Rooting Android, is it worth?

By Jean Hertel, 25/12/2016, in category Tips

Android, Paranoia, Root

Hello readers,

Today's theme is about Root on Android. First let's understand what is this ROOT that everyone talks about.

The Android system has its applications separated through a complex system of permissions. No application can see another, as well as change its state or files / directories. Each application runs as if it were its own user, having its files and data separated from the others. Some applications may ignore these restrictions and have direct access to all system files, as well as change memory, etc. These applications are called system applications. Some examples of system applications are the Google Play Store, System Settings application, application installer, etc.

All applications that are "system" are in a separate folder from the others, and have these special permissions. In addition to these applications, any other application may request special permissions, as long as you have a management application for these permissions. One well-known application is superSU, which grants permissions to other applications as needed. The catch here is that the management application needs to be installed as a system application in order to grant permission to the others.

But how the hell do I install an application as a "system"? This is only possible through the boot manager (system boot process). The problem is that this process is blocked on most Android devices marketed. When talking about doing Root on Android, they usually refer to unlocking the boot manager, so they can install a root application (such as superSU).

Unblocking the boot process allows the user to perform various operations on the device, corrupting the system or even totally disabling the device. This is why most hardware vendors provide the device with the boot blocked. Some companies like Motorola teach you how to unlock, as long as you agree to lose the warranty of the device.

The big question now is, is it worth it to unlock my boot process and lose my device warranty?

I confess that when I heard the proposal, initially I was afraid, and I waited a few months until I was sure that the hardware would not present any problem. After about 6 months, I decided to unlock the boot and try everything that is available. The first big advantage I had was being able to uninstall "system" applications that came preinstalled on the device, annoying things that were not adding anything at all. After that, I started using Ad Blockers (AdAway) and Internet Managers (AFWall +). In addition to increasing the security of the device, I started to be less annoyed with applications and ads.

Was it worth it? In my case I can say yes because I am careful to always check and ask myself why an application wants some permission, and if this is really necessary. My golden rule for ROOT: If you have the least care not to get a virus (or malware, call as you want) on your Windows desktop / notebook, you can do ROOT without problems, you will survive.