What is a “Rooted” Android Device?

What is a “Rooted” Android Device?


Oh Android, how we love thee. Riddled with endless customization,  tons of apps, and a sea of possibilities. However, in such a vast array of capabilities lies many questions. One common question that many have when it comes their Android device is about rooting. Rooting an Android device is one of the most crucial necessities for an Android power user such as myself. So what the heck is it?

Android is based on Linux – a powerful, open-source operating system that drives the lush, technological ecosystem that makes up Android. Linux is highly secure and, for that reason, requires special permissions to do upper-level tasks. This is where rooting comes in. Rooting gives the user permission to do these upper-level tasks within Android that you wouldn’t normally be able to do. It’s like being given a VIP card to do whatever you want within Android! Now, Superman (or Superwoman), what can you do with this new power?

The most sought-after reason to root a device is to install a customized operating system such as the famous CyanogenMod, or the one I have created for the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1969201. Not only will rooting allow you to install a custom operating system, it will allow you to edit and customize almost anything to your liking, including the CPU speed, GPU settings, or even custom backups in case something goes wrong. Many users use it to simply remove ads from their Android phones. There are many uses for rooting an Android phone.

Think rooting is for you? Check out the guides at http://forum.xda-developers.com/ available for each individual phone. Note that some newer phones may not have the ability to be rooted yet.