So you just bought a new phone like the Note 3 or something else that you’ve been eyeing for a very long time. All those new features! Faster processor, bigger screen, 4G / LTE, all the great new buzzwords and the “I gotta have it” mentality, because it’s just going to make you cooler to your friends and you can be the envy of everyone you don’t know in public. (Sad, but true).
Only one problem.. The phone is crippled. It’s been locked down by the carrier and a good portion of the performance you paid for is being eaten up by the Zynga app or something else you’ll never use. So let’s just uninstall it right? Wrong. Sorry, but you can’t, because the carrier did a deal with Zynga or whoever else to force the app on your phone and you’re forced to keep the app there for the next 2 years even though you’ll never use it.
Personally, I don’t have that problem. I bought a new phone, because I wanted a faster processor, faster internet, etc. I also don’t want the energy sucked out of my battery, because Angry Birds (a game I will never play) needs to autostart some weird service that does absolutely nothing for me. (I also can’t stand the icon cluttering up my apps drawer or desktop). What do I do? I root it.
It’s the first thing I do with EVERY device I buy. I don’t pop the sim in at the store and start making calls.. EVER. I test the phone in the store and once I’m satisfied it’s working, I take it home and root it. Why? I don’t want to be in a situation where I need to do something 6 months later and find out the phone is locked and I have to do backup the phone, root it, restore my data / apps, etc. Personally, my time is too valuable to me.
There are many features that are disabled on devices by the carriers when they sell you the phone. Do they tell you that you’re paying $699.00 (or whatever you pay) for a phone that has critical functionality removed or 10% less battery life over its rated specs? Nope. They just want to make the sale.
I never listen to what the salesperson at the store says. Chances are, I know more about the device than they do. I don’t bother arguing specs or capabilities with them. It’s like trying to convince a dog to not wag its tail. I just walk in, buy the phone, smile, thank them and go home.
There are 2 things I do with my phone when I get it. I unlock it and root it.
Unlocking a phone:
Why unlock a phone? Simply, in the case I may be in a foreign country or want to swap out a sim card from another carrier, I can. There are many ways to unlock a phone and each one is specific to your model and carrier. I’ll just let you google that, but if you’re too lazy and have a couple of bucks, just go to unlocking.com and buy your code.
Rooting a phone:
There are many reasons to root a phone, for me, it’s control. Want to adjust the default volume of your speakers and headphones? You’ll need to root it. Do you want to install an app that allows your provider has deemed unacceptable? You’ll need to root it. Want to install an ssh server on your phone? You’ll need to root it. Want to tune the radio signal strength (for a bit better reception)? You’ll need to root it. Want to be able to improve your battery life by installing another kernel? You get the idea. The most important reason to root a phone though is WANTING TO REMOVE UNWANTED APPS (like Zynga) from your phone; My primary reason for rooting.
There are other reasons, like wanting the newest version of android!
So you get the idea. Root your phone, gain some battery life, and uninstall those ugly apps that suck precious battery life and space.
XDA-developers.com (pretty much the source for all things mobile device)
unlocking.com (if you’re lazy and just want an unlock code quickly)