Rooting Your Android Smartphone or Tablet

root android

Rooting his device is, for some, the first reflex after acquiring a new smartphone or tablet. For others, this is the best way to have worries when it comes to warranty and I imagine that for some Android users, the word root stops in its English translation and ignore that they could increase the possibilities of their device.

This article is not intended to encourage the most reluctant to change their minds. I will content myself with a small informative prose which has only one objective: the sharing of knowledge.

Rooting device means what?

Unless you’ve migrated to a cellar for a few years, you’ve certainly heard about the jailbreak on IPhone. This method of blowing up the locks put in place by Apple to secure its devices is particularly appreciated. The root, though more pushed, is in the same spirit.

Why more pushed?

An Android device not rooted allows, by its specificities, everything that a device under iOS could offer once the jailbreak applied. So it’s logical that root brings an extra dimension.

Yes, but what’s the point?

Good question. It is thought that root can use cracked applications and that it is for hackers who want to access the Google Play catalog for free. Well what could be one of the reasons for the jailbreak certainly is not for the root. As you may know, Android does not need anything to install cracked apps. Simply go into the phone settings (not rooted) and check the box “Unknown sources” so that any app can be installed no matter where it comes from.

Let us not go astray and return to the concrete. By rooting your android device, you allow yourself to change the core of your system. Still for comparative purposes, jailbroken an iphone, this does not allow to blow the operator lock and it is the same for iOS which will remain the same whatever applications you install. On Android it’s very different and everything you want to change can be.

So if it is not used to install cracked applications, what is the purpose of the maneuver?

This can start by blowing up the SIM lock (very easy), but can be much more drastic by installing versions of the modified Android bone and better known as “ROM” (less easy for a neophyte but nothing d Insurmountable either).

Between these two “extremes” lies a multitude of things far less barbarous and far less complicated to implement. Let’s take a simple example. I imagine none of you enjoy seeing his small screen (even with 5.5-inch, a smartphone has a small screen) filled with advertisements of any kind when opening a web page.

Maybe others would happily do without some applications coming automatically with their phone. I would have a hard time believing those who do not want more autonomy. And root allows, through apps available on Google Play, to address these problems.

Here are some examples but the list is much larger:


As the name suggests, to overcome advertisements on your device. We talk about the device as a whole and not just web pages. It is, for several reasons, my favorite but there are other equally effective ones. This one is of a sober design, translated into French which is not a generality among the competitors and moreover, its developer is the type very rigid in what he does.

Files Manager 

Is a file explorer coming to replace advantageously the one provided by the manufacturer? It provides the ability to access, modify, delete, and even add system files. It has a lot of competitors, some are excellent as Root Explorer (paying) for example, but for now it’s the one that has my preference. It is available for smartphones and tablets.

Battery Stats 

(Paid on Google Play but the developer offers it for free on XDA) does not claim to have super powers allowing your smartphone to double its autonomy in two blows of spoon. It simply informs you about the use of the battery by the various applications and services on your device. It may sound stupid, but thanks to it we can identify energy-consuming sources and correct problems.

Titanium Backup 

(Free but paying version) best seller of which I already spoke in my previous article, gains in possibilities thanks to the root. This will allow you to “freeze” some undesirable system applications instead of deleting them. The advantage is that it is easily reversible via the application as opposed to manual deletion via File Manager.

USB sharer

(Paid) comes to give back to Android what it lost over time: the UMS for universal mass storage. Until not long ago, an Android device was recognized as a hard drive or a USB stick. Simply connect it to any computer and a new device with a letter would appear in the explorer (or the finder on the Mac). This made it possible not to ask questions about the bike to which it was connected but especially as to what types of files we wanted to transfer. Today the MTP (media transfer protocol) standard has complicated some things but thanks to this app, you can have the best of both worlds.

About carrier unblocking, there are several apps on Google Play that are brand-specific. A little research on the store will surely help you find your happiness.

Well that’s all it is but how do you root your device?

  • Unlike the world of apple, in the Android sphere each device is different and requires specific files. However, in general, most have the same process.
  • We use a software called ODIN on his computer, we plug in his device that we put in download mode before, and then ODIN, we inject “files” specific to the device.
  • To find what is necessary for the operation, a Google search with the words “root” + “brand of your device” + “model of your device” will certainly make you fall on forums or specialized sites dealing in more detail the procedure .

Given the success of high-end Samsung in 2012 and given that the root procedure of these models is the most childlike ever seen, I will save you Google search:

  • Visit the XDA forum at this address
  • Download the Exynos Abuse application.
  • Install it there and then open it.
  • Click on the button and “boom … it works! 

A little wink that many will understand. Magic and bluffing simplicity, this exception is due to the Samsung mess (and the talents of Chain fire, developer well known in the Android world) with its Exynos processors and only works with the S2, S3, Note 2 and Note 10.1.

What if I do not want more root?

Well, the procedure is quite simple. Simply use the SuperSu application that will be installed during the root procedure. It allows, through its options to remove any trace of root on your device.

But the “ROMS” changed then what is it used for?

Vast question. Given the possibilities of editing Android, a “ROM” can be very close to that provided originally as it can be almost the opposite. A developer may modify, add or remove certain functions, change cosmetic aspects and then recompile the whole and make it available to the public. Others decide to drastically change the system, in general it is the work of several people such as the CyanogenMod team or AOKP, and it could be said that it is almost the same phone at the finish.

To each of his preferences, for my part having used for a time the “roms” CyanogenMod, I can only say well but now my choice is about more modest changes.

Always in the same spirit but allowing to modify only what one wants precisely, one finds in parallel “roms”, so-called mods.

These files will not replace the entire operating system but only a part of it. This can be the function of a button or how a task will be launched. There is a whole lot of it, and only the talent or the imagination of the one who creates it can limit its scope.

In the same category are the themes. This series of files allows you to change the appearance of your device. In general, a theme does not modify or does not bring functions, it is content to redo the deco according to the vision of its creator.

Roms, themes, mods, you have other barbarian terms I should know?

Unfortunately for the newcomers, some rather technical aspects can still be modified and at first glance, this does not seem familiar. But nothing incomprehensible either, reassure yourself.

We saw what the “Roma”, mods and themes could change. If we wanted to be imaged all that and compare it to a car, or could say that the three categories mentioned are, chassis, body and the dashboard (in the order you like). Obviously, for a car to advance, it takes a motor and above all to control it.

This is what the kernel (or kernel) does. Behind this sexy name, hides what controls the organs of your device.

Ok thank you for the information but concretely I do what with this?

Let’s say your device is a bit weak and makes you feel every time you use it. Well through the kernel, we can put a few lashes to improve his “assiduity”.Mouai bof, my device is a power monster and I do not even know what to do with it. Well why not just lower its pace to increase its autonomy? So your thing is just for the processor?

Even though the kernel is what handles your whole system, the user-accessible settings are essentially processor-driven, but once again, the possibilities depend a lot on the developers. The graphical part can be included in the list of modifiable parameters with the same advantages as for the processor. The sound part is sometimes very well taken into account and offers interesting possibilities. The same is true for the display, memory and some others. And all your stuff is installed like an application? Unfortunately no. You will have to go through the recovery.

The recovery what? What’s that again?

The recovery (or CWM but still clockwork mod for the intimate) is a kind of second operating system that can be accessed on a “dual boot principle”. Once installed, you can restart your phone or tablet in “recovery mode” and will be able to perform all kinds of tasks. This goes from a backup of the system files, to the complete replacement of the latter. Between two are the installation of your mods, themes, etc.

And how do we install this recovery?

Generally, during the root procedure, the ODIN utility, via your computer, installs it directly. For Samsung users who have used the simplified method I have given above, you will have to go through ODIN if you want to have a recovery on your device.

Note that Mobile ODIN exists and it allows you to do what its PC version does. However, in order to use it, your device must be rooted beforehand so if it is for a first installation, only the users of Samsung devices can completely do without a computer.

I understood what you explained to me but in trying to install a “ROM” I still came across science fiction terms. ODEX, DEODEX or ZIPALIGNED. Kezako?

In an optimization concern, Android uses a file management system named ODEX . Applications can create a small file containing certain information that will be read as a priority and allow the application to start faster.

This system, while performing, makes certain modifications such as the theme more painful. As a result, most developers of “ROMS” de-ODEX-ent their creation in order to simplify the task and at the same time allow to modify them by themes or anything else more easily.

The lost optimization must be caught up in one way or another and that’s where the developers use their joker. By “zipalignant” their “rom”, this one will perform optimization of applications at startup and will in practice be even more efficient than the ODEX system. All this being almost anecdotal because in reality, the user will not feel any difference between the two.

Well, I have a headache, it’s over with your story?

Yes, rest, you deserved it.

  • I have always used the word rom in quotation marks as a “rom” as being used in the Android world is not a rom to properly spoken. A rom is hardware and not software.
  • Mods in their generality can sometimes take the form of frameworks, hacks, tweaks, etc. In the end all are more or less large pieces of code that only modify a specific part of the system.
  • For recovery, I talked about the CWM but it has a “competitor” named TWRP (TeamWin Recovery Projects). The functions are similar and as always, to each one to use his favorite. CWM is more widespread and incidentally it’s the one I use.

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