I haven't thought about rooting an Android phone in years — and you shouldn't either

From 2010 through 2012, my HTC Evo 4G, T-Mobile G2 and Galaxy Nexus saw more ROMs flashed on them than I could ever count. I was trying new experimental software on a weekly basis at least, and some weekends when I felt like tinkering I was trying out several ROMs at a time. I used ClockworkMod'd ROM Manager (opens in new tab) to back up and swap between different customized ROMs based on what I wanted for the day. I thought it was amazing. And I wasn't alone.

Galaxy Nexus

Early on in the popularity of Android, having one — in particular those with great community hacking support — felt like I had license to try something new whenever I wanted. In 2011 and 2012, as enthusiasts we didn't really put that much stock in what software was on a phone out of the box — it just didn't matter, because it was a foregone conclusion that we'd unlock the bootloader, root it (at a minimum) and more than likely load a custom ROM. We'd change the interface, choose precisely what apps we wanted and apply speed tweaks that changed the RAM allocation and overclocked the processor.

Stock software didn't really matter; it was a foregone conclusion you'd root and ROM anyway.

But it was more than than just those tangible benefits of uniquely customized software and increased speed. In those days, it was almost more the experience of rooting a phone that was appealing rather than the end result of getting a customized ROM that was tweaked just right for what I needed. Why else would I flash a ROM only to blow it up and start over four days later? Finding out about new root exploits, seeing what ROMs different development groups were coming up with, and finding new themes or packages that could be easily flashed was simply fun. But that was bound to change eventually.

In the final few days of 2012, I received my Nexus 4 running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. From that point forward, I didn't need a ROM on my phone.

Nexus 4

It wasn't that Android 4.2 was perfect, but it was good enough that it simply didn't warrant going through the hassles of ROMing my phones anymore. The internal specs and software optimization were good enough that you didn't need to strip things out of the OS or overclock your processor to get good daily performance. Google's interface was clean, fast and simple. At this point, I dropped down to just rooting my phones for things like full software backups (cloud backups still sucked at this point) and a few apps that functioned better with root access.

It didn't take long before the benefits of rooting stopped outweighing the hassles. I was content customizing my phone with typical simple methods: disabling some apps, installing a new launcher and keyboard, and finding utility apps to handle much of what I was previously rooting for. In doing so, I no longer had to chase root access. I didn't need to think twice about accepting an OTA update for fear of breaking something, or take whether I could unlock a bootloader into consideration when buying a phone. Overall, it was just so much simpler to live with an Android phone without the pretense of rooting and ROMing being part of my experience.

And it wasn't just Google making better software that didn't "require" rooting. Motorola, Samsung, HTC, and newcomers like OnePlus started releasing phones with software that was actually good. There was a range of hardware choices with acceptable software that didn't need tweaking right out of the box. Companies like Samsung and HTC started shipping software with deeply integrated theme engines that let you customize without rooting, and third-party launchers quenched the thirst for icon packs.

The number of 'good' reasons to root are quickly dwindling, and most people shouldn't go near it.

I will admit that there are still some legitimate reasons why people root their Android phones. Sometimes SIM unlocking or removing onerous bloatware requires it. Some phones are stuck on very old versions of software, and by rooting (which of course is inherently opening a security hole) they can patch many security vulnerabilities with newer versions of software. But these are specialized use-cases, not reason for the average Android owner to download a one-click root application and start tinkering. And when there are fantastic phones available that don't require root to achieve these things, the argument to buy something else and root it is even thinner.

To this day, our guides to help people root their phone are some of the most-viewed on Android Central, despite the fact that we just don't really talk about rooting or ROMs anymore. Unlocking a bootloader and rooting is somehow held up on a pedestal as a cure-all for inexpensive, slow or old phones — an antiquated view that just doesn't hold water anymore, particularly for phones (of any price) sold in the last two years. Rooting used to mean taking control of your device and having the power to undeniably improve it — now, it means headaches and annoyances for no real benefit in the end.

I can't see myself rooting an Android phone ever again, let alone putting a full custom ROM on it. And as the last of these old phones from 2014 and earlier finally die, I don't see more than the most hardcore of tinkerers staying involved with it either.

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • The one reason I wanted root was extra customization. No longer.
  • I'll second this. Now, the only reason I do it is for ad blocking through Chrome; I'll gladly pay for apps I like to remove ads. OnePlus' Beta ROMs for the OP3 have just about all the features I'd ever flashed custom ROMs to get, and those that are missing (lockscreen rotation, removing media art from lockscreen) aren't huge issues for me anymore.
  • Try the Samsung browser. It has adblock, and is now available on non-samsung phones. IMHO it's better then firefox or Chrome.
  • I came off Dolphin, which I thought was a really great browser, but then they broke the Ad-block (some feel for a variety of nefarious reasons) and they've yet months later to fix it. I looked around at a number of browsers and found the Samsung Internet browser. It's got a bit of a learning curve, and I know-I know about a "Chinese browser"; however it's a really great browser. Speedy, good feature set and dependable. It's got the ability to use ad-blocking extensions which was a must for me. You can even download the Samsung Internet browser extension for Chrome for PC and interface with your browser on your phone. I'll use it to move favorites and other URL's between by Android device, my PC and back again...
  • You might want to try Quark Browser, I think it's even better than Samsung browser and dolphine.
  • The edge browser is shockingly very good for Android. I think it's better than all the others and it adds some cook features if you are a windows user. Cortana allows reciept of txt messages on windows too. W10 mobile may be gone but Ms is doing a great job on Android
  • The edge browser is shockingly very good for Android. I think it's better than all the others and it adds some cool features if you are a windows user. Cortana allows reciept of txt messages on windows too. W10 mobile may be gone but Ms is doing a great job on Android
  • There were other reasons I rooted back in the day, such as extra support and just having fun with it. It was oddly satisfying to go into TWRP, perform a full wipe and flashing a new firmware and then booting up into it. I remember when I first saw the CyanogenMod boot screen. Sadly, my needs have changed. I went from wanting extra customization and other stuff to simply wanting a phone that works. The last phone I rooted was the Moto Z, mostly due to me wanting to disable the OTA service as every new update would proceed to brick it while allowing kernel apps to work so I can downclock the SoC to stop it from frying my hands. It wasn’t fun at that point since I felt I needed to do it in order to actually get an acceptable experience. IMO, rooting should be done if you know what you’re doing and you’re ready to accept whatever risks may come about if you wish to add that extra you wanted. It can be fun but I’ve seen so many people brick their phones due to one-click root solutions and not knowing how to recover. I’ve said so many times that if you don’t understand root access and don’t know how to recover, just don’t root on a daily driver.
  • It''s actually ironic that this thoroughly moronic article uses the Nexus 4 as the example of why and when rooting became unnecessary. Why? Because of the Nexus phones that came after. If you didn't root the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, install a custom kernel and change the governor to interactive both phones were guaranteed to go into the boot loop of death because the stock kernel settings from Google made the phones run way too hot which eventually fried the internal electronics. And even though Android Central, XDA and the like have done their readers a grave disservice by completely ignoring the issue the Pixel XL has the exact same problem--the phone runs way too hot. Instead of the boot loop of death that plagued the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P the Pixel XL suffers from the black screen of death. The hardware failure rate for the Pixel XL is probably as high as it was for the Nexus devices. Then there is the situation you are in if you own a One Plus phone like I do. One Plus has been caught stealing user data numerous times. The only way to even safely use a One Plus phone is to not run the stock ROM.
  • Try brave browser
  • Same. My main thing was a dark theme (same reason I don't want to give Google any money for a Pixel) but Oreo pretty much covered that. Although I am back to not being able to take an OTA when it comes, I have to connect to my PC and disable everything first, then take the OTA, then connect it back to the PC and then re-enable everything... Quite the hassle. I do miss titanium, and every time an obtrusive ad pops up I think "I could kill you so easily... And all your friends".
  • [No, you don't need root to theme your phone](https://www.androidcentral.com/no-you-dont-need-root-theme-your-phone)
  • Yes, I need root my Motorola to theme it. Not all manufacturers allow to modify the themes without rooting, as some models of Samsung or Sony.
  • My exact sentiment...I have never rooted since the days of the Galaxy S5. Softwares began getting better from then on. I remember rooting an old OnePlus one somewhere last year because I needed to flash lineageOS on that legacy gem. And that's about it.
    Even Meizu's Flyme OS is so smooth and doesn't require tinkering, how much more stock Android!
  • I used to ROM all the time. The last time I rooted/ROM'd a device was with my old LG G3--and soon after I restored it back to the stock that came with the phone, and un-rooted. The phone ran better for me when not rooted/ROM'd. When I switched to the Pixel XL, I didn't even try anymore. A year and some change in, and it still runs fantastic for me.
  • Same thing with me. I could have written this article. When I got my first android phone (the T-Mobile G1), I flashed ROMs all the time, and I continued with the Nexus One, Galaxy Nexus, and my GalaxyTab. I stopped flashing ROMs when I got the Nexus 5, and I have never bothered to root my Pixel or Nexus 9 tablet. I just don't have the need, and just knowing I could if I wanted to is good enough for me
  • I am still using Nexus 6, running like a champ. Rooting and custom rom is the only way to squeeze it for another year.
  • Yeah baby! The best Android phone of all time!
  • He said Nexus 6, not 5.
  • I stopped rooting last year with the OnePlus 5. Sometimes I feel an empty hole without root, but it always goes away...
  • Full disclosure: I have never rooted a phone. Mostly for EXACTLY the reasons described above- and that was when phones weren't all that great. Galaxy S3 was a decent daily driver, and it and the original Note probably did more for Sammy's current market share than any 3 other phones combined. The S3 ended up going from (If I remember correctly) 2.3 to 4.4; that's damn near unheard of in today's market. Touchwiz wasn't THAT bad, no matter what people say. It was perfectly serviceable. But with the rise of Nova launcher, and hardware specs that are pretty unbelieveable in a pocket device, it's now just about small tics upward, so there's really little to no reason to root. A well-written article, BTW. I grow weary of internet "journalists" who apparently went to Kindergarten... and dropped out.
  • Neither have I. My one failed attempt at trying to convert my old HP TouchPad (running webOS) to an Android tablet made me realize what a colossal PITA all that stuff was and it wasn't really going to be worth the trouble.
  • Touchpads were awesome!
  • Sure were! I still have mine working as a weather station and IRC hub. Built like a bloody tank lol
  • Miss WebOS. And miss Win Mobile. Now that I'm on Android maybe it will be the next to go away. KIDDING!
  • I'll just leave this here: https://forums.webosnation.com/luneos/331837-pivotce-luneos-september-st...
  • Well, even if it did start at 2.3, 3.0 was skipped. And no, it started at 4.0.4, went to 4.1.2, skipped 4.2 entirely as well, then 4.3, before finally 4.4 for US editions. The international quad-core models never got KitKat because according to Samsung, 1GB of RAM wasn't enough (ironically, KK was designed to ship on phones with less than 512MB of RAM). The S3, when I last used it before I traded it in, was a slow and lumbering mess of a phone. The S4, to me, was the big one for Samsung. Even if mine shipped with a processor defect (it was a very early unit that would heat up for seemingly no reason) and a battery defect (again, first batch problems: swelled up, and would lose 20-25% in 15 mins), it remains the first truly modern Samsung phone, in the sense that I was able to use it for a couple days while I waited for my S7 to arrive without feeling the age.
  • "3.0 was skipped" To be fair, 3.0 Honeycomb was a tablet-only OS. 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was the next version for phones after Gingerbread. That said, I agree that the S4 was the first truly modern device, but the S3 I think was the most popular. Not necessarily fairly, mind you, but I knew people that still used S3's last year. They just keep replacing the battery as it goes bad.
  • I also have rooted and downloaded many ROM's dating back to my HTC Evo 4G. I have not felt the need to root a phone since my Nexus 6P. I do still have and use a Nexus 7 2013 tablet and that required rooting to get a newer version of Android on it. I have been happy with the stock ROM on my latest phones the Note 7, LG V20 and Note 8.
  • Ahhh.. the HTC Evo 4G.... brings back memories... :)
  • I started rooting and ROMing my Galaxy Nexus to improve battery life. I loved trying different ROMs and Kernels. One of my favorite ROM features was PIE controls. I wish Google would implement it in the Pixel phones to help reduce burn in.
    That aside it got to the same point where the " hassle" didn't out way the benefits and now with Google/Android Pay it's an even bigger hassle. One of the main reasons I've gone with Nexus/Pixel phones the last few years was because I stopped rooting and ROMing. In years past I'd get a Samsung or HTC and just install a bare bones AOSP ROM.
  • Don't tell me what to do! *proceess to root his phone*
  • My G3 was rooted. it had to be because there was so much out of the box that I needed more control over. My G6 is new, not rooted and I have about 99% of the things that I used root for. That 1% is total permissions control and that is STILL broken in Android. I still want full control of all of the things that autostart when I power on my phone. There are certain apps like HBO Now, certain games, etc that have zero need to run except for when I explicitly choose to run them. The fact that these aren't even real options in stock is ridiculous.
  • Get Greenify and put them to sleep. Unless they are system apps, or prefer installed bloat, they won't bother you anymore until you need them.
  • My main reason was for tethering and then for extra features. Not anymore. Lawnchair solves features issue and tethering is now on most plans. Also Samsung pay is too useful to not have available.
  • Agreed that was my main reason but with my jumping ship too T-MOBILE it's no longer an issue. Plus get data and phone at the same time which Sprint didn't have. So far I am happy
  • Outside of ad-free YouTube (since Google can't be bothered to give Canadians YouTube Red), I don't have much reason to root. That said, my Pixel 2 XL is the first phone I haven't rooted. I used to use it for the aforementioned ad-free YouTube, but also for Viper4Android - though I found I wasn't reliant on that as much as I thought.
  • Viper4Android was awesome. I wish they could make it a legit app (seeing all the garbage the Play Store approves), I would buy it.
  • The only reason I HAVE to have root!
  • Root?? What year is it??
  • 2004 and I'm running a Cyanogen ROM in my excellent Palm Treo 650.
  • This was me. I waited a little longer, but the means didn't justify the ends. The last phone I rooted and rom'd was my Nexus 6, partly because I thought it was the Nexus thing to do. After a while, I went back to stock and I was fine. Hopping over to a One Plus 3T, I found the beta program sufficient enough to engage my want to have the latest. Now I'm totally happy on my LG V30, stock, with Action Launcher. Personally, I don't have time to fiddle, and I really need for things to work as they should. Troubleshooting and xda searches are a thing of the past for me...
  • One reason I am forced to root is because Verizon has disabled native tethering on the unlocked Pixel 2 XL using their Network.
  • I agree. My Droid X and OG Moto X were rooted, and those were mostly for fun. Had a pair of Viewsonic GTabs (don't hate too much) and the only way they were usable were through rooting and installing mods. Is Android today perfect, no, but its a whole lot closer and for me not worth the effort to do it anymore.
  • Droid X!!! Great times.
  • I rooted my Droid X too. It my first Android phone. Could not apply ROMs because of the locked bootloader, but was able to apply custom themes. First and last phone I rooted and ROM'd was Galaxy S2.
  • The last phone I all out rooted, and had a custom ROM on was an LG Optimus G Pro. I switched to a Nexus 6 after that. I did Root that phone for a very short while, but quickly put it back to stock when Marshmallow was released. I then went to a Pixel, and now a Pixel 2 XL. I haven't even thought about rooting them. No need.
  • Once I dropped my att unlimited plans and had tethering included in my 30GB plan..no longer needed rooting or JBing.... You get older and there just isn't time for tinkering.
  • Just rooted an extra Nexus 6 that I had in a drawer. Root + PureNexus took me a walloping 10 minutes.
  • Really?! I'm 55; married, and I drive a tractor-trailer for a living - I'm typing this on my ROOTED LG V20. I root EVERY phone I buy; in fact, I won't buy a phone I can't root. I root primarily so I can install my own font, and have it displayed EVERYWHERE (including just about every app I download and install).
  • Good article. I had the same epiphany a few years prior. I had custom ROM's on all my Blackberry phones. It was fun going back and forth. However switching to Android, was the catalyst. Perhaps because I was unfamiliar with the new process to root. Probably more because Android was just far better than BB OS. With Android I used to install Nova and customize more. Now even that has slowed down. I found a Android Skin that I like and stick with it. Might be just getting old.
  • I miss rooting. Mostly because I can't stand all the bloat on my phone. Sure, it's gotten better and you can "disable" most things, but it's still taking up space and consuming resources. I also liked that a lot of roms came in at typically much lower size than factory image. I miss Titanium Back up too. What a great piece of software! Tweaking my phone and seeing developers really take advantage of the hardware was amazing. SD speed calibration and sometimes a bit of over clocking were very cool.
  • Oooff, I think Jerry would disagree.
  • In what regard?
  • prob the one regarding the article
  • I definitely don't miss the pita process of rooting. The first Android phone I ever rooted was a Motorola cliq. That sucked so much that eventually after another htc phone I can't remember I switched to an iPhone 4. Which then forced me to "jailbreak" because I wanted customization. Finally made my way back to Android with the note 2 and haven't gone back since, also haven't felt the need to root either. More trouble than it's worth.
  • I kind of understand what you're saying. While I don't agree the age is over, I still don't care as much any more. The biggest reason is that Android in it's stock form is very beautiful and lovable now. I do use a custom rom on my oneplus 3 to be perfectly stock and get android 8.1, but I could've lived without it. the main reason for using custom roms nowadays is mainly getting newer versions of android, rather than getting features from the custom rom itself. My phone is rooted but there are very few apps that even need it. It's not really a bad thing, we don't care as much because android already delivers everything we used root for without root now.
  • The only thing I root my phone for is Tasker getting data usage daily (we regularly come within a few mb of the limit). I also rooted my oneplus 3 to get oreo ahead of open beta. My nexus 7 2013 will be rooted and rommed until it dies or someone puts out a decent small android tablet.
  • There's only one reason for me to root - Titanium Backup. I have apps, that are no longer available. No other way to restore app + data.
  • Amen
  • Word.
  • You don't need to root a phone to install a custom rom. A quick Google search will show you how to do it. As far as why you would want a custom rom? Well, one example is the Nexus phones. Google has dropped support for the Nexus 6. It's still a perfectly good phone - but if you want security updates, etc. you need to install LineageOS. Want oreo for your old Nexus phone... you won't get it from Google - but Lineage is working on it. In the meantime, I continue to get regular nougat updates from Lineage. Android has really dropped the ball on this... say what you want about Apple - but at least they provide official support for their phone for a great deal longer than the Android universe.
  • That isn't true for all phones and tablets, I wanted to put Lineage on my old tablet and the only option to do that was to root it, but if there was any other alternative I would have happily skipped it. It would be nice if Android oems were required to release one final os update when they intended to abandon support for a particular device, one that unlocked things sufficiently that custom roms could be easily installed by anyone who wanted them.
  • I agree with Andrew on the need to root newer phones. I have a 2014 Motorola Droid Turbo which still meets all of my needs for speed, computational power and apps. I am currently on stock marshmallow, but rooting has enabled me to delete bloatware, rather than disable, I know this is OCD but whatever. Also use Greenify which gives me longer battery life. Also still some nice root only apps to update my notification shade to oreo style, etc.
  • Take a quick look at XDA forums and you'll see that rooting and custom ROMing are alive and thriving in 2018. You might say that it's mainly for people using older hardware; for me that's the whole point. There are some of us who, for a range of valid reasons (e.g. environmental concerns), would prefer not to upgrade our hardware. The glorious beauty of Android is the control it gives users to maintain and improve their devices. So that, for example, I can enjoy a Galaxy S4 running better than the day I bought it (second hand) in 2014 :-)
  • I don't tend to bother rooting my hardware, but giving an aging tablet a new lease of life with a custom rom is definitely a sensible reason for doing so.
  • I rooted my Moto G5 Plus because who knows when they'll actually bring Oreo over to it. I don't think I'll be rooting a phone ever again, though; probably shouldn't have rooted the G5 Plus, but what's done is done at this point.
  • Headline on the main page is a bit misleading: 'The era of rooting Android phones is coming to a close'
    I thought that the feature was being removed from future Android releases lol. Tested rooting for the first time on the Essential PH-1 I got a couple of days ago, no big deal actually. Not sure if I would ever do it again but nice to know that I can if they go out of business, Shame I can't do it with my PRIV as I would like to tinker with it since there are no more updates coming.
  • Same here
  • My last rooted phone was the original DROID, and I loved it. Nights on the forum just waiting for another step to over clock and drinking a cold beer and that was the life. The newer phones are rock solid however I still follow a few of the root experts just for fun and yes I still get the itch but no longer scratch. Still have all my older DROIDS, and this article just might make me want to tinker again. At any rate this was a good read........THANKS
  • Can't remember the last phone I rooted it probably was my S3 I think, don't see the need anymore.
  • The one and only phone I ever rooted was the legendary HTC HD2. I loved it. Ran custom ROMs and even Windows Phone 7 at the time which was released not too far after the HD2. It's what lead me to four year with Windows Phone before switching to Android. It was phone and exciting and ultimately the end for my HD2 as I eventually bricked it. Never to return again. Those were the days.
  • I have 2 Android devices, a mid-range Huawei phone that I can't root it, and a Nexus 5X which i won't root!
  • I'm running stock ROM with root on my Pixel XL. Mainly for ad blocking via Adaway. It's also nice to be able to remove apps that would not be removable otherwise.
  • Haven't rooted a phone since the note 5 simply because they've implimented enough requests and features into nougat and now Oreo I haven't missed rooting at all and my phone runs MUCH better for it. I was very highly active at XDA over 8400 thank you) and 7000+ posts as a recognized contributor at one time and now haven't needed to root for a couple years. my s8+ runs sooooo much better than when rooted (which the root for 8t sucks and it very unstable and buggy requiring several additional flashes to fix it all after the initial flash) so I haven't touched it and it's been the best phone I've ever had.
  • I actually can't imagine owning a non-rooted phone. While Android and apps may keep getting better, there's always a reason to tinker 'under the hood' for us geeks anyway. Of course I'm a bit biased. I own and operate EquiModz ROMs and am looking at an initial release this spring. I would have to agree though, that for 'the rest of you', that is the 98% of people who only use their phones for checking Facebook and winning the odd bar bet or two, have little reason to root, unless they want: Faster boot times
    Faster clock speeds
    More stability
    no bloatware, adware
    NO ADS Then rooting is still very valid, effective, and the first thing I do when I get a new phone. I don't care about the warranty, there's little on an Android I can't fix, and manufacturing defects are covered regardless of rooting or non.
  • Wtf do you do with your phone that's so serious? You mining crytpo with it or something?
  • There isn't really a need to root. I still have a spare, rooted OnePlus One, which I just rooted back in the day to get unofficial Marshmallow.
  • "and you shouldn't either"
    First of all, I do whatever I want with my devices. Anyway, thanks for the piece of advice. ;-) Then, there are many reasons why I root my phone:
    - increasing my battery's lifespan (it stops charging at 85%),
    - I get rid of ads,
    - Saving my apps' data (Google has still not managed to implement a solution properly...),
    - I mod my (Samsung) camera app so that it takes better photos and has more features (H265, QHD 60 FPS, 4K HDR, up to 100s exposure time...),
    - CF.lumen – nothing better at night,
    - flashing cool mods (stereo speakers with the earpiece, or YouTube with a black background, for instance). I can survive without rooting, but root access still has many uses!
  • Without the rooting and flashing I would have to change my phone a long tiem ago. Im still rocking a Galaxy S4 thanks to Roms and rooting. I have the Android 7.0, all the possible customization options and a fast phone. Sure i dont have 8 gb ram, 1440p screen nor the latest CPU but what for?
  • The only reason I run a factory-based ROM on my phones are for the carrier features (VoLTE and WiFi Calling on T-Mobile USA). I had a factory-based ROM while on my HTC 10 and run the Open Beta Oreo 2 for the OnePlus 5T (basically OnePlus's factory ROM). I still want root for multiple reasons....let's see... 1.) Titanium Backup - going from device to device it's great. Also if I update an app and find it's crappier than the previous version I can easily roll back. 2.) AdBlocker - there are plenty of apps that are guilty of throwing ads all over the place. IMDB for one. I'm not running some ghetto VPN to block my ads (as this is the only way to really do it on a rootless device) 3.) Viper4Android FX - Much better upgraded EQ and audio tweaks. Worked wonders on every phone I've used 4.) LightFlow - no factory ROM gives you much control of the LED notification 5.) Nova Launcher - plays nicely with fingerprint scanner and locking screen. Without root you're stuck using a PIN/password to unlock device. For those few simple reasons I'll keep root. OnePlus is stupid easy to root and why I didn't go with a Note 8, Galaxy 8, or LG V30. Pixel has no headphone jack and isn't as tweaker friendly like the Nexus models used to be.
  • The last android i rooted was my lg leon and my s2 the lg v30 i have is flawless i see no reason to root unless your just practicing and tinkering just to get a feel for the art of rooting
  • Glad you love the bloatware and ads.
  • Android has matured to a point where root is just no longer needed. Glad to see Android has advanced this much!
  • Bwaaa haaaaa haaaaaaa!
  • I think rooting is still valid for those of us who like to modify their phones to their liking. Rooting has allowed for me to enjoy tethering, disable/remove unnecessary apps, modify the mixer.xml file to get boosted audio, etc. Plus a number of apps that I use will not run without root. I wouldn't be so quick to write off rooting just yet (though it's becoming more difficult to achieve as OEMs make their phones more secure and then the carrier making it all but possible to root (ahem at&t)
  • I agree that the need to root has decreased, but there are still minor tweaks that make it worthwhile for some - including me.. (The last AT&T phone I purchased was the Note 2 because of the bootloader lock down.)
  • This article doesn't touch on the fact that rooting is WAY easier now. It's easier than it has ever been, actually. And there are no downsides to it with Magisk, because all of your apps will function normally as it is effectively hidden. There are also some pretty cool mods now that go way beyond what manufacturers and Google has implemented in Android. So the "hassle" is now no longer an issue. The author must not realize this since they stopped rooting at Jellybean, lol.
  • Amen. Magisk is amazing and, IMO, the only way to go since Chainfire has left SU.
  • I think it's really funny though because thanks to rooting, my Lenovo k3 note that I imported back in 2015 for about 180$ actually has Oreo on it, but the 500$ OnePlus 5t that I bought a month ago only has nougat... Rooting can still be powerful! I don't mind using nougat though, this phone is amazingly good.
  • Last time I rooted was when I had MIUI on a Galaxy S3. Once Verizon started locking things done and MIUI stopped providing support for the models I was purchasing. I just had to be content. I miss MIUI and that whole experience of putting the rom on the phone. From the anxiety, to the celebratory shot of vodka.
  • My only reason for rooting was to use hotspot without paying for it. FoxFi worked after that but eventually there was no need as hotspot was free in the newer plans. I think my droid bionic was the last phone i rooted (highly underrated device).
  • The first phone I rooted was an AT&T Samsung Infuse; the last phone I rooted is my current phone - the Axon 7. In between, the M8, GN2, OPO, Nexus 6 and 6P all were rooted. The ability to unlock the bootloader and root the phone is still a consideration in my purchasing decision. While software has improved, at 69 I have the time to tinker and simply enjoy it.
  • I am still using a OnePlus One thanks to root. There is still too much rubbish on the phone; bits and pieces that will never be used, and apps that are sub par at best.
  • I got my note 8 last year, and I never rooted it. But I rotted every android phone before that one. I just wanted to get rid of the bloat ware and add a few things. Now if I can get rid of ads/bloat ware on this phone, I'd be great.
  • Still tempted to, I wish I could revoke internet permissions on non-network or sensitive apps sometimes.
  • I have an Xperia XA1 and I would love to root it just to get rid of the bloatware now in fairness Android phones of today especially with Nougats ability to install to sd card. Other then that I'd love to get rid of AVG security as I use Avast mobile security and Malwarebytes (two I have a paid subscription to) I'd love to get rid of Google news and such. Even though you can disable them they are still hard installed in my phone and taking up space. Miss the days of Gingerbread where rooting was as simple as flashing a rom like Clockwork or Cyanogen.
  • ZTE Axon 7 is very well supported on XDA, great developer community for a very affordable high spec phone. Toolkit for easy root and return to stock.. it's almost a necessity to rid your phone of crap bloatware. Sure a Pixel would be nice but they're more than I want to spend on a phone.
  • And the speakers on the 7 are amazing.
  • Man...nexus 4 was my favorite phone
  • I agree with the author. Rooting was fun. Getting nightlies was something to look forward to. Features galore. After a while, though, the newness wore off and became a chore. Then, over two years ago, I got a Note 5 with Samsung Pay. It changed everything. It made my life much easier. It also didn't work in root. So, root no more.
  • I use Samsung pay on my watch exclusively and it does not care if my phone is rooted.
  • I agree!
  • Tend to agree, I root my phones less and less. Once Chrome android has built in ad blocking, that will really alleviate the need for it but at the current time the main benefit of root - near perfect Adblocking (without a VPN)!
  • My Nexus 6P is still a lot more custom than usual, and I use SuperSu to disable the forced encription, and to run a custom script that enables double tap to wake. Also I use the Pixel Launcher and Pixel boot animation. But that all I do, one a month when the next security update arrives.
  • Rooting is still a very streamlined process on most devices and doesn't cause any issues unless you don't know what you are doing. I still use root to do a few things android still lacks in as well as system wide ad blocking. There are just too many developers that do not offer me a premium option to avoid ads, I refuse to be subjected to the horrid advertising all the time and will continue to root until that is not an issue. I am thankful for the apps that do allow me to pay a fee and get rid of ads but they are few and far between (Sort of, I still spend a bit much on apps)
  • Nah, I like my phones rooted. As much because I can as anything else.
  • I haven't rooted since my 'ol trusted Nexus 5. I've left it alone with my Nexus 6P and Pixel 2 XL. I also purchased a Nexus 5X that was rooted, and I put it back to stock and un-rooted it.
  • There are still enough features that you can only do while rooted that I will continue to root. Unfortunately it means I have to go to greater and greater lengths to get good phones, but so be it. Currently still rocking a Samsung Galaxy S5 which works great and runs Android 7.1 (not possible w/o rooting), which is yet another reason to root: to get more longevity out of perfectly-good phones. Why be forced to buy a new phone each year simply because the battery is epoxied in and the manufacturer has stopped releasing Android updates? Screw that. You can even root and flash a Galaxy S8 if you get the Exynos version.
  • Just one word - bloatware!
  • Only do it for ad blocking, titanium backup, and Xposed.
  • Completely disagree. Just rooted my Pixel 2 XL. I'm in UK so even if I wanted YouTube red, and the overlay mode!!, I couldn't get it. Now I've got it. Also I have 2 different audio mods (including dolby) which makes the sound better and also can tweek max volume for my quietish headphones. I think rooting still has its place for mods to your OS. Maybe using a custom ROM is dead... But not mods!
  • Change the system fonts.
    That was the only reason why I rooted my phones.
    Now I don't even bother. With these 2017 phones is not even worth it.
  • "rooting used to mean taking control of your device and having the power to undeniably improve it — now, it means headaches and annoyances for no real benefit in the end." what a dumb statement. rooting allows you to fix nearly any problem and customize android to exactly how you want it. no ads
    a true fullscreen phone without navabars or status bar
    youtube background playback
    customizable PIE
    backing up all apps including data
    an entirely black theme including messages
    remapping stupid buttons like the Bixby button to actually do something useful
    TASKER if you aren't rooting your phone your really aren't getting all you can out of it in my eyes
  • This exactly. What’s happening is the editors of Android Central are more of the “general consumer” types with a few true techie stragglers than they used to be. There is still so much the manufacturers and carriers do to our phones to lock us in to how they want us to use them and how often we need to replace them that root is still necessary if you don’t want to run the maze they’ve made for you. I’ve rooted and ROM’d so far back to PocketPC/Windows Phones that I don’t even remember what it was called and recently up to my Note 4 (which runs extremely well because of it). Of course Samsung would prefer it already be in the garbage heap and so would AT&T but the truth is these devices could really have a much longer life than they would want them to have. Such a shame really for the consumers AND the environment.
  • I agree wholeheartedly with this post. I remember flashing ROMs even going so the way back to the stone-age times of 2006 with Windows Mobile but nowadays I don't have the time nor the patience to even root my Pixel 2 XL. I think age and lifestyle also plays a big part too.
  • My 88 yr old father roots his phones as soon as he gets his hands on them. He just rooted his new Galaxy Note 8. Are you a Millennial?
  • And no, I am not joking. He never touched a computer until he was 62. Now he has his whole neighborhood rocking on Mint Linux.
  • The main reasons I rooted were to try ROMS that had came out that would not make it in official version to my phones. That and to be able to remove crapware that Samsung or my carrier would install.
    I really do miss having TWRP for backup and recovery. I wish the manufacturers would use them in place of their factory recoveries. And I miss having Titanium Backup's capabilities as that is a pretty powerful product.
    But it is a lot simpler not to root and have to worry about security exposures and getting carrier updates.
  • Carrier updates generally means bloatware unless you are rooted and running the Godsend to Android - Titanium Backup Pro.
  • I rooted the Galaxay S3 that I had a few years back out of curiosity. Started flashing different ROMS and really enjoyed it until I discovered that each time I flashed a ROM to fix an issue that annoyed me all I accomplished was fixing the issue and introducing a new issue. No ROM was ever perfect.Last phone I rooted was my LG G2
  • I rooted every device I have. Even ZUK Z2 Pro, which has 6 GB RAM and Root is just addition. I just don;t se me using a device without Root, to many nice things it lets user do.
    And custom roms? Even better, I hate stock Roms. E.g. I could use MIUI on no XIaomi device, but when I had Xiaomi (Mi Note 3) I flashed other Rom :) Root and customizable Roms are what keep me with Android. However I don't know what other OS I could use, as even without Root Android is most open OS out there.
  • Can't remember when I last rooted a phone..
  • My last rooted devices are no longer my primary ones, but they are in use. I have a Samsung Note Pro 12" tablet (Android needs more 12" tablets!!) and a Samsung Galaxy Note 4. I rooted them for a couple reasons. I love the Samsung hardware, but I hate TouchWiz and the other Samsung-esque changes to Android. Secondly, they dropped support for my Note Pro 12" way too soon, and LineageOS lets me keep it running (faster than the original OS too). I've had a Nexus phone, Nexus 6P, and now Pixel 2 XL. None of them have ever been rooted, nor do I see a reason for it.
  • As long as individual phone vendors are installing their own software, I will root my phone. First of all, I don't want anything pre-installed aside from the apps provided as part of Gapps. It's frustrating to have a long list of crap apps installed by the phone vendor that can't be removed. Unless it becomes standard to allow ANY app to be uninstalled, I have no interest in running stock roms.
    Generally, I only buy phones that are supported by LineageOS, and I will never buy a phone from a carrier.
    That practice should be discouraged by all.
  • I've rooted every device I've ever had and will continue to do so until I no longer need root access to run useful apps like Titanium Backup and Tasker. I guess that's the difference between a script kiddie and power user: I could not possibly care less about how my phone LOOKS, especially to the rest of the world, and instead insist on data security and functionality. I've also never needed a custom ROM to be able to have my phone du jour do whatever I needed because if you know enough about Linux to be hacking an Android phone and know how to use TitaniumBackup, ROMToolbox (which I have never used to install a ROM but which has a dozen other awesome tools for rooted devices) and Tasker, any ROM will do, including the stock one. The OP tries to talk like he's an old-timer and guru, but the content of his post says otherwise, at least to me.
  • As I read through the comments to this post, I noticed that most that were not rooting their phones were using Nexus or Pixel phones. No wonder they don't need to root them. They aren't loaded with crap.
  • I've always gone Nexus simply because they were the easiest to root.
  • The last phone I rooted was the nexus 6p and last Saturday I brought it back to stock after a few months of LineageOS and I'm happy as a clam, my current daily driver being the LG G6 and using the Nexus to experience Oreo.
  • How do you get rid of carrier and Mobil maker apps then? I'm long away from the first carrier but can't shift their apps nor the manufacturer apps?
    How do we stop all the bloatware - with that I include things such as Utube from google?
  • Root then run the best app ever to run on Android - Titanium Backup Pro. Blow that American carrier crap away!
  • The last device I rooted was Oppo Find 7a.
    The best and first device I rooted on a mobile device was the Nexus 4. Custom kernels, and endless customizations. Adaway was the deal breaker. No ads system wide was huge. Since owning Huawei and Samsung devices, I feel rooting breaks certain features that I find useful. While I miss rooting, I don't need it as much as before. Sacrifices.
  • The Xperia XZ Premium is the first time i've really considered rooting, solely to remove some boat.
    Motorola has always been on-point software-wise.
  • So the writer of this puff piece has not rooted a phone in years, has never used Magisk or any of the great current Custom ROMs but feels the need to tell us that from what he knew from years ago we do not need to root android in 2018. Ok I won't root anymore but funny how of late I have not had any "fear of breaking something" I must be doing it wrong or maybe just different now as it is 2018!
  • While I may or may not root; I want an unlocked bootloader so I can if I want.
    I have an LG G6 that is completely stock; but it's unbranded so I can unlock the BL if I like.
    I have an Essential that is going to replace the LG in a week or so. It's already bootloader unlocked and rooted.
    You can't backup or automate with out root. I like to run Ad blockers and the best ones require root permissions so they can modify the host file.
    I have one on my LG G6 that uses a local VPN and it works. If you can't root to run a custom ROM, you phone is obsolete when the manufacturer says it is.
  • I buy Nexus purely because it's a cleaner root and custom ROMs are so much better. Have three Nexus 6s running PureNexus. No desire for a new phone yet. But when it comes out, I'll root it. Android still leaves A LOT to be desired. Rooting is far from dead.
  • I had the first four Nexus phones and I am proud to say that I flashed a custom ROM at the earliest opportunity. I usually had the Rom lined up on my laptop ready to flash before the phone arrived.
    The last time I rooted or flashed a Rom was September 2015 with a LG G3.
  • I largely agree. There are a few features I miss being able to implement, but not many. The one CRITICAL thing I miss not being rooted in Titanium Backup. There is no other backup solution for Android that back up everything. Not one. Google's failure to implement a full backup and restore capability into the OS verges on criminal.
  • Lot of misinformation in some of these comments. Nova works fine with fingerprintg. There are multiple options for system-wide ad blocking without root. There are multiple customizable Pie-style launchers. Lightflow works perfectly on my non-rooted phone. On Samsung phones (and some others, at least), you can block bloatware without root. No, it doesn't "remove" it, but removing apps from the system partition doesn't give you any more usable memory anyway. Most of today's phones have enough memory, and are fast enough, that I don't care about those aspects of rooting any more.
  • I've joined the ranks of those that no longer root their phones or tablets. My Samsung Galaxy Note Pro12.2 w/4G LTE is just plain wonderful. I could wish that it had more internal memory and Rom, but this thing just runs circles around the competition.
  • Android used to be ugly as ****, so I rooted my phones to fix that. But then Google figured out how to make Android actually look good when they released 4.0.
  • I root for the simple reason already mentioned here of Ti Backup and Adaway.
  • I support the OEMs providing the end user the ability to root their phone, or leave it stock. But I have found that the rooted ROMs (Lineage OS, and others) aren't a better experience than what shipped on the phone in a lot of cases. Or you have to put up with bugs or issues that you have to workaround (why is my bluetooth not working?). Not knocking any of the devs, it's just the nature of the best. OEMs lock down portions of their kernel, so devs have to guess at what the inputs are. For instance, I rooted my HTC 10, and flashed Lineage OS. I loved the fact I had the latest OS version, and the security updates were posted around the same time as Google pushed the updates to the Nexus/Pixel line. However the camera was horrible. No amount of tweaking settings would provide decent pictures. I had to go back to Sense. If you are only concerned with the latest version of Android and security updates, rooting is a good idea. If you value the experience of the phone as a whole (camera performance, app stability), rooting may not be the answer for you.
  • My last rooted and custom Rom'ed phone was an old Motorola Atrix HD and I put Cyanogen on it in order to move from 4.2 Jelly Bean and have 4.4 Kit Kat. I will never again purchase Moto as they are now Lenovo and my Moto X PE only had one update that was WAY delayed.
  • Yep. I haven't rooted or done a custom rom since 5.0 was released. No need, really. And it isn't just Android either. Jailbreaking iOS devices was huge pre-iphone 5. Today jailbreaking is all but dead. I heard they may have iOS 10 cracked. But all i can think is "why"? Hell, since iOS 10, Apple lets you delete the stock apps if you want. Why bother jailbreaking?
  • Really? So easily swayed to use iOS. iOS and Apple devices are trash. No need to waste my time here explaining the billions of reasons why.
    Who cares about apple or iOS people are on this forum for Android. I keep my Nexus 6p rooted to turn off the overactive noise cancelling device in build.prop the muffles the sound. It doesn't hurt to have tap to wake and sweep to sleep either with elemental X kernel because Google decided to disable them all. Jailbreaking is not equal to rooting. The amount of custom roms for Android. Dwarfs maybe one available for iOS devices. Pure Nexus was my favorite room until it was discontinued and I returned to rooted stock.
  • Hell yea!!....apple sis crap and for people that are scared of settings
  • I am really glad you didn't take the time explaining the billions of reasons why iOS is trash. This awful paragraph in itself was only one reason needed for me to decide your opinion is trash.
  • You must be kidding! iOS has the most reasons to jailbreak. Being stuck in the walled garden Apple curates is great if you have no individuality whatsoever. If you want to customize even a slight bit then jailbreaking is more essential than ever. BTW iOS 11 has already been jailbroken.
  • I never did get around to learning about rooting my phone. And now here we are. I would STILL like to remove bloatware from the Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 (keep bumping into storage issues with its asinine 8GB of internal even with it stripped of just about every non-essential app). Perhaps when I replace it, I'll finally try rooting it after a factory reset.
  • The LG V20 I had was slow and laggy. Instead of trying to root it I just got a phone with better software
  • The last phone I rooted was the S3 , that was the first thing I did.
  • As many others have pointed out, what do we do when our phones get older? Buy a new one even if we like the old one and it's hardware meet our needs? Google does two or three years of updates but for many other manufacturers you're lucky to get an update or two.
  • I have rooted my Mi Mix with lineage OS, MIUI is shocking.. Better battery life now and a clean experience.. If I had a Pixel 2 I wouldn't touch it at all.. I love rooting, always have, maybe I should grow up at the age of 45. ! Lol, kind regards Richard U.K
  • I mostly agree. Currently if your phone still gets monthly patches and the ROM you're considering doesn't, rooting is a terrible idea for security. Also, Android 8.* seems to be a tough nut to crack for the dev community. I don't recall 7.* ROMs being this delayed. Last year I boasted in forums that my S5 running LOS 14.1 was way ahead of an S7. This year at least the S8 has a functioning Oreo Beta and the Moto Z2F and HTC U11 have already been updated; we're still waiting for even a peek at an official LOS 15.1 build.
  • The last phone I rooted was the LG Spectrum. The battery life on that phone was abysmal and I wanted to underclock the processor so the battery could last longer.
  • Agreed. The only reason maybe if Google stops providing security updates and Lineage OS can fill the gap.
  • I only ever rooted one phone, my first Android device, an HTC Desire. It was a pain, but I pretty much had to do it... it only had 576MB of onboard memory. After a year, the built-in apps weren't able to update any more for lack of storage. And that was after moving every app possible to the SD card. Threw CyanogenMod 7 on it. It actually still runs fine, other than only having room for like two installed apps.
  • I have a LeEco phone. The company stopped updating it (they're in financial trouble and have pretty much abandoned the US market) so I installed LineageOS. I probably wouldn't have bothered if my phone were still getting updates, not to mention an upgrade to Nougat or Oreo.
  • Rooting coming to a close? ...You shouldn't either? Really? I think a small percentage of "average" users ever considered rooting. And if you willing to buy a new phone every 2-3 years, then it's true that many of the benefits of rooting may be superfluous. But any phone made in the last 5 years or so, will almost certainly be highly functional well beyond its EOL. As lifespan of phones continue to grow and become more expensive, rooting may even increase. So I root my Note 4 for:
    - Android 6.0.1, maybe 7 or 8
    - Titanium Backup
    - Nandroid backups
    - Viper4Android
    - Xposed
    - Firewall (non-root works, root works better)
    - Magisk (it has modules in addition to providing root) A phone IS, in fact, a computer. Managing and protecting any computer is impossible to do properly without admin privileges, i.e. root access. So I will continue to root, as should anyone else feels they are entitled to full access to their phone for any reason. Even if you don't want to, you should be allowed to.
  • I did not root the phone, but had to unlock the bootloader and install custom AOSP based ROM on my Redmi Note 4. The hardware is great, but when I compared the MIUI 9 to stock Android, it felt really gimped. For instance the notification sucked, no quick response, could not configure notification LEDs for different apps and just general UI ugliness. Also Xiaomi messed up the settings app in MIUI. Everything was scattered and not in places where they belong. So I had to install AOSP extended and since have been using it for pure Android experience. I agree though, rooting is not required. But custom ROMs may be better than stock.
  • I used to install custom ROMs in PDAs and then in tablets. I've also made Hackintoshes and Bootcamped Macs, so I'm no stranger to changing out the OS. The thing is, with phones, I pretty much just want it to work reliably. In the old days, that meant rooting. These days (for me) it doesn't.
    Basically, Android owners, especially in this thread, fall into two categories: The tweakers have never met a ROM they didn't want to change out. The users, like me, just want the phone to work. I think the article did a good job of explaining why you might still want to root and why you wouldn't as well as pointing out that the actual need is diminishing. You might argue with the title, but the conclusions are pretty sound. The thing is, if you're a tweaker, more power to you. If you're a user, go right ahead. Just don't assume that everyone's needs are the same.
  • No, that's not quite right. I have rooted every Android phone I've owned - which in your summary makes me a tweaker. But in contrast to your characterisation, I haven't changed my ROM for about two years now - except for updates. I haven't had any need. That's because, like you, I just want the phone to work. But, like many people who choose to access root permissions, I want it to work as well as possible. That's the primary reason for many of us to do it. We're not messing around for the sake of it.
    If I have an old PC that is capable of running Windows 10, it's very possible that I may choose to upgrade it. That will help me to keep my PC secure and probably add some functionality. That's not tweaking, it's common sense.
  • Always loved my self made Boot Animations. And xposed. And deleting bloat. And using a true firewall. And...
    Well, the LG G3 was the last phone I rooted and tried half a dozen ROMs, going so far as Android 7.1.1!
    But then I got a Samsung Note7 and never left the Samsung train again. Instead of deleting bloat I disable it now. Many things I accomplished with xposed are baked into the Samsung software. Many things I could do rooted are, of course, not possible but some things can be made possible by the use of some apps. And I can pay with my phone now!
    I agree, my days of tinkering and rooting are over as well.
  • rooted Nexus One and Galaxy Nexus (after 4.0.4 and mostly because Verizon). kept Nexus 5, Nexus 6P, and Pixel 2 stock. haven't had a need for any root apps for a long time, including for backup/restore.
  • My last phone to be rooted was the Galaxy Note 4, in it's early days when Samsung was still ignoring it for months with no updates. Later I rubbed to its stock ROM as Samsung really started working hard to keep it optimised and up to date. I sold that phone last year in July and it was still getting monthly security updates.
  • Thanks for this trip down memory lane. First phone rom'd was the Samsung omnia, think the last was the sgs iii. Agreed that the software is good enough now that it's not necessary, or maybe I'm just old and don't have the time.
  • Rooted and ROMed Samsung Galaxy Prevail because it had no memory to work with. There was an amazing Dev community that pushed that sad hardware to the limit. That was fun. Did the same to the Samsung Galaxy S3 mostly to get rid of bloatware, To be able to back up everything and honestly, mostly out of habit. Those 2 phones lasted me 4 years because of Rooting and ROMs. Went through the LG G2 and G3 without Root. Stock Rom was good enough to me. Since I switched to Nexus and Pixel Phones I see no need whatsoever. Plus the stock updates come so often it would be a pain flashing back to stock so often to get them. All this malware floating around is starting to get my attention. Never really worried about it back in those days. Glad for the Google security updates. The part I miss the most is the Community of friends I met on the forums. Some great people who I will go out of their way to help. Still in touch with some of them.
  • Anyone remember rooting those $50 hp TouchPad and flashing cyanogenmod?
  • I only root my Nexus, but rooting is a personal choice.
  • If I didn't root I would still have a phone on Marshmallow and I wouldn't be able to install adaway.
  • I will admit that there are still some legitimate reasons why people root their Android phones. The reason being, it's my phone.
  • Note 4 was may last phone rooted... I only miss being able to get rid of the Bloatware. So next phone I think I am buying direct from the MFG for an unlocked experience..
  • I did that, had been buying from the cell store - whatever they happened to have on sale that I liked. Usually got a phone with bloat that I wasn't able to get rid of either from the service provider or the manufacturer. I bought unlocked from Moto and will never buy a locked phone ever again. Word of advice, do your research. I mean you don't want to buy unlocked to avoid bloat from the service provider just to get bloat from the manufacturer. In other words - when it was time for a new device I switched from MetroPCS which loaded their devices with service provider bloat to a service provider that didn't, Cricket. However when it came time for another device, I had come off a Moto G1 which Moto doesn't put bloat on and I went with an LG which puts on manufacturer bloat in apps that LG's crafted, they want you to use and you can't get rid of (but I needed a phone quick as I was without). I did some research and when the Moto G4 was introduced made sure the critics were saying no bloat and quickly picked it up. Do your research so you don't trade lack of bloat in one area for bloat in another...
  • Just a guess... Those who root phones might be 1/2 of 1% of consumers? I agree, years ago the limited power of smart phone CPU, RAM, and storage meant that any preinstalled, immovable software (bloatware) had a significant effect on performance... Or simply, some users wanted the limited space for other intended uses. 2017-18 android OS makes disabling apps, turning off background data, etc still a chore, but effective. 2017-18 premium smartphone hardware is not effected in any meaningful manner even when the full spectrum of add on software is running. Eg. All the touchwiz gesture options by Samsung. Some "root inclined" users still hang onto mobile experiences from a decade ago. Go ahead... Run Geekbench 4 or have a look at results between different manufacturers. Have a look at results with every add on (Bixby, touchwiz bells & whistles, etc) disabled and all background data off Vs. everything on... There are no significant differences. But of course, the root community doesn't want to acknowledge reality that mobile hardware and software improvements have resulted in no interest from the general consumer. Just a guess... But throwing android Oreo on a smartphone with 2010-12 specs slows it down, or makes it run harder, than any bloatware ever could have.... Not to mention the slower data transfer, lower screen resolution, significantly inferior camera, etc. If you read anything about 5G LTE network plans, it will render the experience we enjoy through today's 4G LTE and WiFi like a walk through quicksand. We've seen mobile hardware catch up to software, and soon mobile networks are about to bring in a new era.
  • Not only that, but I have to chuckle when root users get obsessed with apps like Greenify, Naptime and such. Limit functionality of the phone just to eke out maybe 30 minutes more use? Why not just enable battery saver all the time or disable syncing of data?
  • "But of course, the root community doesn't want to acknowledge reality that mobile hardware and software improvements have resulted in no interest from the general consumer."
    I believe rooting was never meant for the general consumer. It always have been interesting for the tinkerers, for modders, for people wanting to do more and different with their devices. One only learns about root when visiting tech-oriented like Android Central, or through a tech enthusiast friend. For the general consumer, not tech-saavy, users-only, a root-free solution always have been the standard experience.
  • Yep. Haven't rooted a phone since 2013. Last one I did was my Galaxy S3. I now use a Galaxy S8
  • As the hardware has gotten better so has the software. I too used to love to do it just for the fun of setting it up and I still wipe my phone and set it back up every time there's an update because it keeps things fresh in my opinion. I pay for ad free apps. I do us a couple browsers with ad blocking and overall doing those things had made the experience pretty good. I haven't rooted a phone in two years but there are things I miss that I could customize. Or if I hated the software completely running an aosp build was fun for awhile. But stock always got boring and there was always bugs, things that just didn't work and that got old fast. I wish I had more control over my phone and could have a cleaner experience but the hassle of doing it and wanting everything to work is what has kept me from messing with it the last couple years. I mean honestly if you want a great experience that is close to stock for way less that a pixel it's hard to beat a Moto phone right now. That said, I'm pretty happy with my LG G6, I disabled what I can that I don't want and I can theme it dark. I get good battery life, solid camera and good performance. It's just not worth messing with and having to spend hours fixing.
  • No thanks...I'll keep rooting to control my phones. The massive amount of bloatware on phones today to occupy space for stupid apps that I will never use is a complete waste of space on phones. Like one of the other members posted, I too, will not be subjected to the massive amounts of pop-up ads.
    I'd much rather have a rooted phone than have updates. Users are so extremely obsessed with upgrading to the latest version of Android.
    The best phones I have run Kit-Kat and I have 26 phones with various versions of Android.
    I'll stick with my root, thank you.
  • I understand what you mean, but you'd be way better served by not giving your money to companies that load their phones with bloatware. Tell them in the only way they will ever care by not paying them for a weighed down product.
  • Me too, it was probably some 3 years back or something I remember last rooting my phone. Definitely don't miss it.
  • I also hate to admit it, but my LG G6 dual is my first unrooted android phone. My last rooted phone was The Galaxy Note 4 for a good reason, the Note 5 ROM I was using had added a lot of useful features. But now, the main reasons I used to root are all almost gone.
    -Theming. LG has an integrated theme engine.
    -Disabling bloatware. You can disable it easily and never see it again.
    -AdBlock. There are methods for unrooted devices these days.
    -Viper4Android. G6 has a quad DAC, no need for V4A.
    -On top of that, all of my banking apps require an unrooted device and I cannot affor the time to search for root cloakings,
    What I miss
    -Titanium backup. Miss it VERY much.
    -Adaway. It was much better than the unrooted solutions.
    -Some UI customizations, although I can live without them.
    The truth is that next time I buy a phone, the ROM that comes with the phone will be one of my top priorities.
  • permissions and titanium backup. Granular permissions ARE better, but with root, I could kill run at startup for so many apps that do not need it (especially games). Once they stop hiding permissions they think are safe (Google) and allow us to control it all, I can still see a reason for root. My last two phones WERE rooted but on stock ROMS.
  • Comment 2 Here
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  • Admittedly I've never rooted, I've given it thought but I've always been to afraid and am not a power user. But why not just install a really good launcher? I mean I know it's not the same thing, under everything you're still on whatever OS your device is on unless you're lucky and got updated, but you can mimic any OS with a good launcher. I had at one time a Moto G1 which came with Kit Kat and using Nova Launcher I mimicked all the way to Marshmallow before the phone gave it up and had to be replaced...
  • Haven't rooted since Nexus 6p
  • Glad that things have evolved to the point where rooting isn't needed for as many as it used to be. I don't necessarily agree with the sentiment that it will die out due to lack of relevance though, and I find it rather unfortunate that the Android Central editors focus on the negative aspects of it as it seems to breed a culture here that looks down upon the rooting community. The fact of the matter is that experienced rooters are very valuable to the community as contributors to forums and development.
  • I haven't rooted since the HTC touch Pro days! it was cool, but it got old changing ROM etc every week.
  • I learned to root and flash cutom ROMs solely out of academic interest. After I installed Resurrection Remix Nougat 7.1.1 on my Samsung Galaxy note II GT-N7100, I really didn't like the UI. In fact I was more than happy with my phone stock android version. Of course I will still consider rooting to disable unused system apps.
  • « the average Android owner to download a one-click root application «  I don’t think the average Android owner ever thinks about rom and rooting...
  • I would have rooted my S8+ if I didn't have AdHell. There is absolutely *zero* reason that they should be able to force Facebook spyware on my phone. I don't have an account, so I shouldn't need to root to remove that bs. Let alone, I'm still tempted since the S8+ has a camera mod that allows HDR in 4k, while the default camera doesn't.
  • Weird propaganda piece.
  • As a heavy user of Android Pay, rooting hasn't been a thing since the first day it arrived in this country. I don't care if there are things to bypass root detection; I want to ensure a good security profile. Currently that means a phone close to stock with A53 processors only (e.g. Qualcomm 630) to make it Spectre/meltdown proof, and from a reputable maker - Sony, HMD Global for starters. If you live in an area where just about everybody takes AP, it's a major enhancement to a phone.
  • I haven't rooted since HTC Wildfire S (up to 4.4 KitKat, but no further as it had an A6 single core cpu, but it did overclock nicely. still ran very slowly and lagged badly, so I flashed WildChild 3 (Gingerbread) and it ran much better I also rooted my Xperia U, but kept to the KitKat update from Sony.
    I've not felt any need to root since then, but might flash a custom ROM on my old 2012 Moto G as it's effectively disposable now. I won't be rooting my Huawei P8 Lite 2017 (which should be getting an official Oreo upgrade sometime). The stock camera app is superb (Slow-mo, HDR, full manual controls) and makes better images than my (admittedly old) Compact camera.
  • Do banking apps still work ok on a rooted phone?
  • I root all my devices immediately because: 1. All bloatware needs to be deleted on sight. 2. Stopping Google Play Services from collecting data 24/ 7. Without root, Android phones are just attractive data theft devices doubling as phones. I say, let them have YOUR personal data instead. 3. No ads (In apps or browser). Full (I mean full) customization. Full screen HD caller ID w/o 3rd party apps. 4. Viper4Android, Dolby Atmos. No ugly lockscreen clock. Sync to iTunes baked into rom. 3 finger gestures. 5) 0.2% per hour battery drain overnight. I'm not a slave to the charger, you are. 6. Full system image backups stored to SD (Thanks TWRP!!!). Hide root for Android Pay, Netflix, Banking (Yes, it works in 2018). 7. Free Wi-Fi hotspot. 8. System update? Unroot, get update(s)...back to root. 2 hours tops on a day off from work. 9. My devices are always insured, and paid for in full. I don't see what the problem is. Without root, It's the manufacturer and Googles' device. With root, it's mine. 10. Would you pay for a computer without full administrator rights?