Why the heck should I Root my Android device?
I often get asked “Umar, what are the benefits of rooting and should I root my Android device or not?” The thing is that android is so powerful out of the box therefore, a lot of people believe that there is no benefit to rooting your Android phone. First of all, I would like to tell you a fact that the reason most people Jailbreak their iPhones or iPads is to get features that Android already has without the need of root. But you’d be surprised what you can do when you have root access.
So, what I’m going to try to do in this article is show you some features and useful applications that can only be access through rooted android devices and maybe I’ll be able to convince you to root your Android device right after reading this article. Although, I can sit here and go through so many great apps and features that will enhance your phone’s capabilities, let’s go over some of the best ones.
According to me, the biggest benefit of rooting is the ability to change out the stock ROM. So let’s say you have a phone that has not receive the latest Android update or if you’re an android enthusiast like me and I want to try something different, there are a lot of great developers out there that create various kinds of ROMs that will take Android to a whole new level. Let’s talk about the custom ROM called ‘Paranoid’ that I am currently running on my Nexus 5. It has a feature that I like called expanded desktop which hides the bottom soft keys. This feature allows me to see more on the screen and basically use up the whole screen, but the best part of it is that I can still use those soft keys by using gestures. The reason I like it the most is because when I play games on my Nexus 5 I won’t accidently press the back button and close the game. These features can’t be found on stock Android ROM which is why rooting your device will allow you to flash the custom ROMs of your own choice as there are tons of ROMs out there. This is one of the reasons why i was convinced to root my own device.
Franco.Kernel updater (root only app)
But even if you don’t want to take the plunge to change the ROM there are other amazing tools that can give your phone a boost in the performance. For example, this app called Franco.Kernel updater lets you replace the existing kernel on your device, but aside from that it also gives you control to tune your device. What I mean by that is some features would allow you to under-clock or over-clock your CPU (the ability to change the frequencies of the CPU). Let’s say your phone has processing power of 1.2 GHz, with this app you will be able to change this frequency to your needs by under-clocking in order to save battery or over-clocking to boost performance. There are tons of other features included in this app that you have to check out on your own.
Titanium Backup (root only app)
Another application I want to talk about is Titanium Backup (You can’t use it if your phone is rooted). First, let me tell you that I have rooted my device (obviously) and that’s why I am trying to convince you through this article to root your device too. I’d almost say that this app alone is worth rooting your smartphone and the reason why I’m saying this is because this app allows you to not only backup your applications but also system files and data; so, say if you decided to buy a new tablet or a phone, Titanium Backup would let you easily restore all your data. Apparently, when you buy a new device, google will also download all of the apps that you had before but it doesn’t save any data, so let’s say that you have unlocked a lot of perks in Temple Run 2 on your old phone, you would have to start all over on your new device, whereas Titanium Backup will save all that data within a certain app or game so that you don’t have to re-play all those Angry Bird levels.
Titanium Backup also offers some other cool features. For example, it has the ability to remove system files, so if your phone came with bloat-ware, you can easily remove those annoying apps. You can also freeze an app which basically means that the app is still installed on the device but android won’t run it. Titanium Backup is full of features and I can write a whole article on it. So, make sure to check this app out if your phone is already rooted, if not then what are you waiting for!
WiFi Tether Router (app)
This application gives you the ability to wirelessly tether. With this you can share your internet connection from your phone to other WiFi capable devices. We all know that in order to use your phone as a hotspot device we have to pay extra cash to our carrier; but, with this app you don’t have to worry about that. WiFi Tether can be very useful when traveling and want to use your tablet or laptop. You can easily use your phone’s internet connection on your laptop or tablet. Personally, I often use it to give my Surface Pro tablet internet while I’m on the train to college. Well, this is a great app that only rooted users can access.
Ad Free (root only app)
Another great app to consider when you are rooted is Ad Free. This will block all ads from different apps web sites that display ads. For example, if you use the Speed Test app you may have noticed that it displays annoying ads at the bottom. With Ad Free installed on your rooted phone you would no longer see those pesky ads. Also, website ads and even YouTube ads can be avoided with this amazing app. Therefore, this is another reason why you should root your android device.
[NOTE: Ad Free has been removed from Google Play Store, so you can download it for free from here: Download Ad Free]
Tasker is so far my favorite app and this article won’t allow me to explain what is does. And, you have to check that out on your own. Although, this app can be used without rooting but, it would give you incredible extended features with root. Basically, through Tasker you can make your Android smartphone do whatever you want, whenever you want, and wherever you want! Well, in short you can automate your phone with this great app. Even if you are not rooted go try this app and trust me you will be convinced to use those extended rooted features.
The Process of Rooting
Rooting your device can sometimes become a painful process but in some cases as easy as a click. If you’re ready to take the plunge I highly recommend you check out the XDA developer forums on XDA developers’ website, www.xda-developers.com and search for your device, and if anything problems occur there are a lot of people there to help you out. Just don’t be afraid to root your phone.
There are so many other things that I wanted to cover and there are tons of other great root-only apps that I wanted to share but it’s impossible to do it in a single article. Maybe, in the future I’d do other article. Till then, what I would recommend you is to go ahead and root your device to take full benefit to it and play around with the features and test different custom ROMs and apps.