in here), in case there are doubts about this process; what can be done and what cannot.Rooting and Android device means giving Administrator privileges (Windows users will be find it familiar), sudo access (Linux, MacOS users) to an app, to yourself and to basically everyone and anything else out there (more on that later). You will tell me, "oh, I'm fine, only do social media, read emails, follow my artist's Twitter, take pics of my cat, etc.". That's just fine, but, you can add lots of pretty and functional stuff to your device? Of course, rooting is not for everyone. However, most of the time, the so-called power users will find these a nice to have.Let's think about in Ubuntu for a moment (in case you have used it before); it won't give you a root account by default, but instead, a User one. You can install stuff and change settings as well as other functions. But you cannot modify system files or execute certain commands (unless you sudo them).Another example, but rather inaccurate, will be a User account in Windows (most enterprise environments work this way); you can't install or uninstall software, cannot add or remove devices, only execute the programs that you have installed and yes, play music, browse the internet, download stuff, do social media, etc.It is the same in Android. You can install apps, browse the internet, take selfies, stalk on Facebook, play Pokémon Go, etc. What you can't do is: uninstall preloaded/system apps, access/modify system files or settings, hibernate apps,So here's what I use root for in my personal Android phone:
- Back up my apps with all its settings once in a while, then store them on my Dropbox, just in case something goes wrong.
- Setup to dim my screen's blue tones at 11:00 PM, so if I'm still using my device in the dark, I won't damage my sight and all that stuff that's been posted about this..
- Calibrate my battery once in a while so it won't die on me at 15% (I know, but phone does that from time to time).
- Pimp out my phone, both for aesthetics and functionality/security, like adding a power menu for rebooting, shutting down, reboot straight to recovery and or to bootloader, disable phone's power button when locked, added multi volume for media/alarms/ringtone, add RAM usage to recent tasks button, and a long etcetera.