Android smartphones are (albeit to a lesser extent than their Apple competitor) boarded up, so that you only have limited access to all kinds of system functionalities. By gaining system access on your device (rooting) it is possible to break out of this straitjacket, after which you can run all kinds of interesting programs and even install alternative firmware.
Before you enthusiastically start rooting your Android smartphone, you should be aware that applications with root access are no longer restricted so that they can do more damage to your phone. This will not happen with well-written software, but a sloppy programmer can make a mistake in his application. Since a rooted application can also access data from other applications, you may suddenly lose data due to this error. And that's not even talking about applications that intentionally perform malicious things. So only give root permissions to applications you trust! This is even more true for alternative firmware: only install a custom ROM from a reliable source!
In this article, we are going to talk about rooting an Android phone. We discuss the method, we tell you what useful apps you can use after rooting, and finally we install alternative firmware on our smartphone.
1 What is Rooting?
In Android, many things from the user are protected by default for security reasons. You only have limited rights and cannot, for example, overclock your smartphone, take screenshots, change essential system programs and so on. To access all these functions you need to be called root-obtain rights. 'Root' is the user account that can do everything under Android (just like under Linux). By default, Android does not give you the option to use the root account. To obtain this option, you must first root your phone, somewhat comparable to jailbreaking an iPhone. If you follow the instructions correctly, rooting your phone is fairly harmless and doesn't take long, unlike installing alternate firmware (see step 13), which is a lot more risky. The rest of your Android installation remains intact when rooted. Since rooting gives you a lot more options on your smartphone in a simple way, it is definitely recommended for advanced users. Many Android applications from the Android Market detect if your device is rooted and offer more options if it is. Some specialized applications even require your device to be rooted because they cannot offer their functionality without root access. Before you start rooting, please note: not all root tools have the option to revert to the original situation.
With a rooted phone, you can even enter Linux commands into the terminal.