We love Android for its versatility and customizability. It is the crowd favorite for being so intuitive, yet simple at its core. But, like always, there are some people who just aren’t happy with what they’re offered. They want to go a step further, ‘unlock’ new possibilities and explore the ‘roots’ of all things (noticed the wordplay?). Well for those of you who’re currently in a dilemma of whether or not you should do that little amount of work to root your Android smartphone, or tablet, here’s a little help.
In this article, we shall try to find you the pros and cons of rooting your device, and ultimately, hopefully, help you make a decision towards the end. Don’t worry you guys, your dilemma is valid because nowadays, a lot of tasks that were only possible with root can be done without having to root. But, like I said, ‘a lot’, not all. More confusions. Okay, let’s not build it up anymore, and let’s talk business.
Note that this article is not for ultra-professional rooters and modders, it’s for people who’re just getting into the world of rooting. We have a few reasons to root your phone, and then a few to not.
Here’s why you should:
1. Get rid of bloatware
Probably the ugliest part of the software that a device can have is bloat, which some manufacturers love to stuff in. Well, they have deals with these big app-makers, why shouldn’t they. But then again, at the end of the day, it’s your phone, so you should be the one to decide whether or not that useless junk of apps stays on your phone. Most of the bloat these days are integrated into the system itself, meaning they can’t be uninstalled like the apps you install from the Play Store. That is unless you root. Rooting gives you system level privileges that can be used to uninstall system apps as well, so, YOU=1, BLOAT=0.
2. Improve performance and battery life
Android has gotten pretty good over the years in performance, memory and battery optimization, but that doesn’t mean there’s no scope for further improvements. There is. Once you get root access, you can ramp up or reduce your CPU’s clock speed (if supported), kill all unnecessary background apps to free up memory and system resources, and also save some battery while you’re at it.
3. Automate everything
You might have heard about apps like Tasker and Macrodroid. If you haven’t, these are apps that can truly automate your phone, and not just the phone, these can automate your entire digital daily life. Well, you don’t absolutely have to have a rooted phone to make use of these apps, but some advanced (and awesome) automation tasks need root access. Things like automatically switching network type (LTE/3G/2G) do need root access due to Android’s security restrictions.
4. System level backups & restore
Ever wanted to shift to a new phone without needing to download those large apps & games and their data? Or, ever wondered if you could restore back to a point in time after you messed something on the phone? You can. Once you have root access, you can backup and restore just about anything on the phone with the help of apps like Titanium Backup.
5. Install mods and ‘incompatible’ apps
There are certain apps that you normally can’t get running, because of carrier or geo locks, or various other limitations. With root access though, you can get these things to work seamlessly. Then come modified apps and tweaks, those are only possible on rooted devices. Take, for example, the modified Google Camera (GCam) app. Though the app doesn’t require root to run, a feature that everyone loves these days, i.e., portrait mode, needs modified camera libs to be placed inside the system, which, of course, requires root access.
6. Get tweaks, modules & plugins
Once you get your phone rooted, there are literally thousands of super awesome things for your phone. Want to improve the phone’s audio quality? Cool, get Viper4Android, or Beats Audio. Want to change system font? Piece of cake. Want a certain feature that’s only available for a specific device? You got it. Apps like Magisk and Xposed are arguably the strongest reasons for rooting phones these days. These apps contain a plethora of 3rd party mods, tweaks, modules, plugins, and apps, that can massively change (improve) your phone. Heck, this point is so diverse, it needs separate articles for each of its contents. The bottom line is, you can get a lot of functionality, customizability, and improvements with the help of these things. How you ask? Well, check out our Guides section, there’s a lot of content for you! If you ask us, leave all other points, rooting your phone is entirely worth it just for these modules and tweaks alone.
7. Block intrusive ads, everywhere
Ever faced that situation where some websites open random popups and ads without your consent? Or an app throwing you ads on your face to the point that it irritates the hell out of you? Well, rooting gives you the pleasure of blocking ads system-wide, meaning, on the browser as well as in apps. The best part? They do it by modifying the system files, so there’s no VPN required, which ultimately means more free RAM & more battery standby. There are many ad-blockers available out there, and all of them do the job just fine, but here’s a list of the best ones we found around.
8. Theme like a boss
Yep, beautifying the phone’s software with themes can be done with root access. How? Substratum. Although it is possible to theme with Substratum without root, but that has some limitations. With substratum, you not only get to theme system apps, but also third-party ones, the way you want. Changing fonts, applying a total black, or white, or colorful theme, adding custom icons on the statusbar, cleaning up the lockscreen mess are just some of the theme options out of many others.
9. Super-secure your device
Rooting is often criticized for compromising device security, but apps like Cerberus use root to integrate themselves deeply with the system, making it difficult for a thief to get rid of the security. Also, there are some root-only permissions, like using GPS even when the phone is locked, that will come in handy when your phone is stolen/lost.
10. Because it is easy
Okay, back in the days, rooting was considered something that only knowledgeable people could do. Now, it is not. Just about anyone can root a phone these days, with the use of guides and tutorials available online. Heck, there are even one-click rooting solutions for many devices. Add to that, brands like OnePlus even respect the phone’s warranty, even after you root the device. It definitely is worth it, and it’s easy!
These are all the major reasons why you might want to root your phone. But, there also are some compromises that you might have to make if you go ahead. You should have a look on some of the reasons why you might not want to root your phone, before proceeding any further.