Go to our Rooting Guide for the full disclaimer but basically, we are not responsible if you void your warranty, your device stops working, stops booting, explodes, runs away, or steals your girlfriend. You are 100% responsible for everything you do so triple and quadruple check your facts and instructions! Read all information!
Should I Root my Android?
That’s a question only you can answer for yourself. I know the answer for me is always a resounding yes! There are a couple of things I love about my rooted phone that I just couldn’t imagine giving up. It affords you’re a level of control that helps you control your data use, helps extend battery life, and improve performance. You can delete all the crapware that comes pre-loaded on your phone and back up applications! These reasons alone are literally reason enough to root your device in my opinion. Many people online swear by Titanium Backup but I much prefer recommending Rom Toolbox which is a complete suite of features to use on your newly rooted device.
Those are the main reasons you would want to root your mobile device. However, since you’re on this blog, there’s a good chance you may be looking into doing so in order to reap the advantages and features offered by spy apps. Monitoring software does not require your Android to be rooted in order to be installed or used, but some features will only work on your Android cell phone or tablet, if it has been rooted. Those main common features are tracking and logging of instant messengers and some social media accounts, such as; WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, BBM and such. By rooting your device, you can ensure that these features will work in accordance with your device and selected spying software.
Rom Toolbox Pro
I’m going to do a little promo here for an app I really love. And this isn’t any of that bullshit sponsored content you’ve been hearing about, I’m not getting paid for this, it’s an unbiased opinion about an app I use daily. I first bought this when the application was still relatively new and couldn’t get over the fantastic value. The app is just $6.50 and features a root browser, app manager, backups, themeing, cpu and kernel control, and much much more. It even absorbed Goo Manger which was a very popular developer repository for modified roms. This means you can download and install a new custom recovery, followed by a custom OS easily through Rom Toolbox with a couple of clicks. It is literally THE must have app for root users in my opinion. In contrast, Titanium Backup alone is $7.61 and basically just allows you the app control features such as backup and bloatware deleting. That’s just one of the features you get in Rom Toolbox which is literally the equivalent of 10 or 15 root applications rolled into one. On top of that, I had the absolute best customer service experience imaginable. I once e-mailed the developer about issues I was having and he personally contacted me through google chat and walked me through the problem; which took probably close to three hours over two days. He even sent me a custom build of the application to help troubleshoot. He was extremely patient and friendly, and it really stuck with me.
Kind of went off on a tangent there. Rom Toolbox allows me to do things like control which application are able to launch themselves on startup. We all have those annoying apps that seems to launch on their own and use up RAM. It also allows you to look at, and disable, all of an applications receivers. What does this mean? For example, Facebook has been in the news again regarding privacy concerns when a set of new permissions for its messenger app were seen as abusive and invasive. Users are asking themselves why Facebook needs access to my microphone and rightfully so! (Though in this case it does seem benign) Rom Toolbox allows you to disable these receivers, meaning the processes cannot run because they’re lacking their “on” trigger. As always, be careful what you’re doing! Messing about with an applications permissions and receivers may cause it to misbehave if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s a funny coincidence I’m writing about this because just this morning I turned of all receivers looking for my location, my microphone, and any other data I felt was abusive, without a good reason. This ability alone is one of the reasons I scoff at my friends concerned with app permissions, particularly iPhone users.
Tasker is another application for root users that deserves special mention. It’s definitely not the most user friendly application, and newbies will find it extremely intimidating. But if you learn how to use Tasker properly the results can be amazing! (This guy automated his whole apartment through tasker using voice commands and it’s awesome!). Some examples of stuff I have on my Tasker include a task that turns off my WiFi when I’m out of range of my access point, a task that turns WiFi back on when I’m back home (Cool feature! Uses my cellular phone towers to determine when I’m home!), a task that turns off my ringers when I’m at work etc etc. You can trigger tasks by time, date, manual triggers like widgets or buttons, GPS coordinates, voice commands, Cell Tower Connectivity, (actually, all forms of connectivity!), plugins, apps, the possibilities are almost infinite. The best part is, even if you don’t understand all of this, people have already made, and uploaded tasks you can use. Some of them are extremely useful like battery savers or productivity enhancers. While other ones are downright cool like texting your phone to get a text back with its exact location. There’s even one that will make a noise or lure people in with an obscene text so it can take a picture. The idea here being you can catch whoever stole your phone. Take a look through the Tasker repository.
Then there’s the Xposed Framework which again, is a field so vast that it easily warrants its own article. To give the quick summary, Xposed is a framework which allows you to make certain changes to your system. Examples include visual tweak like adding a transparent navigation bar or changing the battery icon, to software tweaks like adding options to the power menu or changing the function of your hardware buttons, to much deeper tweaks like advanced security, or battery control, and a ton of other really cool stuff. I remember when I first discovered Launchers and was amazed by the level of customization it afforded me. Discovering Xposed was like finding launchers again for the first time! Again, way too much to cover in one article but trust me, it’s worth it. Some of my favorite Xposed Tweaks include Greenify (Which is now a standalone app), my multiple lock screen widgets (Samsung Phones) and Adaway.
Then there’s the whole world of custom recoveries and Roms which is a topic so huge I won’t even begin to address it here. As always, if you plan on romming, do thorough research, triple and quadruple check you’re doing it right, and trust XDA Developers!