Android is in its essence a free mobile system, and the user has the freedom to customize their device as they see fit. However, the root process is not so simple and scares the less experienced, as well as bringing risks of permanent damage to the smartphone.
Here you will learn more about root, its advantages and disadvantages.
What is root?
Root is nothing more than getting administrator privileges on your smartphone. On Linux, the system on which the kernel (system kernel) of Android was based, there are two types of users: the default, which is the user and the administrator, known as “superuser” or “root”.
This user can make all kinds of changes, such as creating and deleting partitions (divisions of drives in physical storage, similar to Windows C, D, and etc drives), manipulating protected files and changing OS behavior.
On Linux, granting root access to a user can have catastrophic results, and on Android this is no different: if the smartphone owner does not know what he is doing he can erase the entire contents of the device, thus transforming it into a weight of paper.
On Android, the term ended up being more connected to a state of the device, where it is completely unlocked for the installation of programs that the system would normally bar, as alternative image loaders; this is one of the main reasons why a user is root on their smartphone in the first place.
How do I root on my Android device?
There are a number of methods for unlocking an Android device, which may or may not differ greatly from one to another for a simple reason: there are a huge number of devices running the system on the market from several different manufacturers and each with a tool security. Although making root in your gadget is not illegal ( it was once a day ), companies do not like to see users using their products in unanticipated ways.
The easiest way to find a way to root on your smartphone or tablet is to go to the community: forums like XDA Developers and Android Forums, among others, bring together a large number of information accessible even to the most inexperienced users, but who want to do more with their device of choice.
Remember, doing root is just the first step. The process only frees administrator privileges and with them you can install new tools in your gadget.
What can I do with my Android with root?
Quite something. More experienced users often install specific applications(unchecked, good to emphasize) to automate functions, control processor speed, better control power consumption, turn on and off fully access to 4G or Wi-Fi, run apps incompatible with certain remove applications included by the manufacturer or the operator, change the kernel, etc.
Depending on the installed tool to free the root access, the user can make a complete backup of all the contents of the smartphone, add functions that improve the native features, anyway … The process effectively puts the control of the device in the hands of the user.
It is necessary to clarify, however, that doing root and unlocking the device are different things.
What is the difference between root and unlock Android?
Basically, the process of unlocking Android only tries to free the access of the bootloader, the program in charge of starting your device (so, “load the boot”) and verify that all installed features are legitimate. Once released, it is through it that the user can install a customized ROM, an alternative image of the Android system on your device.
That is, root is not necessarily necessary if you just want to change the system, but it is essential for those looking to deeply customize their smartphone or tablet.
By unlocking Android, the user can wipe all data through the OS recovery tool from the device and include a new system image, something that many do for a number of reasons: from having a version of the software without unnecessary applications or replace the original system with a fork, an alternative version usually developed by the community.
There are several forks available, with LineageOS today the most famous; heir of the deceased CyanogenMod, it is an option for users with Android devices that do not receive more official updates from manufacturers. Depending on the model, the system provides updates for well over 180 days guaranteed by Google.
What are the dangers of doing root on Android?
By doing root, the user is implementing a deep modification on their Android device, so the procedure voids the warranty. In general, technical assistance has a means of detecting when a device has changed, even if the user decides to undo root and leave the device in its original form. In such cases, repair within the warranty period, in case of damages, may be refused.
There is also the risk that the root procedure, if performed incorrectly, will cause the device to be damaged, and may even lead to an unrecoverable state, the so-called brick : your smartphone or tablet will no longer accept any commands or upload files, becoming completely useless.
The chances that something goes wrong with root, even if the user follows the whole procedure correctly are quite small, but they exist. So it’s important to remember that we are not responsible for anything that happens to your Android phone or tablet, and for that very reason, we do not teach how to root in this post. It is up to the user to decide whether it is worth it and, if so, to bear the consequences if something does not go as planned.
Glossary of common terms
- ROM Stock: The original version of an Android system image included on a smartphone or tablet, in the way that Google has developed without any manufacturer and/or operator changes. Some custom ROMs, such as those of LineageOS are based on stock versions, but the user can also choose to install an image without any type of manipulation;
- Flash: In the root context of Android, it refers to installing a bundle of files, a ROM or a new kernel on your device, which may or may not be necessary for the process;
- ADB: Acronym for Android Debug Bridge, a command line tool included in the Android development kit (SDK). Most root tools use ADB, and in some cases the user may have to type commands directly to make the tool work. It all depends on the method and model of the device;
- Recovery: is the Android recovery tool, whereby the user can make backups, erase the cache memory or do a factory reset of the device. That is why it is an essential part of the root process. While the official version is quite limited, third-party applications include more functions and offer more control options to the user.
The root process gives the user a wealth of useful tools that can give special powers to his Android device and deliver full control of the gadget in his hands. However, the process is not simple and there are risks. The most recommended to do is read a lot about it, ask for guidance in the forums and talk to those who are already accustomed to the process. This way, you will find out about the subject in order to be able to unlock your smartphone without problems.