Android is now the largest and one of the most successful smart phone OS ever released. With a very active developer community and support from Google and various other handset making giants Android is surely gonna be the Top OS in the near future also. One of the main advantages of the Android is that it is Open source,which has facilitated its rapid releases of updates and apps. But being open source is also one of its weaknesses with every update to the Android OS comes in new features and Apps.Various device manufacturers often leave the older versions and would go for the development of newer one’s and are most likely to not to release an update for their older devices running on old version of the OS. What it leads to is that most of the users are left with the older version of the OS.
Almost all the device manufacturers take advantage of android being open source and thus develop their own custom UI designs over it like HTC Sense. These manufacturers often devoid the users from the privilege to modify their OS manually and often keep the Root privilege locked.
What is Rooting?
Rooting your Android devise means to gain full access to it. Rooting,the term traces its origin to Linux,where a user with a root privilege is a ‘Superuser’ and can actually modify the system settings as per his demand.This means you can overcome limitations that the carriers and manufacturers put on your phone, extend system functionality, and even upgrade it to a custom version of Android.
Rooting would actually allow you to gain access to the Administrative privilege on your device so you can install/modify/fix/break anything you want.
Remember Rooting is not installing a custom ROM.
Installing a custom ROM may require rooting first.
There are 3 levels of “root” :
Level 1: Shell Root (with ratc rooting the adb shell but no /system write access)
Level 2: Temporary Root (/system/bin/su installed but lost on reboot)
Level 3: Full Root (/system/bin/su installed and sticks)
How can I root My Android
Well rooting is essentially a device specific procedure, What it means is that rooting for different device models is an altogether different technique. You may find out about the ways to root your device by simply Searching the Google with < YOUR PHONE MODEL root > kind of queries.
You may also refer to How to Root Your Android Device to check out the ways to root your Android Device. Whitson Gordon of LifeHacker has also written a very insightful post on rooting,The Always Up-To-Date Guide to Rooting Any Android Phone .
Why should I Root My Device?
As I’ve mentioned earlier the biggest advantage of Rooting you Android Device is that you get full control of your device.Further you can also:
Install Custom ROM
Installing a custom ROM on your Android can be enabled only when you have a Rooted Device. Android developers have been releasing updated versions of the Android from time to time with essential security fixes and new features.Though this newer version of OS is often seen in newer Devices the older ones seldom get an updated OS.If you have a rooted device you can easily install a custom ROM.
Custom ROM such as Cyanogenmod are very famous and maintained by an active community of users.
Bricking Your Android Device, if you are not careful enough then while installing a custom ROM you might just Brick your Android Device, i.e. your device might never work again(though its chances are 1 in 99).So while installing a custom ROM keep your batteries 100% charged up.
Full Control Over Your Device
Well,rooting will give you access to system files, use themes, boot images, delete annoying stock apps,and also ability to install and run third-party apps.
Take a backup of entire system on SD card
A rooted Android device gives you the ability to take a backup of your entire system on your SD card.Its a great option if you are considering to try a custom ROM as it would enable you to take a backup of your device completely ,you may then try the new ROM and you can restore your earlier system whenever you want.
Rom Manager is an Android app that can be easily downloaded from the Android Market , and will let you take the backup of you device.
Run Third-Party apps
Rooting allows you to run Third-party apps on your device .Installing Third-party apps give you the power to add features to your rooted device which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible without installing a custom ROM. You will find a very interesting read about the power of third-party apps on Rooted Android devices written by Matthew Rogers of LifeHacker.com,The 10 Best Android Apps that Make Rooting Your Phone Worth the Hassle.