Rooting your phone opens up possibilities
So I rooted my phone.
This is the third Android device I’ve rooted. A couple of Viewsonic tablets, and my phone. And it’s still amazing to me just how simple the process is.
I had trouble really understanding what “rooting” means, until I realized I was making it harder than it is. It’s just granting yourself access to the most basic command level of the software than runs your device.
Why do it? It allows you to customize the operating system beyond the defaults that are built in. This opens up some possibilities for you, from installing software that wasn’t included, all the way to completely replacing the operating system your device came with.
It’s not something to take lightly. Screw it up and your phone could be toast.
Fortunately, though, there is so much good information on the Internet about how to do this for any kind of device that it’s really hard to screw it up.
I thought I had screwed my phone up, in fact, the first time I rooted it. The first software I tried just hung up in the middle of the process, but in retrospect, I think I missed one step in the instructions and that caused the hangup.
No matter, though: There’s always another package, and I went with one that not-so-humbly calls itself “SuperOneClick.” As Dizzy Dean said, though, “It ain’t bragging if you can do it,” and this package does it.
Follow the directions and your phone will be rooted. It took me about 15 minutes, although I spent an hour or two reading instructions and then used this video and instruction page as my guide.
So, now that I have that access, what do I do? This article is what made me want to root the phone in the first place, and I’ve added a couple of the apps here – AdFree, which works great, and ShootMe, which also works great. I’m still playing around with some other apps, too.
I used ShootMe, by the way, to do the screen captures here.
One shows a backgammon game I use a lot. (Does anyone play backgammon any more?) It’s the free version, and it displays unobtrusive ads while it's running. I don’t mind them, but I wanted to try AdFree on something where I would notice the difference, and that little upside-down Android icon is all that appears now, where there previously was a cycle of banner ads.
The other is Wifi Tethering, an app I’m still experimenting with as time permits. I’ve had mixed success with it in the limited time I’ve spent with it, but I can see some real advantages to it.
Any suggestions for other apps? How about for a replacement ROM? CyanogenMod looks like it’s worth a try.