Rooting Android: Tips and Tricks

The root is usually activated on Android through two apps: Superuser or SuperSU . These apps use the obtained root permissions to root other apps. Suppose you install an app that asks for root permissions. Then SuperUser and SuperSU can assign it. SuperUser is the general root app that comes with the alternative Android version CyanogenMod, for example, SuperSu was developed by a Dutchman and the undersigned has been using it for several years.

Please note: installing these apps is of no use, you have to root the device first, after which the root apps can use all these rights and give other apps the opportunity to get more rights.

What can you do with root?

Since root gives more rights to the user, it is possible to do ‘more’ with Android. We keep that term so broad on purpose because root permissions can be used by many for apps and services. Think, for example, of performing general backups of apps, including, for example, your save games or other important content. Or the ability to completely disable system apps you don’t want? This feature is particularly useful for Android devices with bloatware, i.e. unwanted apps from manufacturers.

An important option for root privileges is the ability to install alternative kernels. For example, you can improve the speed and battery life of your smartphone via a kernel. For example, via an alternative kernel, it is possible to adjust the clock speed of the processor, colors of your screen or the power of the GPU. These are quite technical parts, so it is advisable to only flash another kernel if you are really knowledgeable about this. There are several developers who release their kernels for multiple devices and have the kernel flashed via a root app. Then it is a matter of rebooting, after which the kernel is installed.

The difference between root and a custom recovery

The root is different from a custom recovery. A custom recovery is an alternative version of the recovery section within Android, also known simply as the ‘recovery’. You can use the recovery, for example, if your device freezes and you want to reset your device in the ‘bios’ of Android. Usually, you activate the recovery by pressing a combination of buttons when the device starts up. You will not boot into the system, but into recovery. In contrast to a normal recovery, a custom recovery also lets you flash software.

A custom recovery (picture below) is usually used to install alternative Android versions, such as CyanogenMod or Paranoid Android. These Android versions often come with root rights and an accompanying root app, so that the software already has root directly. You don’t have to root an Android again.

Actually, a custom recovery uses root rights. The difference is that root is a general word for the administrator rights, and that apps but also a custom recovery can use these root rights. In addition, rooting Android usually means root rights within the operating system, while custom recovery is not part of the operating system.

How do I root my Android device?

A logical question with a less logical answer. Rooting your device is a different per manufacturer and often per device. There are already some tools available that work largely universally, but these are not recommended because it is always better to read a tutorial on the technology forum XDA Developers to follow. This is where those who want to get more out of technology gather, and there are many Android users in particular. For example, every device has its own forum, where you can often find a tutorial at Development, General or Q&A. Read this carefully, understand every step and try it first on a device that you do not need every day. With some devices (such as the Nexus line) it is very easy to root, with other devices (such as HTC smartphones) it may take some effort and Android knowledge. But the most important thing is: always read carefully, search the forum well and start prepared – so always back up your important files first.

The 5 best root apps for your Android

Franco.Kernel updater

The Franco. The kernel is known for its excellent speed performance and long battery life. The kernel is actually the powerhouse of the phone and controls the connection between the hardware and the operating system. For example, Franco. Kernel ensures that the number of processors and the clock speed are not increased too quickly, but the kernel can also have an effect on the sound, the vibration motor, disk and the screen. With a kernel, think of frequently updating drivers that often always bring improvements. With the Franco. Kernel updater you can adjust all kernel settings to your liking and flash new kernels.

→ Download Franco.Kernel updater in Google Play (3.99 euros)

Flashify

Flashify is the all-rounder for the root user and those who ‘flash’ their smartphone or tablet or install other software and kernels on it. With Flashify you can easily flash alternative recoveries, kernels and boot images directly from Android. When the flash is complete, the device will reboot and the changes will take effect. Flashing new software is also supported.

But the app can do even more. For example, Flashify is able to make a backup of your current recovery or kernel, which can then be stored on Dropbox. In addition, users have the option to share the backup file via Android’s built-in sharing function to other apps. The free version is limited to three flashes per day.

→ Download Flashify in Google Play (Free)

Titanium Backup

Titanium Backup is the best backup app for Android. The app is frequently updated, has many different options and is extremely stable. You do need root rights to use Titanium Backup. If you often switch ROMs and need to restore many apps, the paid version of Titanium Backup is also a good option. With the paid version you can restore all your saved settings and apps in one go. Even save games and your settings for Twitter notifications, for example.

→ Download Titanium Backup in Google Play (Free)

Greenify

Greenify makes your Android device run faster and more energy-efficiently by snoozing apps when they’re not needed. Greenify, which must be provided with root rights, keeps a close eye on all your running apps and knows exactly when an app is no longer needed or can run quietly in the background. Please note: Greenify is not a task killer, but a full-fledged app that cleverly puts all your unnecessary apps to sleep. With Greenify, the user also gets a handy insight into what slows down the smartphone or tablet and where some extra energy can be saved.

→ Download Greenify in Google Play (free)

Solid Explorer

Like the old familiar Windows Commander, Solid Explorer has two screens where you can work at the same time and drag files to other folders. From the app, you can directly upload files to Dropbox and you have the option to add favourite locations on your memory card. An excellent file browser, which can reach the deepest folders of Android via root rights. Think, for example, of the important system or data folder, where you can adjust important app or system files. The trial version is free to download, after 14 days the paid version must be purchased.

→ Download Solid Explorer in Google Play (Free)

Is rooting legal?

Rooting is completely legal, but with many manufacturers, you lose the warranty if you send a rooted smartphone for repair. For example, the undersigned sent his Galaxy Nexus to Samsung because of a broken SIM card tray, and the repair was not reimbursed because the smartphone was rooted. Samsung sent me a photo of the Superuser app as proof. It is of course possible to install the stock firmware without root before sending the phone in for repair.

In addition, most Android updates no longer work. The update system recognizes that the device has root rights, so the update process is not always performed. Some root apps have the option to temporarily unroot the device, which makes the update process successful. However, many complain after this that they have to reinstall the root.

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