Rooting: Advantages, Disadvantages and Myths

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Rooting: Advantages, Disadvantages and Myths

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So you got a new phone and you’re wanting to delve into the world of Android rooting. A lot of questions are probably going through your mind. Should I root it? Should I not root it? What could happen if I do? These are all very logical questions that I’m sure the majority of us have asked ourselves at one point or another. So in this article, we’re going to dive head first into the world of Android root, and hopefully make things a little more clear for you.

 

Some of you may be asking, “Well what does root really mean?”

To root your phone basically means to have administrator rights over the system partition on your phone. It can somewhat be compared to having administrator rights on your Windows PC. Basically this means that you can install, and uninstall whatever you want on your phone. Sounds good right? It is. However, there are a couple valid reasons why your phone does not have this access right out of the box. Supposed you’re new to Android and notice that upon turning your phone on, you instantly have access to every system app and system file that is available on your phone. Woah! Careful though, you have no idea what you can or cannot delete without messing something up. You’re smart though, you can use common sense to get you through this. Next thing you know your phone no longer boots up, it won’t even charge! This is one of the many valid reasons that your phone does not come out of the box with superuser access. Believe it or not, it’s disabled to actually protect you!

So now that we’ve got that out of the way, you’re probably thinking “Well should I or shouldn’t I?” The answer to that question is entirely up to you. So let’s go through the advantages AND the disadvantages of rooting your Android device.

Advantages:

Debloat. Bloatware apps are usually carrier specific apps that come preinstalled on your device. They can be helpful, or they can be a nuisance. Keep the ones you want, get rid of the ones you don’t, permanently. NOTE: permanemtly deleting apps bloatware from your device can some times make ota updates fail.

Install and use those “root required” apps. Such as MyBackup Pro, Root Explorer and many more! These apps can become very useful tools in the rooting world and give you so much more control over your device.

Mods, tweaks and themes. Want to have your clock centered? Well that requires root to be able to install or flash a modified SystemUI.apk.

Custom ROMs. ROMs are basically packages of custom made Android software that you can install on your device to have all the nice little features that custom ROMs come with. Rooting is the first step in being able to flash ROMs.

Control “startup apps.” With root permissions, you can even control what apps start automatically when you turn your device on!

These are just some of the very very many advantages to rooting your Android device. Now let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages. (Yes those actually exist.)

Disadvantages:

You may soft brick, or perma brick your device. “Bricking” has 2 forms basically. Softbrick, which is where your phone either bootloops or won’t boot at all, but you still have access to Recovery and/or Fastboot. “Permabrick” or “hardbrick” is exactly how it sounds. You’re phone is a paperweight. It will not boot, it will not charge, and you have no access to Recovery and/or Fastboot.

You’re opened up to making a lot more mistakes, such as deleting your phone.apk, your Settings.apk. You’d be surprised at how much it actually happens. (However, this is why we have websites such as Rootjunky.com and XDA!)

Ok so now we got those out of the way as well, let’s get into some rooting myths!

Myths:

“Once you root, you will no longer receive OTA updates.” – This is simply not true at all. You will still receive the OTA update on your phone if you’re still on the stock software, and you can still install that OTA update as well. However, you WILL lose root access. This can be a pain if your bootloader is not unlocked. You will have to wait for someone to verify that root access is still possible on the new software version.

“Rooting voids your warranty.” – No. No. No. Rooting absolutely does not void your warranty. The absolute only way that root voids your warranty, is if it can be proven :-), that rooting was the direct cause of your issue. However, this is also a confusing subject. Some carriers don’t really care what you do, and some do. Those that do, will not hesitate to deny you any service or replacements if your phone is rooted. Some do not check at all and do not care. Then again, this also varies between OEMs (Motorola, LG, HTC, Samsung). Some OEMs follow the rule I posted above, and some will not grant you any repairs if your device is rooted. The main reason that some places do not care is because of one simple thing, rooting, can in now way at all, damage your device. All rooting does, is install 1 app (Superuser app of choice) and install 1 file (usually in /system/xbin). That’s it. It can in no way cause your touchscreen to stop working, cause your wifi to stop working, cause you to lose mobile data, none of that. It simply can’t do it, unless YOU mess with something after the fact. Keep in mind what I said before though. This is exactly why we have websites like Rootjunky.com and XDA. If something happens, you have a very good chance of recovering your device.

So there you have it. Some advantages, disadvantages, and even some myths about Android rooting. The choice is always up to you if you root or not. That being said, let me leave you with some tips!

1.) Always always always do your research first! Find out what Android version your device is on, find out if it has been confirmed to be able to be rooted.

2.) Try to stay away from Toolkits and “one-click” methods. I’m not saying that the people that make such methods don’t know what they’re doing. What I’m saying is, if you’re going to get into this world, learn the way it used to be done! Learn your adb commands, learn your fastboot commands! Don’t take Android modding away from it’s roots.

3.) When you find a guide about rooting your device, FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS TO THE “T!!!” Do not cut corners, do exactly what the guide tells you to do!

4.) Last but not least, always make sure you perform backups before flashing ROMs. Always make sure you have a recovery plan before doing ANYTHING to your phone.

Well hopefully this article helped you learn something, and hopefully it made the decision a little easier on you. The Android community is very amazing community that is just filled with people willing to help others out when they’re in need. We’re a community that you absolutely WILL NOT find anywhere else. On that note, be safe, be smart, read, read some more, and have fun!!

 

BY

Gary H

 

Android 5.1 Launches On Nexus Devices

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Android 5.1 Lollipop Arrives

This week on the Official Android Blog, Android Lollipop 5.1 was announced with some minor, but well deserved modifications to Lollipop 5.0.

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A small list of some of the changes:

  • Voice-Over-LTE (Currently supported on T-Mobile and Verizon)
  • HD Voice (Currently supported on T-Mobile and Verizon)
  • Device Protection (Remote locking similar to iCloud lock on iOS products)
  • Better Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Quick-toggles
  • Support for Multi-SIM devices

Android 5.1 is currently being pushed to Nexus 5, 6, 7, 10. If you want this latest firmware the best place to download it is from HERE

Source from Official Android Blog

A couple things i have noticed with android 5.1 are that it runs much smoother on my Nexus 6. Apps and browser windows load quicker which I really like. It also seems like the encryption on the Nexus 6 kind of slowed down the device but with Android 5.1 it is working normal again even with the encryption.  There are also a lot of little animations that make it a much nicer experience.

NVIDIA SHIELD Android Gaming System

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NVIDIA SHIELD Android Gaming System

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Today we are taking a look at Nvidia’s Version of a Android TV box setup. We have already seen the Nexus Player, Ouya, Fire TV and many others but none of them compare to the Nvidia Shield android TV box.  The processing power and specs on this iteration of Android tv box is really amazing and really aimed at the gamer.  The Nvidia shield box will come with a Tegra X1 processor sporting 256-core maxwell GPU, 3GB of ram and be able to display in 4K ultra HD.  This device will be a Android Gamers dream.

Just like all the other Shield device Nvidia has made you will be able to stream games with Nvidia Grid. What’s more is that NVIDIA has worked with partners to port major game titles to Android, specifically for devices powered by the X1 processor. Games like Crysis 3, Doom 3: BFG Edition, Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, The Talos Principle, Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance and Resident Evil 5 among others.

Now the best part off all about this device is the price just $199.99 this includes the Nvidia Shield android tv Box, shield remote, and shield controller. The release date is in may 2015 in the us. I for one cant wait to check this device out.

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Nvidia Shield Android TV Specs

  • NVIDIA Tegra X1 Processor with 256-core Maxwell GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 4K Ultra-HD Ready with 4K playback and capture up to 60fps (VP9, H265, H264)
  • Audio Features: 7.1 and 5.1 surround sound pass through over HDMI, High-resolution audio playback up to 24-bit/192kHz over HDMI and USB, High-resolution audio upsample to 24-bit/192hHz over USB
  • 16GB on board storage, MicroSD slot supporting 128GB
  • Wireless: 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth: 4.1/BLE
  • Interfaces: Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, Two USB 3.0 (Type A), Micro-USB 2.0
  • IR Receiver (compatible with Logitech Harmony)

Check out Nvidia Shield console official page HERE along with a cool video on it

HTC One M9

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HTC One M9 Plus VR Powered by VALVE

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HTC One M9

I am sure many of you have seen or even owned a M7 or M8 and know that it is one premium device made of a nice metal unibody build. The HTC One M9 isnt any different but this time HTC added a two tone look to it that i kind of like. The back still has the silver brushed metal but the edges have a nice looking gold metal shine. I think this just adds to the premium look and feel of the M9. Other big changes to note about the M9 is that HTC finally got rid of there back ultra pixel camera and now has a 20mp back camera which i think will be a very big improvement. For those of you that love the ultra pixels, you are also in luck since HTC just moved that camera to the front. Lets talk speed this bad boy will be rocking a Snapdragon 810 octa core CPU based on the 64-bit architecture. The M9 will also have 3GB of ram giving this new HTC device some real processing power and of course it will still have those amazing boomsound speakers we all love. I cant wait to get my hands on this device. make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel for full coverage of the M9 along with any hacking rooting and modding i will be doing on it.

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Here is HTC’s official page for the HTC One M9.

 Basic Specs

  • CPU Speed

    • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810, octa core
    • 64-bit, 4 x 2.0GHz + 4 x 1.5GHz
  • Memory1

    • ROM: 32GB / RAM: 3GB
    • Extended memory: microSD™ up to 128 GB
  • Camera

    • Main camera: 20MP with sapphire cover lens, auto-focus, BSI sensor, f/2.2, 27.8mm lens, 4K video recording
    • Front camera: HTC UltraPixel™, BSI sensor, f/2.0, 26.8mm lens, 1080p video recording
  • Display

    5.0 inch, Full HD 1080p

  • Sound

    HTC BoomSound™ with Dolby Audio™

  • Battery3

    • Capacity: 2840 mAh
    • Talk time: Up to 25.4 hours for 2G/ 21.7 hours for 3G
    • Standby time: Up to 391 hours for 2G/ 402hours for 3G

HTC VR powered by VALVE

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Here is a picture of the New HTC VR that is in developement. check out the official site HERE

Samsung “Next Is Now” S6/Edge

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Samsung Galaxy S6 and Edge

Plastic.

Band-Aid.

Cheap.

Just some words that many have used to describe Samsung’s Galaxy line of phones in the past. This year, Samsung has changed that notion and flipped the tables on its design philosophy.

 

The Samsung Galaxy S6 in the flesh.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 in the flesh.

 

 

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge are made out of metal and gorilla glass 4, which wraps the front and back sides of the devices, with the metal around the sides where one would hold the phone. Obviously to most, the name isn’t the only difference between Samsung’s flagship variants, but two curved edges come with the S6 edge. Unlike the recent Galaxy Note Edge which was slanted on one side and took away button real-estate, the S6 edge also is only partway skewed, giving the user room on the sides to hold the device comfortably along the metal sides.

It’s not just the outside that changed though; Samsung has opted for their own silicon this time around using an 2.1 Ghz 14nm Exynos Octa-core processor (64 Bit of course). They’ve also become the first smartphone to include DDR4 memory and UFS 2.0 storage. Without getting nitty gritty in the nerd speak here, this means insanely fast storage with speeds never before seen in a smartphone’s flash memory, faster operations, and much improved battery usage overall.

Samsung has stuck with a 16MP shooter, but are now using Optical Image Stabilitzation (OIS) for un-shaking those photos and an F1.9 lens. Again, not getting down and dirty with specs, the low light quality on this should be insane, and the camera a noticeable improvement over the Galaxy S5. The same lens is also on the 5MP front facing wide-angle camera.

Real life battery usage will take time to see. The Galaxy S6 rocks a 2550 mAh battery while the S6 Edge a 2600 mAh, only a trivial  50 mAh difference. The big change this time around, Samsung has built in a competitor to Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology. They are claiming 4 Hours of battery life in only 10 minutes on the charger, quite a claim to make! Another inclusion is Wireless Charging and not just one, but two technology are inside. What this means for the end user, is any wireless charging station is going to work just fine, and no more worrying about what a “Qi” is.

Some other additions are Samsung Pay, a serious competitor to Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Not only does it support NFC payments, Samsung Pay supports MagStripe Transfer. Any place that accepts sliding a credit card, will accept Samsung Pay. This is amazing news, with many locations blocking NFC payments for nefarious or unknown reasons. The other addition a new fingerprint scanner, now touch based rather than swiping. This is a key part of Samsung Pay, since it encrypts everything with your fingerprint stored locally on your device, never going to some untrustworthy server.

Overall, Samsung has made some serious strides, but as you may have noticed they have discontinued external storage, water resistance, and removable battery support. This may seem like a deal-breaker to some, but with new charging methods and 3 storage options the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge seem like the phone to want, as of today.

 

 

Specs List:

2.1 Ghz Octa-core Exynos Processer (14nm Process).
16MP F1 w/ OIS back facing. 5MP F1 front facing.
3GB DDR4 memory.
UFS 2.0 storage in 32GB/64GB/128GB configurations.
Wireless charging and NFC.
2550 S6/2600 edge mAh battery.
5.1″ 1440p SuperAMOLED display.
Fingerprint scanner (touch based).
Colors: White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz.

The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge are planned to launch April 10th, 2015 in 20 countries initially.