To Root, Or Not To Root, That Is The Question!

The arguments for or against  hacking your mobile device to gain elevated access have been raging on for a decade or so now. Things probably became more heated up with the advent of the Apple IOS and, especially, the Android platforms where most consider rooting your android device as unsafe and unnecessary. I think it is time we put a lid on things as it is beginning to get pretty boring (yawn).

The facts are very clear. The decision to root your decision or not boils down to one single thing – YOU!

Many are content with the stock ROM that came with their devices and absolutely see no reason to change anything. It’s all good. Also, chances are that there are even more people out there that do not even know what rooting/jailbreaking is all about.

However, for the few that feel the need to push their devices to the limit, demanding from their devices its God (or is it Man’s) given capability, with the need to circumvent the manufacturer’s commercially motivated restrictions, there is only one option – ROOT!

I consider myself a Power User and I have been that way for close to a decade now. Right from the early days of the Symbian platform in Nigeria, Windows Mobile and lately, Apple IOS, I have fully familiarized myself with the very simple process of gaining elevated access to these platforms and I fully understand the risks and the advantages it confers.

In simple terms, i do liken rooting of a mobile device to gaining administrator access to a PC, it has it’s risks and advantages. You may read more about that here.

Apart from my compulsive desire to fully own what I broke my piggy bank to pay for (Paid almost $500 for my Toshiba Thrive. I live in a Third World country, Nigeria. We live on less than a dollar a day!), the perpetual habit of manufacturers to stuff unnecessary and very irritating bundled apps with our device makes rooting a very attractive option because it is only via rooting that you can uninstall them, recovering your valuable internal storage.

Take for example the trial version of Kaspersky that is being bundled with the Toshiba Thrive. I do not wish to pay for it but, unfortunately, installing another antivirus to the tablet may cause a software conflict. So root, i did.

And talking about alternatives to apps that require root, let us not kid ourselves, they can not just do the job as well.

For example, there are a myriad of apps for use in backing up your app installation files. In fact, it is even possible to do this with the aid of just a file explorer. But the thing is, all you get done is backing up just the installation file (.apk) because you need to root your device to be able to save your app data and settings.

Rooting is not for everyone and i fully understand the reason why most may not find this option attractive – the fear of bricking your device. Only God knows how many days you had to go without your dollar a day ration to save up to buy your device.

Let’s leave it to the real men to deal with.

I rest my case.

7 Comments

  1. Hmmm… Well Said, Wale. You make Rooting and Jailbreaking appear very compelling. And I must say, that you’ve got me considering them again.

    The Real fear is Bricking your 500+ dollar toy. I couldn’t forgive myself if me did it! However, that point about spending so much money while living on a 1 dollar a day in a resource impoverished country is something me need to take home.

    I’d introspectively, and carefully consider rooting/Jailbreaking my next device. I’m also really delighted, reading an inter-blog argument. It puts things into perspective, and also makes you to refresh your mind on different sides of affair. Thanks.

    Just wondering what EBK would love to say about this though!

    • Wale Falade says:

      The thing is, i root because i feel the need to and i do not dabble into it unless i am very sure of the process and understand the risk. Most times i read through the entire posts on the particular subject in my forum of interest.

      You will be surprised that rooting a stock Android Honeycomb on a Toshiba Thrive takes about 2 minutes or thereabout. That simple.

  2. Noni says:

    You’ve made a very clear and coherent argument for rooting. And my thinking is similar – if I need to do certain things on my device that exploring apps can’t help with, then rooting becomes a real alternative.

    So long as people understand the risks and vulnerabilities, the choice is theirs alone.

  3. eye.bee.kay says:

    ///
    Let’s leave it to the real men
    to deal with.
    ///

    Yes o!

    let the chicken_hearted ones, like me, leave that to the MEN o..

  4. eye.bee.kay says:

    ///
    if I need to do
    certain things on my
    device that exploring apps
    can’t help with, then
    rooting becomes a real
    alternative.
    ///

    And I believe that is the crux of the matter.

    So far, I have been able to accomplish all I need to, using apps alone, without rooting.

  5. johnny_babangida says:

    For me rooting is a must, when Sony released their ICS update for their 2011 android phones, I immediately wanted to update and I needed to backup my phone incase something went wrong so that I can easily downgrade the firmware with all my settings and files intact, the option I chose was to use clockworkmod to create a complete backup of the rom but this needed root so I took the plunge and rooted my Xperia pro after studying rooting on the pro for a week and spending a nerve wrecking night rooting the phone. Eventually I downgraded the phone back to ginger bread so that I would have the ability to root ICS which can not be rooted on the pro except through a downgrade method.

  6. johnny says:

    For me rooting is a must, when Sony released their ICS update for their 2011 android phones, I immediately wanted to update and I needed to backup my phone incase something went wrong so that I can easily downgrade the firmware with all my settings and files intact, the option I chose was to use clockworkmod to create a complete backup of the rom but this needed root so I took the plunge and rooted my Xperia pro after studying rooting on the pro for a week and spending a nerve wrecking night rooting the phone. Eventually I downgraded the phone back to ginger bread so that I would have the ability to root ICS which can not be rooted on the pro except through a downgrade method.

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