The technology is advancing at a rapid pace and with that, the overall proportion of smartphone users to is increasing rapidly in which nonetheless Android smartphone users have the biggest say. Anybody who is using an Android smartphone these days has certainly read and heard about the term ‘Root‘.
This as a term had always been feared the most due to several reasons like unnecessary wastage of data and battery life ultimately resulting in giving the users an overall bad experience. Though, in reality, Rooting an Android smartphone is quite easy, but it does require a lot of reading with a handful of practical knowledge on the subject.
Before we continue in the lower levels of understanding the process of How to Root an Android smartphone? let’s just brief us with some of the basic terms and terminologies that define the basic structure of the topic:
- ROOT: ROOT is nothing, but another user commonly referred as Superuser. In general, Root is just a user, but it has right to do anything to any file any place in the system.
- BOOTLOADER: Boot Loader is the first thing that gets loaded on turning the device. It boots up the device hardware and other items into memory before the ROM actually starts in the device.
- KERNEL: In simpler terms. the basic role of KERNEL is to effectively manage the communication between hardware and software components present inside the device.
- BRICK: The act of breaking down the phone in a way that it only turns ON, but doesn’t boots up properly.
- CUSTOM RECOVERY: It is often used to boot either the stock Operating System or any particular custom OS. It sometimes is also used for installing software bypassing the OS completely.
- Nandroid Backup: It is the process of creating a system image of the device using the Custom Recovery such that it includes everything the way it is now existing on the user device.
Tip: Follow the link to understand the process of How to create a Nandroid Backup of your Android device.
What happens if you Root?
The sole benefit of Rooting the smartphone is that it allows the user obtain complete control of its handset further allowing him to add/remove anything and gain access to functions on the gadget that were out-of-bounds before.
Should One Root?
The answer to this question differs from user to user. Rooting is a personal choice and must be exercised with utmost precaution. It is the first step to device modification. Root access allows a user to install custom recoveries, and flash custom ROM, kernels etc alongside.
NOTE: Rooting the phone has its own set of advantages, however, it does void the warranty of the gadget, something which is not to the liking of everyone.
After-effects of Rooting
There is no doubt on the benefits of Rooting Android, however just like everything has a flip side, even Rooting has its own set of negative aspects that a user must keep in check before he/she begins the process cycle:
- It voids the warranty status of the device making it prone to security malfunctions and other similar changes.
- It adds additional responsibility on the shoulders of the user for the security and integrity of the operating system and each application which is installed on the device.
- If it’s done incorrectly, it would simply convert the Android device into a paperweight.
Prerequisites of Rooting
The process of Rooting isn’t that difficult as tech-geeks portray it. However, it just needs a little knowledge and some basic software’s to accomplish it in an orderly fashion.
- Boot-Loader Unlock: All the latest Android smartphones come with locked bootloaders, and hence it becomes vital for the user to first unlock it and then proceed further.
NOTE: The process of unlocking the bootloader is different for different smartphones, so it is advisable to follow the official vendor developer pages. Follow the links below to visit the official pages.
- Installation of Android SDK: The installation of Android SDK also comes as a basic requirement for Rooting the legacy devices. Check out the complete process of SDK installation on different OS platforms.
- Using Official Paid Apps: There is an endless list of apps that are actually paid apps but allow naive users to walk through the path of Rooting easily. Users are advised to check for compatibility first and try any other exploit in case one method fails.
- Framaroot: This is one of the most used paid apps and has been quite successful in rooting lot of Android smartphones. Check the compatibility list of devices for Framaroot.
- CF-Auto-Root: It’s created by Chainfire, and is designed exclusively for ‘root beginners’. It simply enables SuperSU on the device, so apps can gain root access and is compatible with stock Samsung firmware as well as Nexus devices.
- Towelroot: Though designed for certain Galaxy S5 variants, it still supports devices running unpatched kernels.
- Kingo Root: This exploit is mostly used by beginners and shows compatibility with devices from Android version 2.x to 5.0 and even for some Windows devices.
Familiar with the basic terms involved in Rooting? Let’s proceed on to the next section that answers HOW TO ROOT? The process differs as per the smartphone involved.
Before I divulge into details of How to root a Samsung smartphone, let’s understand what is KNOX.
KNOX: It’s a part of Samsung security feature that enables business and personal content to coexist on the same handset.
Most Samsung devices encounter issues due to the presence of KNOX on them, so it’s important to first disable it and then make use of ODIN program (a firmware flashing tool) to flash the device. In general, ODIN simply pushes ROM image file on the internal storage of the device replacing the pre-existing image files. To Root the device successfully, Windows OS user must have proper USB drivers installed on her/his system.
NOTE: As ODIN is to Windows, Heimdall is to Mac or Linux.
Rooting an HTC device involves unlocking of the bootloader. One can find more details by visiting the official HTC developer page. The user must register himself as an HTC Developer to proceed further. However, some users find unlocking of bootloader a tough task, so, they can also try rooting HTC through Android SDK.
Just like other vendors, even LG products have different ways to install files required for Rooting. Some devices need pushing of image files through a custom recovery. Some, on the other hand, prefer using special tricks to bypass the complex security.
Lenovo (Motorola) Devices
Lenovo recently became the rightful owner of Motorola. Rooting a Motorola gadget follows the same rule as mentioned in above two device categories. The users must follow instructions given on official developer website to avoid any kind of accident. The users can also make use of standard Android SDK tools to achieve ROOT on their Motorola devices.
Tip: The company never lists all products on its developer website. In that case, users can rely on applications like OneClickRoot or even MOFOROOT.
The Nexus devices are the best in Android smartphones industry. It is because Nexus smartphones are the first ones to get latest updates of Google.
- To root the Nexus successfully, a user must understand the process of installing and configuring Android SDK properly.
- The user can flash the Nexus stock images with extreme caution in case of any mishappening.
Google knows the importance of unlocking a bootloader. So, it provides step-wise instructions to install ROM images and videos on its support forums. The guides prove beneficial to any Nexus user who wants to step back in case something goes wrong.
Tip: A user must have a Nexus phone in case he/she is fond of tinkering with the Android software platform.
Finishing this post, I would just say – learning the art of Rooting an Android smartphone isn’t that tough. It just needs practice and more of practical implementation. Keeping a backup handy helps just in case something goes wrong with your device.
Visit this simple guide to know more about the process to Root Android. I am sure it would enlighten you more on the topic.
I hope even this guide proves useful for you. Comments and suggestions are as always welcome. . .