SCREENGRAB (by Willie Witte)
Apple kills Star Trek (by HAL9000archives)
Awful voices, decent editing, hilarious but true message.
Previously, I shared an easy way to customize your Android phone by downloading a new launcher app. Further customization and functionality of your phone can be achieved by obtaining root access on your phone. If you’ve used a terminal window in Linux or Mac OS X you can think of root as super user. If you use Windows, think of root as Administrator privileges. iPhone users have a process called jailbreaking which gives them the same sort of privileges.
Root allows you or apps to modify or access the system. Why would you want to modify the system? What’s the big deal about root? With system access you can get rid of some of the bloatware the carrier installed on your phone. Root also allows you to get some powerful apps. You can back up your entire phone, including data like high scores, logins, etc. Most carriers require you to buy an additional tethering package, but with root you can typically share your connection with your tablet or computer as Android originally intended. Root is also the first step toward installing a custom version of Android (a ROM).
Obtaining root isn’t typically a complicated process. You can find out how to root your specific phone by simply searching the web “your phone model root.” You will likely find videos and step by step guides on how to complete the process. When searching it may be useful to confirm the model of the phone. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S3 from AT&T (SGH-i747) is a different model than the Samsung Galaxy S3 from Verizon (SCH-i535) and Sprint (SPH-L710). I should give you the obligatory disclaimer: The process of rooting your phone could potentially do harm and leave you with a brick, or a non-functioning phone. Thus, be sure to do the research before you leap in. Personally, I typically choose to get my hands dirty obtaining root through a method that involves me typing commands into a terminal. Automated processes scare me as I am a control freak. However if you choose to put yourself in someone else’s hands, you may be lucky enough to find a one-click method.
Typically, the rooting process will instruct you to install a super user app on the phone. This application gives permissions to your apps to use root privileges. Thus, it will pop up when an app requests root privileges and you can allow or deny the app.
Occasionally, root methods also have you install a custom recovery. A recovery installs a boot loader which allows you to modify, backup and restore the phone outside the OS. More on the recovery in the next post.
You should know that carriers & phone manufacturers don’t want you to have root access. For whatever greedy reason they see fit, giving you control of your own device is not something they want to do. Thus, rooting your Android phone will void your warranty. (How many stores and companies actually fill their warranty agreements without argument or fine print?) There are steps to un-root many phones phone and restore them to stock, but certainly not all phones. Do the research and make sure you know what you are getting into.
--Tagged under: AndroidAdvice--