There are benefits to rooting your Android smartphone, but it can be a tricky world for beginners. Here are some tips.
For all of the flexibility and customization that comes with an Android device, there are still plenty of restrictions in place. While Android technically is an open-source platform, the final product is still the result of a phone maker's skin, the carrier or manufacturer's preloaded software, or even sometimes, a few disabled features.
There isn't anything wrong with most out-of-the-box experiences, but more daring and tech-savvy users who tire of being at the mercy and discretion of carriers and handset makers might be interested in pushing theirAndroid devices to new limits. This where the practice known as rooting comes into play.What is rooting?Rooting, in a nutshell, is the process that provides users with full administrator control and access to an Android smartphone or tablet. Similar to "jailbreaking" an iOS device, this is often done in order to bypass carrier or handset maker limitations or restrictions. Once you achieve "root access," you can replace or alter applications and system settings, run specialized apps, and more.
One of the more common reasons to root a phone is to replace the operating system with a ROM, another developer's version of the OS that also gives you more control over details. In rooting culture, we'd call that "flashing a custom ROM."
The process of rooting an Android phone varies for each device, but seems to have been streamlined over time. Google's Nexus line of phones, such as the LG-made Nexus 4, appeals to developers and techie types and are among the most often rooted models. With that in mind, you'll also find that popular devices like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X+ have plenty of custom ROMs to choose from.
Note that rooting will void the device warranty; however, flashing a stock ROM can revert things back to their original state.