So what is this buzz amongst Android users to “root” their smartphones? The answer lies within the Android version installed on your smartphone. It might be hard to believe that the platform itself is capable of doing much more that what the manufacturers offer. You might be sitting on the tip of the iceberg!
Typically, smartphone manufacturers work on their own versions of the stock Android OS released by Google Inc. Thus software builds on different phone models differ at a superficial layer whilst the platform underneath being same might allow phone users to explore added functionalities. The out-of-the-box Android phones, no matter what their cost is are based on “stock” android and by Android rooting you can unlock hidden features to unleash its potential.
Underlying system for Android is Linux, not so popular, but amongst the most powerful. Root permissions can provide users access to features, just like Admins have on Windows. The root user can explore almost anything and everything on Linux. Typically the end users of Android are not expected to be technical, so the stock Android does not provide root permissions and make the phone susceptible to vulnerabilities.
While you might not want to play around with system files access, the applications, most of them, which provide seamless functionalities, might need full access. Android rooting enables these apps to read-write system files while you enjoy their unleashed potentials.
Above screenshot is a nightmare to new apps’ installation, and the precise reason you might want to go for android rooting. But keep in mind that rooting isn’t mandatory, provided you do not install apps or develop something for Android that doesn’t need root permissions.
While you might proceed with full gusto to find commands that root your smartphone, here are some implications that you might not want to overlook:
This is one of the major drawbacks. Manufactures shall always play a safe game by voiding the warranty if they detect your phone has been rooted. The reason behind this is that they might not be able to detect what a user might have done with system files after rooting, so its rather preferable to be more defensive and not cover rooted phones under warranty.
2. Security Vulnerability
Financial apps that hold in your money or money related data on your smartphone like Google Wallet, Airtel Money etc. face threatening dangers from rooted apps. Rooted apps can access system files that store sensitive information like Personal Identification Number (PIN) and other passwords. Then this info could be uploaded without your knowledge giving a remote hacker (who has possibly designed this app) complete access to your personal and financial data.
3. Phone Brick
Android Rooting doesn’t damage hardware, but sets and resets few bits of information on your device’s Read Only Memory (ROM). While usually this procedure is deemed completely safe, there have been few instances where mishaps have rendered the phone non-bootable, unrecoverable and hence completely useless. This unfortunate phenomenon with your smartphone is termed as “Brick” in the tech world lingo.
Whilst rooting might sound lucrative for an Android user, it is at the user’s own discretion to consider vulnerabilities listed above.