What is Rooting?
Rooting a phone is the Android equivalent of Jail Breaking an iPhone. Rooting a phone allows you to open up your phone to a new world of possibilities. Rooting allows you to have access to the entire operating system of your phone. Being able to have this kind of access allows you to customize every detail of your phone. You can get around any restriction that your phone carrier or manufacturer may have put upon you by rooting your phone.
By rooting, you have the ability to over clock your phone, run more apps, or even replace the firmware. The most popular mod among those who root their Android devices is installing a custom ROM, or a modified version of the Android operating system.
Why should I Root?
Rooting allows you to access all of the features that your phone is capable of. It takes away any restrictions that your carrier may have put on you. Another benefit to rooting is that you can uninstall of the bloatware that comes standard on most Android devices. Normally this would be impossible, but with rooting you can save yourself battery life and phone life expectancy.
Another benefit is the ability to set up wireless tethering. If changing the operating system and customizing every detail of your phone sounds appealing, then rooting is definitely for you. You can easily get a better performance from your phone and make it look a lot better than ever before.
Why shouldn’t I Root?
By rooting your phone, you essentially void all warranties that you may have purchased for your phone. Most phone companies will not feel sympathetic to those who root their phones. But, keep in mind, that you do have the ability to unroot a phone if you absolutely needed to. Another reason why some avoid rooting their phone is the risk of bricking.
Bricking a phone is when your phone will not turn on and this can be caused by messing with the operating system too much. Another reason that some avoid rooting their phone is the increased risk of viruses. If you are not smart about what you install, you run the risk of your information being compromised and having a security leak.
How to Root Android Devices in 2016
For this tutorial, we’re going to be using a program called Kingo. Kingo has a list of all compatible devices so be sure to look through the list and see if your device is compatible. If you scroll to the bottom you can find additional information on other phones that may not be featured initially. One sure way to know if your device is compatible is to see what version of Android you’re running. Any device running below Android 5.1 Lollipop is compatible.
Now let’s get started. Follow these directions exactly to get started.
Step 1: Download and install the Kingo Android Root. At the time of writing this tutorial, Kingo Root is the best service for rooting software for Android Phones. They offer a 1 click root software for free.
Step 2: Double click the newly created desktop icon and launch it. Launching the program will look like this:
Step 3: Plug your device into your computer via a USB cable. Be sure to have an internet connection while doing this.
Step 4: Enable USB Debugging mode on your device. If you are unsure of how to do this, you go Settings > Developer Options > USB Debugging. In Android 4.2 and higher, you will need to go to Settings > About Phone > Build Number > and tap 7 times until it says that you are now a developer. Then hit back and go Settings > Developer Options > USB Debugging
Step 5: Read the Notifications that appear on the Kingo App. Is it important to carefully read and make sure that you are aware that you are modifying the system and that it is important to back up your phone before proceeding.
Step 6: Click “Root” This rooting process may take a couple of minutes. Your device may also reboot a number of times before it remains on. Do not panic as this is completely normal. Once you start the rooting process, be sure to NOT unplug, turn off, or do anything to alter what is going on. Losing power or internet may damage your phone, so be sure that you are in a stable situation.
Step 7: When the Rooting is finally done, you will see a Finish button. Click the Finish button. This will cause your device to reboot again, do not try to turn on the device before it reboots.
Step 8: Check to make sure your rooting was done successfully. Normally, an app called SuperUser will be created once the rooting process has finished. You can run this app and it will scan your device to see if it has been sucesfully rooted. If this app was not installed, you can go to the Google Play Store and install Root checker Basic to see whether or not your phone was rooted successfully.
Step 9: Enjoy your rooted device!
So my Phone is Rooted, What Now?
This app is very straightforward in the fact that it simply makes a backup of your device. This is extremely useful because when installing different themes and ROMS, as you do not have to install all of your apps again if something were to go wrong. This app also allows you to schedule when you would like to back up your phone.
No Bloat is an app that allows you to delete any of the apps that came installed with your device. This allows you to get rid of any app that may annoy you and leave you with a lot more space and allow you to have a longer battery life by not wasting it on the apps that continuously run in the background.
A personal favorite of mine, Greenify allows the user to increase the performance of their device. This app will help you save battery and increase the performance of your phone all around. It will make sure that devices that are not needed are not running and the battery saved will definitely be noticed.
This app is going to be the best friend of anyone who has just recently rooted their device. This allows you to load any ROM onto your phone from an SD card, reinstall a previously installed ROM, backup a ROM, backup your device and a lot more. This app lets you search for ROMs from a wide range of developers.
This is the completely free version of ROM Manager and the app that I prefer. This does all the work for you and makes installing new ROMS and themes on your phone a breeze. Choosing a ROM may be the hardest part. There are hundreds of different ROMs to choose from.
I recommend CyanogenMod as it is one of the most popular ROMs out there and has the most support. It has a ton of great features that will enhance your Android experience. From the ability to add 4 apps on the lockscreen, to lockscreen gestures, it will enhance your phone and keep it up to date with the latest updates.
Theme Chooser Themes
Theme Chooser Themes is an app that lists every available theme and completely describes and shows you exactly what you’re getting into. This app allows you to filter by price, download count, compatible ROMs, and a wide range of other options. Themes are great in the sense that you can completely change how your Android looks and feels.
You can change how the icons look, how big or small they are, how many there are, and literally every detail about your clock. You can spend hours customizing your phone exactly to your liking. I like a sleek and minimalist theme so I went with this one. To apply a theme simply download and install it and select apply from the Theme Chooser App. There are thousands of different themes and I highly recommend exploring all of them and finding one you absolutely love.
Rooting your phone allows you to install adblock onto your phone. Adblock is an extremely useful app that allows you to block any ad that might appear while you are browsing the internet, or watching a video on youtube. It will completely change the way you watch videos as you won’t have to waste those 30 seconds watching some annoying commercial about something that you could care less about.
Keyboard Manager allows you to completely change how your keyboard looks and feels. This is a feature available to phones that are rooted only. You can change how fast you scroll, multitasking abilities, the colors of the keys and how big or small they are. For newly rooted users, this is great as its one of the first things that you will want to mess with.
If you want to use your laptop on the go and avoid the cost of using your phone as a mobile hotspot, I highly suggest using the WiFi tethering app. This allows you to use your phone as a mobile hotspot for free and is completely reliable. This is my favorite root exclusive app as it allows me to use my laptop regardless of where I am and for no extra cost.