How to root your Droid

Google launched the android operating system as an open source mobile OS. This meant that the service providers could tweak the software as well as the various models of phones to suit the needs of their own network. This meant that the same handset behaved in different ways with different service providers. Some providers limited the use of the android phones to their own ecosystem and loaded them with a plethora of unwanted apps. This led to eventual downfall in the performance of the original android phones.

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Therefore, one needs to root the droid or hack it so that one can get rid of all the unwanted apps and improve the phone’s performance. There are number of developers and hardware professionals who are constantly developing new products that will enable users to root their droids. However, it is important to remember that once your android phone has been hacked then the operator’s warranty becomes void.

The first step to rooting your droid is to find out the version of android operating system on your android device. You can do this by following the steps given below:

  • Go to the application screen, which is called the App Drawer
  • Choose the option “Settings | About device”
  • Slide down to check the “Android version”

It is important to know this because some hacks work only with some versions. In case, your version is severely outdated then you can opt for upgrades.

The second step involves the removal of any software protection put by the manufacturer of your android device to prevent tampering by the user. This can be done by searching for say “root Samsung galaxy” on Google. You can read up on the various results and then choose the one that suits you. The procedure for rooting the phone may be as simple as copying a single file to the phone via your computer or can be a lot more complex. It is important to charge the phone completely before starting the rooting process.

Once rooting of your android phone has met with success, you need to choose a brand new software for your phone and this is commonly referred to as ROM.  The best way to avail of an up-to-date software for your android phone is to avail of a service known as ‘kitchen’ service. It allows you to install the latest version of android operating system supported by your phone and also allows you to choose the various apps that you want to download onto your phone by default. There are several sensible options such as Google Maps, Gmail, android market, etc that are already included in the list. Such services are usually not free and comes at basic cost of around $15. It’s good to pay this price for the service because then you can avail of further support and guidance from the developers in case there are difficulties in the future.

Its best to go for the default configuration provided by such services and download other apps after the new software has been installed. The downloaded ROM then needs to be loaded to your android phone. This can be done in the following way:

  • The ROM zip file has to be copied to the phone’s SD card.
  • The phone has to be rebooted in the ‘Recovery mode’. This can be done either with the help of an app that is a part of the rooting process or by turning off the phone and then powering it up along with the ‘holding down’ of some specific buttons or keys.
  • You have to clear out all ROM and phone specific settings and data caches, before flashing the new ROM else it will go into an endless loop of booting and rebooting. There are two kinds of cache and one kind of data and you can use the wipe/clear options to remove them. It is essential that you wipe out all these three bits of storage and thus prevent the perpetual loop.
  • Now you need to choose the ROM zip file from the Recovery menu and install it. The file is usually called ‘Apply any Zip from SD’.
  • After the successful flashing of ROM, choose the option to reboot from the Recovery menu. The phone will reboot and start setting up the new operating system. This will take some minutes.
  • In case, it takes longer than usual for the new OS to setup, then you can visit the relevant forum for assistance. There are a lot of reasons why certain problems arise during the flashing of ROM, and the developers always have a way to rectify those issues. So you do not need to worry about your phone in case some issues or problems arise during the rooting process.

The phone is now ready to use with the new operating system. You can visit the android market and download the apps of your choice.

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