Grow­ing new roots

HAVE YOU THOUGHT OF ROOT­ING YOUR AN­DROID TO UN­LEASH ITS TRUE PO­TEN­TIAL? IT IS A BIT RISKY, BUT CAN BE WORTH THE TROU­BLE.

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - CONTENTS - TEXT BY NIDHI SIN­GAL

Your phone can gain en­hanced work­ing abil­i­ties if you “root” it. How­ever, root­ing is not for ev­ery­one. If care is not taken, it can wreck your phone.

Have you ever come across the word ‘root­ing’ while read­ing about the An­droid OS? Won­dered what root­ing is all about? Any idea how to go about it? Let us cut through the jar­gon and tell you about the ad­van­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of “root­ing”. A word of cau­tion be­fore we pro­ceed: root­ing is not rec­om­mended by the man­u­fac­tur­ers, so what you do will be at your own risk.

WHAT IS ROOT­ING?

Man­u­fac­tur­ers of An­droid de­vices of­ten dis­able many soft­ware and hard­ware fea­tures to ex­ploit them in the fu­ture. By root­ing an An­droid phone, you can get rid of these lim­i­ta­tions and gain full ac­cess to the ker­nel and the phone’s hard­ware. The root user is sim­i­lar to the Ad­min­is­tra­tor user on Win­dows. Or, you can say that root­ing an An­droid phone is just like jail­break­ing the iPhone. Once rooted, you can up­load cus­tom ROMs, in­stall cus­tom themes, in­crease per­for­mance and carry out sev­eral other things. A rea­son why man­u­fac­tur­ers re­strict you from cer­tain fea­tures is that it is eas­ier for them to man­age and up­date locked de­vices. Un­locked de­vices will have mod­i­fied ver­sions of the phone’s soft­ware that be­comes dif­fi­cult or im­pos­si­ble to re­pair.

AD­VAN­TAGES OF ROOT­ING?

There are many ad­van­tages of root­ing. Cus­tom ROM: The ba­sic soft­ware is stored on the ‘Read Only Mem­ory’ of the de­vice. But there are plenty of cus­tom ROMs that not only make your phone look dif­fer­ent, but also en­hance over­all per­for­mance. For in­stance, if you want to up­grade your phone from An­droid Froyo to Ice-Cream Sand­wich, you can do

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