Normally I’m not one to take risks at the risk of damaging or voiding the warranties on my expensive gadgets, but recently I finally decided to go through the trouble of rooting my Samsung Charge. I had been going back and forth about the idea for the past couple months because I didn’t want to brick my phone.
Warning: Attempting to root your Android phone will most likely void your warranty, runs the risk of breaking your contract with your carrier, and may have the potential to render your phone useless (i.e. “brick” your phone). Be careful to research documented risks and consequences that others have had in attempting to root your phone model, and be sure, if you decide to root, that you root your phone in the safest method possible.
What ultimately led me to root my phone was the fact that the Charge was receiving little developer support from either the manufacturer or carrier (I’m not sure who is responsible) in terms of Android OS updates. These updates often help the performance and battery life of the phone, and I had read multiple accounts of the new Gingerbread leak (available only through root) had made major differences in phone performance.
- Getting Updates
As I mentioned above, carriers and phone manufacturers are often slow to update their phones because they have more of an incentive to sell new devices rather than update devices already owned by customers. For some phones, such as my Samsung Charge, carriers have made no indication that they will update to new versions of the Android OS at all. These updates can often improve bugs and phone performance.
- Better Performance
I’ve already stated that upgraded Android ROMs can improve the performance of your phone, but you can also improve your phone’s performance through using custom kernels. Many custom kernels (including the one now running on my phone) will run faster filing, conserve battery life, overclock your CPU (allowing your phone to run faster, and will run less superfluous background tasks such as indexing.
- Can Finally Remove Bloatware
Remember in the old PC days when you would purchase a computer with Windows on it, and the manufacturer would add a whole slew of affiliate programs and bloatware that you will never use? Well at least then you could uninstall the bloatware. With an unrooted phone, most carriers and manufacturers have made it impossible to remove their bloatware, so it just sits there taking up storage space and even memory resources. Rooting your phone will let you remove these.
- Easier Screenshots and Free Tethering
Before rooting, getting a screenshot from your Android device could be surprisingly tedious. Once rooted, you will find apps that make this an incredibly simple process. Free tethering to other computers is nothing to scoff at either. While it seems like a trivial benefit, this can really come in handy if you ever have any issues with your internet service provider at home. Now you will always have a failsafe plan.
- It’s All About the Apps
Rooting your phone gives you more control over your phone which consequently give you access to a whole host of apps you otherwise couldn’t use. Best of all, you can find most of these apps in the Android Market, so you don’t have to worry about shady spyware on your phone (like jailbroken iPhone users). With these new apps, you can save the state of your phone and recover to it anytime, freeze or remove any app, tether wirelessly to other devices (without having to pay more for this feature like you would with a rooted phone), and a whole bunch of useful things that would otherwise be off limits.