Root is a right!

An example of Android Recovery

I am actually one of the support administrators for Titanium Track. Yes, the world known most famous backup application for Android! One of the most famous questions I get from most people is “why should I root my device?” and “Will rooting my device void my warranty?”. As simple as it is to ask these questions, its equally tough to answer them. I have to guide the users into understanding what is root, superuser and custom ROM first, while at the same time not taking responsibilities if they screw up something. Clearly, most of the people don’t really understand why they need root in the first place and what is their right. Note that this post is my belief and may differ from what others may believe.

When you purchase a product, lets say, you buy a BMW car, the whole ownership of the product goes to you. You own the product – not BMW anymore. The wheels, the chassis, the doors, even down to every single cable in the car belongs to you. In fact, if you but the car today and decide to crash it against a wall on the next day, its totally your decision. No one can arrest you, nor apprehend you for your actions. Because you own it. You paid for it. Nothing in your BMW car is locked down to an extent that you can’t dismantle it. If you don’t have cash to send it for warranty repairs, you are fully eligible to do it yourself as long as you know what you are doing. If you don’t know how to do it, and a friend knows how to fix it and he is willing to do it for you for free, you have full rights to fix it with him – provided, you purchase original parts. And even after that, during the next service, when you have cash, you can take it to BMW service agent and they will service it for you again under your warranty period.

Now, compare and contrast this to your Android device. You paid for the device, you own it. The LCD screen, the power button, the storage media, the CPU, even down to the PCB of the device belongs to you. In fact, if you buy the gadget today and decide to blend it in a high-performance blender on the next day, its totally your decision. No one can arrest you, nor apprehend you for your actions. You paid for it. You own it. Then why should the bootloader be locked down? Why don’t you own it? Why do you have to find exploits and leaks just so you can tweak them and root your device? Why is ROOT not your right?

That’s the thing! Root is your right just as any other part of the device is. You should be allowed to touchbase with your system directories just as you can touch any other directory of your device. A little protection, agreed. Just to protect those who totally don’t know what they are doing. It should be as simple as the Windows XP’s blue protective screen that appears when you visit the C:\Windows\ folder for the very first time. Then it never appears ever again until you reformat it. That’s more than enough for a proof. You don’t really need to put unlocked icons in the bootscreen or any other fancy things that would make the owner of the device guilty for rooting it.

Basically, if you want to root your device, your main concern should be the purpose of doing it in the first place. In the case of the BMW above, if you had the cash and could afford the service, you had an alternative to save cash or just send it to the authorized service centre. But if you didn’t have the cash, you would rather take it to local service centre and save the car instead. Similarly, if you have no alternatives for the reason of rooting the device, you shouldn’t be hesitant.

I fully support companies that allow rooting policies on their devices. First is HTC. I recently wanted to upgrade my Nexus One to a newer Android device. I was looking forward to HTC Evo 3D and LG Optimus 3D. While the Optimus had better 3D stuff (5.0MPx 3D camera as opposed to 2.0MPx of the Evo 3D + better 3D rendering on screen compared to the Evo 3D), I still chose HTC despite its price being higher too. My main reason of choosing HTC was just because of their recent bootloader unlocking policy. Although it still voids the warranty (which I don’t mind really), the simpler process and the fact that they happily give you the responsibility is the reason why I supported them back. Same goes to ASUS. They have never been fussy about my rooting habits. In fact, they encourage me to root their devices too for full functionalities. Yes, the main business owners have locked the bootloaders pretty tightly, but at least when something goes wrong, I have never had problems getting my device fixed although it has been rooted.

So keep in mind, root is your own right. You decide if you should root your device because its you who own it.

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