As always you can’t start from the end of the story, so lets start at the beginning. What is rooting:
Rooting, jail-breaking and unlocking, three terms we should familiarize ourselves with, are the processes of gaining
unauthorized access or extra advantage over a system. The terms are used differently (as seen below) between operating
systems in concurrences with the differences in security models used by the operating systems manufacturers or producers.
On Android, Rooting is the process of gaining administrative or privileged access for the Android OS, which as we all know
is based on the Linux Kernel. This process is therefore analogous to gaining access to administrative, root user-
equivalent, permissions on Linux.
For iOS, Jail-breaking is the process of modifying iOS system kernels to allow file system read and write access. This is
done mostly by removing the security capabilities installed by the manufacturer.
On the Windows platform, Unlocking is the process of editing specific entries of the Operating system’s registry files to
permit the use of software not certified by the manufacturer or that require exclusive system access.
Rooting is therefore a process that allows/gives you exclusive access to the device’s operating system which is usually
protected by the manufacturer. What most people don’t understand is that this is done for good mobile security reasons:
It’s easier for the manufacturers to offer support if they know exactly what the damage may be in their system. With
exclusive device access, the user thus impedes/hinders this, as there is virtually no way of knowing what the problem is.
But more people are resorting to rooting the devices (not knowing the risks they expose themselves to) because of the many
advantages they provide:
1. Better battery life: The main resource you have in your smart-phone is the processor. Whatever the processing speed,
sometimes you wish it was faster because of some of the heavy application you may run but sometimes you wish it was slower
to save power, thus increasing battery-life. After rooting your phone, this is possible by under-clocking you device
2. Backup Android Freely: As it seems to be getting harder and harder to backup some of you data, mostly stuff like saved
games and app data, some awesome backup apps like Titanium have been created to help you do this. Problem is, your phone
has to be rooted for some of these apps to work. So unless you’re willing to buy a new phone or format your device and
start from square one, then this appears to be the best choice.
3. Free Internal Storage: Some applications we download will only work best on phone memory rather than on SD card. Your
device will detect this possibility and sometimes, decide for you. Not long after(Especially if you’re like me, the kind
of person that loves having all the latest in the app industry and never getting rid of what you already had) you’re gonna
see that annoying sign on your notification bar that says “your device has little or low memory”. Soon after, if not
immediately, your phone starts becoming really slow. Rooting your phone will seem to be the best option at this time which
will allow you to forcefully transfer as many applications as you want from phone memory to SD card.
4. Customize Your Android Interface: For most people, the brand/manufacturer software is considered crude and tasteless.
Therefore, when presented with the idea that you can download and install any custom-built ROMs and customize your own
kind of user interface adding as many features as you want, then it seems there’s no other way for you to go.
5. Blocking annoying advertisements is also considered another great advantage of rooting you device as it configures the
operating system to block or deny known ad sources.
6. Last but certainly not the least, rooting your device will allow you to install any kind of application you want
regardless of the source and credibility. Including those applications specifically “blacklisted”/prohibited by the
I know some of you are thinking, “WOW!I should have done this a long time ago.” You may want to rethink that statement
though: Here’s why:-
1. Once you root your phone, which is completely legal, your warranty turns void. If your device malfunctions soon
after,(There is a relatively high chance that it will after rooting) don’t even bother going back to the manufacturer. You
made your decision when you clicked that ok button.
2. Custom ROMS are rarely updated but manufacturers have highly skilled teams working round the clock to make sure they
keep your device up to date with the latest. Once you root your phone, you may lose your ability to access these updates
and thus remain with slow, old software for the rest of the days you decide to remain with your device. Which might not be
so long as system updates are mostly interconnected with other applications which you will soon loose with you out of date
or obsolete system.
3. Another very big reason that most people resort to rooting their device for is upgrading their operating system
version. This probably the most dangerous of all since even when done in the correct manner rooting leaves your device
open to all sorts of malware. This is because the upgrade process installs new sets of application privileges in your
system. A small flaw in the upgrade logic or a certain part of the system that doesn’t accept the new settings may cause
serious problems. The main one being that an app can gain total control of your device. Which leads to:
Reason 4: If influenced by a hacker, he/she may gain all your information and maybe use it against you. Also leading to:
Reason 5: If simply an error this is still really bad. Imagine an earth-mover, built/meant to be controlled by a myriad of
different systems, suddenly completely controlled by a single button. The whole system would come crashing down. Same case
for your device. Finally leading to:
Reason 6: This would be a good case of what we call “bricking” your device. This, as the name suggests, would mean that
your device becomes a “brick”. An expensive but useless block of technology in your hand. Bricking can also come about as
a result of any error in any step of the rooting process.
If after all this you still want to root your device, i recommend:
1. Employ the expertise and help of a professional. This may be an experienced person in your operating system’s design or
an experienced application developer.
2. Back up all your data on the cloud or a separate device.
3. Install a valid and functional antivirus from a trusted supplier.
Despite some of my more opinionated statements above. I take no side, I have provided you with the knowledge and touched
on both the positive and negative sides of rooting your device. Whether Android, IOS, Bravia, Windows e.t.c. The choice is
now yours. You have the gun. Now you can decide whether or not to pull the trigger.