- Oct 6, 2011
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Way back in the beginning of Android there was a very strong Root community. In those days root was necessary to do the essentials like overclocking your cpu to rid your device of lag, unlocking free wifi tethering, or even just applying a simple theme. Today there is no longer a need for root in many of these cases. Today's phones are powerful enough to not need overclocking, tethering is included in most data packages, and OEMs like Samsung and HTC have begun to include their very own theme engines. There are still valid reasons to root your Android device, but these days those reasons are more for the tinkerers. If you want to customize your skin you need a root enabled app like Xposed framework. If you wan't a full backup including app data a root app like Titanium backup is useful.
While root may be useful it can also cause some annoyances. If you are rooted you won't be able to utilize some device features. One thing stopping me from rooting my Galaxy S7 Edge is so that I can continue to use Samsung Pay. When rooted you are not able to install official OTA updates. You often have to flash back to stock prior to receiving the update.
Still some choose to root their handsets just to stick it to the man. They are of the mindset that they should have full superuser access to a device they have paid for. You can run whatever software you want on your PC so why not on your Android? Then there are those that would like to root, but rooting has become quite the pain in the neck. Back in the day you could download an app from the Play Store like "Z4 root". The app would have a button to click and about 30 seconds later your device was rooted. These days it is much more complicated. Most root methods are specific to a single device. There aren't many one size fits all roots these days. Some devices are locked down so tight that the dev community could spend months finding a root method. When they finally do much of the community has moved on to another device.
I ran a twitter poll yesterday asking the question, "Do you still root your Android phone?". Out of about 600 participants 62% said that No they do not root their phone. Mostly they stated that Android comes stock with the features they need and there is no point. Only 38% of the participants said they do still root, but this bunch was far more likely to give a reason why. Mostly they stated backups, kernels, general customizations, xposed, removal of bloatware, and AdAway as the reasons they continue to root. Where do you stand? Are you still rooting your Android? If so why? If not why not?