Why I love to root my Androids

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| Published: December 8, 2013

It was only this past July that I switched from my beloved iPhone 4S to my HTC One, taking me back to where I initially started when it comes to smartphones. Although I had been less than impressed with the performance of Android at the time that I switched to iOS, my switch back has been nothing but a positive experience. The HTC One is fast, beautiful and has really turned my perspective of Android around. Android's progression has definitely taken noticeable strides forward from Gingerbread to Jelly Bean, so for that I'm happy and feel like I made the right decision when I went with the One. 

However, as with any phone, the honeymoon phase doesn't always last as long as we like. As more time passes, the euphoric "new" feeling that I get (you all know what I'm talking about) after getting a new phone wears off. The look and feel of the device becomes mundane, and instead of being excited to use your new device it just.. is. Since smartphones are something that a lot of us use often throughout the day, it seems like a shame that we were once so excited to explore and use this new phone not all that long ago. Now it's grown old and stale, and it seems like there's nothing new to learn. But instead of going out and buying a new phone all the time, which is something a lot of people aren't able to do, there is a way to get that "newness" feeling back (at least when it comes to Android devices): rooting!

I've touched base on a few articles at this point on rooting and the benefits of doing so, but I haven't really delved into detail on why I think rooting is so awesome. There's the obvious reason that it lets you experience your Android phone in a whole new light and having access to a lot of things you didn't have access to before, but that's really just scratching the surface. In fact, I think that rooting has plenty of other added benefits that can really help consumers understand a lot more about Androids, or even smartphones in general just by taking the time to learn how to root and flash different ROMs and mods. It's not just about enjoying your phone again, but also about taking the first steps in a valuable learning experience on how some of our modern technology works.

Websites like XDA Developers, a website that I visit often, has been a great learning tool and help desk for me. When I first started learning how to root and flash ROMs, this was the place I started out at. The community there is so active and helpful (even if a bit aggressive sometimes) but most of the time I've found that if you just read through the different threads that have been made you're going to find your answer somehow, somewhere. The developers there do their best for the better of the community, and many of them even make rooting as simple as a one-click step to get you there. After that, it's up to you how much you want to - or don't want to - mod your device to your liking. I haven't always been the mod-crazy, ROM-flashing heathen that I am today. Once upon a time, I would only be as brave as to root my Android and leave it rooted, but never actually use any of the features that comes with rooting the device because I was afraid that I would break it. But eventually, my curiosity got the better of me and I ended up building my way up to where I am now. I'm not saying that I'm an expert on everything root-related, but I do consider myself somewhat seasoned, and my experiences have taught me that if nothing else, there is a lot of valuable information to learn in this industry, and a lot of it is readily available at our fingertips through websites like XDA. 

Obviously rooting isn't for everybody. Even if there is a lot of information out there that I would consider useful to learning about certain aspects of the industry, it's not going to be everybody's cup of tea. But for people who are interested in learning more about the industry, namely the technical part of the industry and how certain aspects of the software part of smartphones work, a great starting point is learning how to root and flash mods and ROMs. These first steps can also be the building blocks to becoming a developer yourself, which has many open doors at this point in the industry. 

So as you can see, rooting alone has a lot of benefits - both seen and unseen. Yes, it can help you love your phone again, but each and every time I root a new Android device I always learn something that I didn't know before somehow. If you've ever been interested in learning how to root your Android and start flashing ROMs, I say that you should go for it. There are so many tools and guides out there that make it a lot less riskier than people think it is. Just make sure you take the time to read the guides thoroughly beforehand.

Readers, what are your thoughts on rooting? Have you already rooted your Android, or is rooting not something that interests you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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