Should you root your smartphone? Benefits and Risks

You may, or may not have heard of the term Jailbreaking for iOS. Rooting is much the same, except for the fact that Apple expressly forbids you from tinkering with your iPhone software. The Android robot, being the kind, open-source soul that it is, suffers from no such inconveniences.

You see, when you buy an Android phone, you are the FULL owner of the phone, and you should be able to do whatever you please with it. Yes, that includes feeding it to the crocodiles. (Don’t sue me if you lose an arm in the process!)

“But why should I spend time and effort getting admin access on my phone? Will it automatically make breakfast for me every morning?”

It will do one step better than that. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, it will give a new lease of life to your ageing phone. Simple root access will let you remove all bloatware that comes with your phone by default and hogs up precious memory and space.

Don’t listen to FM? No problem, uninstall it.
What’s that pesky news app that came with my phone doing there? Hold on, let me just nuke it.
Ditto for the default file explorer/browser/music player.

We probably are using a third-party app for these functions, downloaded from the Play Store, while the “uninstallable” (uh, did that sound correct?) stock app just sits there, gathering dust, and staring melancholically at us.

If you’re feeling adventurous, and want to replace your old OS with a swanky new one, there are custom ROM’s (that’s the term for custom Android OS’es) in all shapes, sizes and colours.

Benefits

Risks

A lot of manufacturers have recognized the huge potential for alternate aftermarket modifications to Android, and have started actively supporting the developer community. Steve Kondik, the creator of CyanogenMod, the most popular custom Android OS (over 3 million downloads), was hired by Samsung. Sony, including others, have a section on their website, which guides you through the steps needed for unlocking your bootloader.

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