CyanogenMod takes rooting ten steps in the right directionAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
It's been a while since we've talked about rooting, jailbreaking, or anything about modding your device. We've talked about the benefits, the dangers, and the customizations that you can do by allowing yourself access on a deeper level to your phone. However, in most articles I would generally stress that if you're not really into the whole reading directions thing, rooting and jailbreaking can cause massive headaches along the way if you're not careful. I myself managed to scare myself a time or two when I didn't read things all the way through, and for many people that fear is what keeps them from even bothering rooting or jailbreaking in the first place.
For Android users who have been on the fence about rooting but have been scared away by the thought of potentially bricking your device, I have good news for you! Cyanogen Inc., the company behind a very popular ROM across many, many phones, has just released a CyanogenMod Installer available in the Google Play Store. That might have sounded like a bunch of mumbo jumbo to you, but essentially it means that CyanogenMod created an Easy Button for rooting and installing a ROM. If you know how to connect your phone to your PC and click your mouse a few times, you can consider yourself rooted and ROM'd no problem.
The CyanogenMod Installer comes as a part of CyanogenMod's initiative to allow more people the experience to use their Android to the fullest potential. Although Android is an open-sourced platform, there are still a lot of parts of the platform that are off-limits to alterations and customizations. When people decide to root, the main reason is so they gain access to those off-limit parts. In turn they have the option to get rid of stock applications that might come on the phone, custom skins, and the ability to overclock or underclock certain functions so that the phone will run faster or longer than originally intended. Although it's risky, for many people it's worth the risk. But that first hurdle is ultimately putting your phone's very life at risk in order to get to that point, and it's probably the biggest step anybody is going to take. After that, the world is your burrito.
The CyanogenMod Installer works in a very simple way. You install the app on your phone, and you install a corresponding software on your PC. When you connect your phone to your PC, the two can interact with each other. Do a few clicks, wait a little bit, fix yourself a snack, and voila. You're up and running and ready to customize the blazes out of your phone. A pretty cool idea, if I do say so myself.
Although CyanogenMod is your only option for a ROM right now with this easy installer, I do wonder if other major ROMs will follow in the future. But honestly, even if CyanogenMod was the only one that ever did this, it's still a really awesome concept. The first time I rooted a phone, a Windows Mobile device, I was so nervous I would break my phone my hands were shaking and I'm fairly certain I was breaking a small sweat. I didn't want to brick my phone, but at the same time, I already considered my phone an unworkable brick and I was willing to try anything to make it work better, faster, more accurately - anything. Rooting and installing a ROM was my only solution at the time, and I think if I hadn't ended up with such a crummy phone that I would have never had the guts to go ahead and root in the first place. Had I not, I would probably be in the same boat as many right now and never consider rooting my phone in the first place.
But I think if I had been in that boat that this new app and software combination would make me want to at least give rooting a try. CyanogenMod has been the company behind one of the most trustworthy ROMs I've used on any device I've rooted so far, so I have a lot of faith that they created a solid application that will get the job done. So if you've ever been interested in rooting but not interested in all of the reading that comes along with it, this could be your chance to make it happen hassle-free. The application comes with a device checker to make sure that your device is supported beforehand, so that's pretty handy as well.
Readers, what are your thoughts about the new CyanogenMod Installer? Will you be rooting for the first time using this tool? What ROMs do you hope will do something like this in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Image via Softonic