Are you rooted?

Are you? But the bigger question, that I’m sure has been asked before is, is this necessary anymore? Rooting used to be a must-do for the daring and brave Android users out there. It was the bootleg way to improve your (then very bland) android device and spice it up with capabilities OEMs and Google wouldn’t dream of putting in. But today, Android has vastly improved both in performance, efficiency and capability that rooting doesn’t seem to make sense anymore.

Rooting is a little hack (for lack of a better word) you do on your Android device to give you more control and authority over what you can do with your device. See, contrary to what you may think, you do not have full control of your Android device. It only lets you have some control over it, mostly for your good. For security, safety and so that you don’t go modifying things you shouldn’t, akin to performing surgery on yourself. So the general, well-spoken and common-sense rule here is that rooting is not for you if you don’t like trouble or if you are not the tinker-some kind of person. Rooting is for the brave, the digital Zulus and Dedans.

So if you trust that you won’t mess up, or you don’t mind running into a hiccup here and there once in a while then by all means, go ahead. But like I said, today, the benefits of rooting have been vastly reduced of you manage to have the latest Android versions on your devices. Rooting gives you the ability to install custom ROMs (these are modified versions of Android that some packed and charged with utopian features and immense tweaking reaches), access the root file system (the core of the whole system, the innards of Android), install ‘mods’ such as Viper Audio, Root File Explorer, ROM Manager and xPosed among others.

xPosed one of the mods you can install if rooted takes the nod here for being the most versatile, modular and capable mod you can install. First, it brings in advanced modes (through modules you download from its own little store) that you would normally get by flashing a custom ROM (a tasking process if you’re not finely filed for the backstreets of tech). If you do dare, dig up a bit if you can have it installed on your device. The best place to search is the popular XDA Developers community and Hovatek Forums for Tecno, Infinix and other Mediatek devices. With this, you can modify your device’s look, power it up (overclocking) for increased performance or powering it down (underclocking) for increased battery life. You can automate this process, theme your device or specific apps, add any shortcuts you can think of to the notification shade, add gestures to navigate your device, modify how you get and receive notifications, remove bloat apps, allow multitasking et cetera. There are thousands of modifications available for your device.

My Android phone is rooted. It is a very old Samsung Wave (same age as the Samsung Galaxy S) that shipped with the defunct Bada OS. It now runs a really light Android Lollipop flavour that is close to the popular Cyanogenmod. It has 250MB of RAM and despite its age (and, to be honest slow performance) it is usable. And it has an AMOLED screen! I have xPosed installed, primarily for GravityBox, a module that allows me to modify it to unimaginable limits, including pumping up its paltry single-core processor to meet my Instagram, Whatsapp and Twitter needs. It isn’t perfect, like I said, but the occasional little bouts of unexplained reboots and freezes are worth it just for the capabilities this has given me.

Going back to the question, is it worth it anymore? Frankly, this mostly depends on your preferences. Android Lollipop, Marshmallow and Nougat have each brought immense improvements.

Rooting is not an Android-only domain though. For iOS users, there is an equivalent of this, called jailbreaking. It basically gives you the same capabilities as rooting on your iOS device but not to the scale of Android. iOS too, keeps wowing with great features with each update and jailbreaking your device boils down to preference and guts.


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