Ever since getting one of my first Windows Mobile devices, an HTC Touch Pro, I had been interested in increasing its performance as I was tired of just how much lag the UI on the device was causing – not to mention it was running Windows Mobile. Windows Mobile on its own had enough problems to justify any tweaking, but with Sense included it slowed the device down considerably and could easily be confused for a jar of molasses.  Thus came the day I discovered how to root a device.

After I learned how to root a device it seemed like I couldn’t enjoy a device in its entirety without rooting it first. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting a new device as much as the next phoneatic, but what I love more is that I know if I get tired of a device there are an infinite amount of ways to change it up. This has significantly helped reduce the number of times I have walked into a store “just to look” and walk out with a brand new device and a huge hole in my pocket. Rooting became my new hobby, and I was changing ROMS as often as I changed clothes.

When I switched from Android to iPhone, I was skeptical because although I had heard the term ‘Jailbreak’ before, I had never taken the time to really figure out what all this jailbreaking entailed. I had zero experience with iPhones and the entire concept was new to me. Although I loved the smooth and seamless transitions I experienced with my iPhone 4S, something I had never encountered with any of my Androids, I was disappointed at just how much I couldn’t customize  my iPhone. There’s only so many times I can be satisfied with changing my wallpaper and the brightness of the screen. After a bit of research I decided it would be worth the try. Jailbreaking certainly helped in what I could customize, and it is a whole new world from what iOS initially allows you change. For that, jailbreaking is very worth it in my eyes.

After experiencing both, I’d have to say I prefer rooting Androids to jailbreaking iPhones.

Despite all that’s good with iPhones, I still feel quite constricted regarding the design of the phone even after a jailbreak has been performed on the device. On iOS 5 the coolest thing I did with my phone was add a Sense clock to my home screen that kept me updated on weather in my area. There were a lot of cool things I saw that you could do with a jailbroken iPhone, but it seemed to take a lot more effort than it ever did with a rooted Android. I grew tired of customizing my iPhone before complete customizations could be made, and for that I can’t blame anybody but Apple for making it difficult for its users to be able to make our phones more personal to us. If a Marimba ringtone goes off in a room full of iPhone users, how many people would stop to look for their phone? Darn near everyone, I’m willing to bet. At least Apple could throw us a bone here and make it so we change a little more than just the wallpaper.

While jailbreaking might be difficult to use for customization, it does have one thing going for it. It is much easier to jailbreak an iPhone than it is to root many Androids. After you download the jailbreak software you just plug in your phone and click a button. With Androids, a lot of the times the “One Click” option isn’t available and you have to put in codes and all sorts of crazy things to get rooted, which increases your risk of doing something terribly wrong and bricking your phone. So if you just want to use your phone as a free WiFi hotspot then jailbreaking would seem to be the most convenient.

Both jailbreaking and rooting have their pros and cons, but ultimately I don’t think I’ll ever be able to own a smartphone and not end up tweaking it in some way. I think after you experience the freedom that first time it’s hard to go back.

Readers, how do you feel about breaking free? Do you prefer to jailbreak or root? Are you always tinkering with new builds for your device, or do you prefer to leave it as it is and play it safe? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!


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46 Reactions to this post

"Do you have a jailbroken or rooted device? What are some of your favorite mods?"

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Creccaj VZW GS3 with CM10.1 and Lean Kernel 2.3.7.
Chris Lomba
Chris Lomba Def jedi xv11 on note 2 for sure! Ink effect on lock screen with finger and lightsaber s pen detach and attach sound. Sicknesss!
Gordon Christie
Gordon Christie I had AOKP on my S2 but changed it back to stock
Enes Nadir Çomoglu
Enes Nadir Çomoglu Rocking Paranoid Android. Best ROM after stock ROM.
Julian Scott
Julian Scott Can some1 help me root my EVO 3d
Joernie Berrios
Joernie Berrios Always Rooted!!!...my first phone was the Samsung Vibrant....had CM7
Howie Eastin
Howie Eastin Yes I did and love my iPhone 5
Dan Cook
Dan Cook First thing I did to all 4 of my Android devices is root them then install CM or some other custom rom
Jakarri Jacobs
Jakarri Jacobs Rooted Samsung Infuse "4G" running Beanstalk ROM 4.2.2. I think it's cool running the latest software on a phone that just barely got gingerbread before support ended.
C Bryan Thomas
C Bryan Thomas I have a Note ll and an IPad 3 and rooted my Note ll and Jailbroke my IPad 3. I love customizing devices. I wouldn't own one if I couldn't root or Jailbreak.
Niall Barr
Niall Barr Cm 10.1
Jeff Griffith
Jeff Griffith Jail broken iPhone, I did it for functionality mainly sbsettings, since Apple decided to remove the 3G toggle, bastards.... And it's kinda nice to have easy access to common settings. I don't jailbreak for themes and junk, that's for little school kids that are desperately trying to impress someone, I'm an adult and prefer to impress nobody. Lol I just like the added functionality.
Jon Jerico Calanio
Jon Jerico Calanio Nexus 4 with CM10.1 nightlies, and a Transformer prime with CM10.1 as well.
Jaime Espinoza
Jaime Espinoza In cm10.1 Galaxy S3. Free Wi-Fi Tether.
Jeremy Davenport
Jeremy Davenport Gs3 running carbon
Kristen Luce
Kristen Luce I have a rooted GS2 running AOKP and a rooted Nook Color running Paranoid Android. Two very good roms, and by adding in adblock for both and some build.prop tweaks (and hardware key mods), they're great. Feels like I have two new devices.
Neil Leisenheimer
Neil Leisenheimer Setcpu+overclock kernels, custom roms, Adblock, deleting carrier bloat ware, etc. Rooting is the best thing ever.
Gerard Anaya
Gerard Anaya i have both. jailbroken ipod touch. rooted and custom rom'd galaxy note.
Demetrius Jones
Demetrius Jones I love Wifi tether. I can play halo online flawlessly using my phones internet.
James Vincent
James Vincent Rooted
Alan Xenos
Alan Xenos For my iPhone, gotta be intelliscreen. For my android phone, themes (aventador!) and voltage mods to save battery
Steven T. Pace
Steven T. Pace Jedi X11 on my Galaxy Note 2! Love it..
Julian Lewis
Julian Lewis i have cyanogenmod 9
Kyle Cordiano
Kyle Cordiano No root. Stock 4.2.2
Lenny Rose
Lenny Rose Cyanogen rom
Tyler Eggo Eggleston
Tyler Eggo Eggleston Cyanogenmod 10.1 for sure.
Sean MacNabb
Sean MacNabb i used to when android phones used to suck. but now that they're fast, stable, and decent on battery, i dont find much of a need. im not one to steal from devs, so give me a different launcher, and i'm good to go. i used to enjoy the process of rooting and flashing different roms, now it just seems like a nuisance.
John McCullough
John McCullough Is there a a root app that brings multiwindow to the S3?
Stephen Nicholas Woodall
Stephen Nicholas Woodall Intelliscreenx 6 on iphone 4. Best mod out there.
Joseph Alan Richardson
Joseph Alan Richardson Rooted, Speed mods using Android Revolution HD 10
French Twist
French Twist Getting rid of bloatware that takes up space and consumes battery life.
David Lukens
David Lukens Rooted running Cyogenmod android 4.1.2
Javier Delgado
Javier Delgado Rooted
Nolan Mohika
Nolan Mohika custom roms and kernel's
Daniel Quintero
Daniel Quintero yes and cm10 until the new 4.1.2 touch wiz came out
Sean Pop White
Sean Pop White Answering this question equates to dry snitching on yourself
Heri Roman
Heri Roman Free tethering, ad blocking and themes
Keith Windiddy
Keith Windiddy Free tethering on android and software updates prior to official ones
Vladimir Conrado
Vladimir Conrado Free tethering and overclocking
Cory David Baxter
Cory David Baxter being able to install root apps
Robert Ortega
Robert Ortega Hacked games! No more in app purchases muahahaha! >:)
James Gustavo Hidalgo
James Gustavo Hidalgo Themes
Kevin Loughrey
Kevin Loughrey I have a root
Bill Gillespie
Bill Gillespie i like being able to underclock my processor, it really helps battery life
Travis Hickey
Travis Hickey Pandora skips.
Luke Buchanan
Luke Buchanan Free WiFi Tether on my iPhone 5

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