Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Important things to know about rooting an Android Device

Android isn't in the same sort of jailed world an iPhone lives in, rooting can help you.

You've probably seen and read about "rooting" one. There was a time when many of the Android phones available didn't live up to their potential, and root was the answer. Horrible software was the norm, applications that you would never use ran amok and wasted data and battery life, and the experience was bad all around.

 Rooting is how you get complete access to everything in the operating system, and those permissions allow you to change it all. Modern Androids are quite a bit better than they used to be. Even the most inexpensive phone or tablet you can buy in 2016 will do more and perform better that the best Android phone available just a few years ago. But many of us still want to root our phones and are looking for more information.

What exactly is root?

When you root your Android, you're simply adding a standard Linux function that was removed. A small file called su is placed in the system and given permissions so that another user can run it. It stands for Switch User, and if you run the file without any other parameters it switches your credentials and permissions from a normal user to that of the superuser. You are then in complete control, and can add anything, remove anything and access functions on your phone or tablet that you couldn't reach before. This is pretty important, and something you should think about before you begin.

Should I root my Android?

Yes. No. Maybe. All three answers are perfectly valid. People have different reasons to want to root their devices. Some do it just because they can — they paid for the hardware and think they should be able to do anything they like. Others want to be able to add things that aren't there, like internet servers or be able to "fix" services that are there but don't work the way they would like them to work. People might buy a phone because they like the hardware, but hate the software and want to change it. Mostly, people root their phones because they simply want to get rid of the extra things on it that they don't want. Every one of these reasons — as well as any reason you might have that aren't mentioned here — are the right reasons.

Most people want root to get rid of the bloat.

Before you do any preparation to root your phone, you need to remember that it changes everything about the inherent security from Google and the people who built it. Plenty of us don't like it, but being able to access an account with admin permissions was not included in release versions of Android on purpose. As soon as you add this capability, you are responsible for the security and integrity of the operating system and every application on it. For some, this is more responsibility than they want or need. Rooting isn't the answer for everyone. If you're not sure about the ways you can break things by doing them as root, you should learn more about it before you start. It's OK to not know things and to try and learn, but not knowing and doing them anyway can turn a very expensive Android into a paperweight. You also need to know that for many Android models, rooting means your warranty is null and void. Services (including apps as well as network access from your carrier) can be denied to you because of the security risk when you're rooted. The risk is real, because so many users go into it all blind and let security lapse. Not doing that is your responsibility — take it seriously!

Finally, there are plenty of users who simply don't care about this stuff. Any Android phone, no matter how restricted root access is, can do just about everything we want or need from a pocket computer. You can change the appearance, choose from over a million apps in Google Play and have complete access to the internet and most any services that live there. You can even make phone calls. It's great if you're happy with what you have and what it can do, and aren't worried about trying to fix what isn't (in your eyes) broken.

Getting ready to root

You'll need to do a few things to prepare your phone for rooting, depending on which method you use. Many of the ways require you install the Android SDK or unlock your bootloader. This sounds like a lot of scary work, but it's not difficult and knowing how to use these tools will help if things go wrong.

Walk through of how to set up and install the Android SDK

Depending on which phone you have, unlocking the bootloader is slightly different. The "standard" way is by using the OEM unlock command, which is outlined here. If you're using a Motorola, HTC or LG phone (as well as other brands like Huawei or Sony) you'll likely need to get a token you enter during the process. You'll find how to do that and who to get it from at each vendors developer pages. Remember that unlocking the bootloader on your Android may affect the warranty status.

HTC bootloader unlocking

Motorola bootloader unlocking

LG bootloader unlocking

Huawei bootloader unlocking

Sony bootloader unlocking

Using commercial root apps

Using commercial rooting apps like Kingo Root or towelroot is straightforward, and can be done with or without a computer. While these apps can't root every phone, the people who make them are doing as best they can to keep the applications current.

While we can't validate the theories that these applications could potentially contain malware or send your data off to a server in some unfriendly nation, plenty of folks around the web have expressed concerns and doubts. You shouldn't ignore them. We recommend that you factory reset your Android before you download, install or run these applications to be safe. Your phone will remain rooted afterwards, and you can factory reset once again then sign in normally. Better safe than sorry.

Using Kingo Root

You can use Kingo Root with or without a computer. You'll find the download for both methods at the Kingo Root page  just select the one you want to use.

If you're using a windows computer with Kingo Root, you'll need to have the correct USB drivers installed on the computer you're using. If you don't have these, the Kingo Root program will try to locate and install the correct ones during the process. Simply plug your phone into the computer and start the application. It's as simple as letting the software set things up, then you click the button labeled "root" in the software. As long as your phone is supported, the rest is automatic. You'll see a list of recommended root application to install after the procedure is finished, but if the program say it was successful your phone should have the superuser unlocked .

It's easier to try and use the Kingo Root app on your phone to root. After you've downloaded it (and allowed sideloading of apps) you charge your phone to at least 50% and run the app. There's only one button to press, and after you tap it the rest is automatic. If the stand-alone version isn't successful, the computer version might be.

Full instructions and tutorials for supported phones can be found at the Kingo Root support page.

Using towelroot

Towelroot is a popular rooting app written by Geohot, the well-known iPhone hacker. Using it is really easy:

Download the towelroot application from the official site.
Install the app and run it by tapping the Lambda (the Greek letter) symbol in the middle of the app window
Towelroot will attempt to exploit the running kernel, giving temporary access to the system files. Once that happens, the correct files needed to run as root are pushed to the file system. A quick reboot later, and you're rooted.

Only install towelroot from the official towelroot page. There are plenty of mirrors and variants out there, but it's always safest to get files like this directly from the source.

For more info visit :  Android Central
Source: http://www.androidcentral.com/

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