Rooting was somewhat like a trend among the tech savvy people – it was pretty much the first thing they did, when they got their hands on their devices. The process of rooting a device is unique to the device and a bit complicated so for an average user it was something that they would normally ignore.
What is rooting?
Rooting is the process of allowing users of smartphones, tablets and other devices running the Android mobile operating system to attain privileged control (known as root access) over various Android subsystems. As Android uses the Linux kernel, rooting an Android device gives similar access to administrative (superuser) permissions as on Linux or any other Unix-like operating system such as FreeBSD or macOS.Source: Wikipedia
The main reason why people would think of rooting a device was to mainly get rid of the system apps that was kind of like bloatware. Normally we wouldn’t be able to uninstall these system apps because due to the architecture of Android, normal user did not have the privilege to modify/uninstall system apps. Of course, there are other equally important reasons why people would go for rooting their devices. Another popular reason behind it was to install custom ROM – these are modified versions of the Android OS – this is an over-simplified definition of custom ROMs.
And why not to root?
There are also various reasons why people would normally shy away from rooting their devices. Few of them are listed below:
- It voids the device’s warranty.
- The process of rooting is a bit complicated, and you might end up with a “bricked” device.
- Might have security issues – that depends on the custom ROM you are using.
- Might leak super-user access to apps, that might not respect your privacy – this is unlikely, but a possibility.
- You might need to manually update your device, every time there is a system update.
A lot of people thought that rooting your device is basically the way to go to boost your device’s performance. Although it’s not completely wrong, like removing unwanted system apps would free up space and hence would likely make your device a tad bit more performant, but it’s risky. If you are not absolutely sure as to what you are doing, you might end up uninstalling a required system app and might end up bricking your phone – basically dead.
Today, devices do not need to remove system apps to be more performant, they can either be disabled completely or disabled to run in the background, but of course, that is not going to be as good as removing them completely. Moreover, the newer devices are basically powerhouses – well for me, they are more than capable of handling a few unwanted system apps – but then again this is subjective to the user and device in question.
If device performance is your end goal, you may want to look into other ways of getting the most out of your device – like minimum number of apps, periodically restarting your device, etc. – and rooting should only be the last stand. On the other hand, if you want to install a custom ROM, then you have to root your device. A very famous custom ROM is the LineageOS ROM – near stock experience with a lot of nifty features.
By this point, if I was not able to convince you, my friend, that rooting your device is like playing with fire, then you might want to look into Magisk. Magisk roots your device in probably the simplest way possible and also embraces the systemless root strategy. Systemless root is basically not modifying the system partition of your device. Magisk also allows you to install magisk modules that adds more features to your device.
The general conclusion is that, current devices are quite capable of handling the unwanted apps such that they don’t eat away your devices’ resources, and so rooting your device is not really necessary. Unless, you want to achieve a very particular goal like installing custom ROM, you can safely ignore the concept of “root”.