[PLUG-TALK] Rooting Android phone

wes plug at the-wes.com
Sun Mar 6 21:58:10 PST 2011


to "root" a phone does not mean quite exactly what you think it means. It's
actually not that big of a deal. The idea that it's a big deal comes from
all the iphone-heads talking about it, because to them, it IS a big deal.

It is literally, to give you root access to your phone. This generally does
not require reloading the OS, but just needs some procedure performed on the
phone. I did my girlfriend's Galaxy S and she lost nothing. For me, it
involved downloading a utility to do it onto my computer, putting the phone
in debug mode, and running it. It's different for some phones, I don't know
about yours and I didn't look it up.

The advantage is that you can now access features of your phone that had
been locked out by either the manufacturer or the carrier. The important one
for me was a util to dim the screen even further than the default setup
allowed. It all depends on what you want to do with it. Another reason that
it's not a big deal is that Android is generally left open enough to suit
most peoples' needs. I expect you will likely fall into that category.

You can also wipe out your phone's OS and install vanilla Android. This is
not usually referred to as "rooting" but as "installing vanilla Android."

-wes

On Sun, Mar 6, 2011 at 9:36 PM, John Jason Jordan <johnxj at comcast.net>wrote:

> Apparently it is possible to root my Atrix 4G.
>
> I can find lots of pages about rooting phones, all of which assume you
> know what the term means. I don't. I am guessing that it means wipe out
> the installed OS and install a real open source version of Android.
> What is far less clear is what the implications are. Presumably I would
> have to uninstall/reinstall all the stuff and all the settings that I
> have done in the past ten days. But will the phone still work? What are
> the advantages/disadvantages?
>
> Let me give a fr'instance. I lose phones regularly, so the GPS in my
> Atrix 4G is cool because I can go to motoblur.com, log in with the
> account that the AT&T store dude set up (with the wrong name), and it
> will find my phone. I can do this with any computer that has an internet
> connection and a web browser. It is accurate to about seven meters,
> which is close enough to identify the restaurant I left it in. And if
> they say they don't have it, I can tell them which table to look under.
> So if I root the phone, presumably Motoblur goes away. What is the
> alternative?
>
> What about battery usage? I am familiar with lots of problems on
> laptops with Linux where the power management does not work as well as
> it does on that other OS.
>
> What about how many bars of bandwidth I get? At home I barely get two
> bars, and most other places only three. It's so bad I can't stream
> internet radio without constant stopping and buffering. Yet the phone
> always says it is connected to H+, which is AT&T's current version of
> "4G, but not really."
>
> And there are dozens more questions that I haven't even thought of yet.
>
> Suggestions, observations and insights welcome.
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