Root and custom ROMs: are you still doing it?

by: Edgar CervantesNovember 12, 2015
1.3K
root-android-galaxy-note-3

The Android community is sometimes hard to understand. Specifically the group that has been all over rooting and ROMing since the beginning of Android. I used to be one of you, but I must say I haven’t felt the need to tinker with my phone in a very long time. How did I go from one extreme of the spectrum to the other? It’s a bit complex, so let me share my experience before jumping into the poll and comments.

In the beginning…

I believe this trend has followed many of us avid Android users. Here’s how it seems to work… or at least it’s how it was for me. Back when I bought my first Android device, the UI (LG) was horrendous and the phone was unbearably slow. I found that rooting and flashing a good ROM helped with the aesthetics and user friendliness, so I took on the quest of learning how all this hacking worked. This also allowed me to clear storage space by getting rid of bloatware, as back then internal storage was also a bit limited and fewer smartphones allowed you to uninstall these cumbersome pre-installed apps.

T-Mobile G1 first impressions aa (6 of 13)

And so I lived with a better UI and cool root apps that really unlocked the phone’s potential, but that wasn’t enough after a while. Mobile hardware was still in its infancy and phones were slow (even the “fast” ones). I needed more power, so I decided to flash a custom kernel and overclock that processor to no end. Only then were we really talking serious business.

Things got serious and I got into flashing all kinds of ROMs. I literally kept a single ROM for about a week at a time. It was madness, and something I got over very quickly.

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And then there were better phones

Android handsets evolved quickly in this fast-paced market; much faster than our content could. Even mid-end phones started getting good at handling relatively intense games, and they handled casual tasks very easily. A new era was upon us, and soon we realized we no longer needed to overclock, as this activity takes a toll on battery life. Some of us stopped rooting, but others opted to actually underclock and undervolt.

flagship-smartphones-aa-13-of-18

Now we find ourselves nearing the end of 2015 and mobile technology is leaps and bounds ahead. Manufacturers have realized that simpler is better, so current smartphones have really skinned off all that extra flair they used to love so much. Motorola specially stands out for this, as their software is as near-stock as you can get, while still adding some cool features.

Battery life is also being strongly addressed. We have battery monsters like the Droid Maxx 2 and Moto X Play. Google has also introduced Doze, which saves battery by putting your phone in a deeper sleep while inactive. LG has also tried lowering the frame rates of your screen when an image is static (like when you are looking at a picture). All of these methods have helped, and most people can go through a whole day of battery life without many hurdles (some even 2 days!).

droid-maxx-2-review-2

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The end of rooting and flashing ROMs?

Things have definitely changed. Phones are fast, UIs are cleaner than ever, phones have plenty of features, many manufacturers are allowing you to uninstall (or disable) bloatware and battery life is starting to become much less of an issue. Is there still a reason for you to root your phone and install third-party software? It seems stock is the way to go for more and more people lately.

android 6.0 marshmallow

Of course, this is a very subjective matter, and this is why we are calling upon you to see how Android Authority fans feel about this. There aren’t many studies on this, so we thought we should make our own little poll and get some numbers. Last time we heard, a Tencent research showed over 27% of Android users root their phones (most of them to uninstall bloatware, apparently). That is actually an impressive number, and I wonder if it is going up or down.

Regardless, we want to find out what our fellow Android lovers think about this! Do you still root? If you do, what is your main reason? Maybe you feel like me and you just let your phone be, or find you can do some pretty cool customizations even without root. Let’s find out how the community stands by answering the poll below. We also know this question is not so cut-and-dried, so join the conversation in the comments to expand on your answer!

  • Ritchy IJpelaar

    No root possibility for my 5.1.1. touchwiz rom (s6 edge) and don’t want to use a custom rom.

  • Brandon G

    hell yeah i still do! im using a nexus 5 and its awesome! i think i will always want to root my phone and flash custom roms. its always fun adding new things to your phone.

  • Sherpa

    No, because I have an AT&T Note 4.

    • JosephHindy

      Laughed out loud. Very good lol.

    • freezahs

      Yeah same here. I can’t enjoy my phone to its full potential at all. I got package disable on here so I can at least take out of the picture. I think I can actually uninstall the bloatware but it’s a great app. I just don’t know why AT&T would lock down the bootloaders in their Android devices. It’s just like having an iPhone.

  • emanuel reyes

    i think root is a must especially to get bloatware off and get everything free

  • 1213 1213

    Only if I have reason to. I don’t pro actively root every device. Then again I didn’t root my last one or my current one, so I guess I don’t either. Maybe if my s5 doesn’t get android n I’ll root.

  • Ivan Budiutama

    my friend, when the OEM is focusing on selling their new phone. Thus, half-motivated in investing their resource on real update toward new Android version. Some OEM had their “performance aging” on much faster pace (which easily solved by the way, clearing the dalvik cache seems to do the trick). Not to mention that not all people have all money in the world to replace their phone yearly. The answer is: Yes, I’m still doing it.

  • Tony T.

    Yes to root, don’t need ROMs now with how good the Google Now Launcher is.

  • Jose Alberto

    I selected yes, but i think the most of the users now flash custom rooms just to keep the device updated, where the manufacturer and operator left it orphan. Here in Venezuela its really hard to buy a smartphone due to economy, got lucky and managed to get a Huawei P7 its really a nice phone. He came with kit kat and only recently the lolipop update was released, but the bad news, no Marshmallow, really a phone with just a year on the market, come on, like me i bet there are other users that need to flash custom rooms just to have their devices updated. I helped a friend to flash his Xperia M, and now he have a blazing fast phone with Lolipop, thats what im talking about

  • arbocorp

    I purposely purchased last years Samsung Tab S 10.5 (T-Mobile) since it has better specs than this years. The downside is that it only comes in 16gb capacity minus what Android eats up. With Lollipop I’m limited to moving over apps over 1gb to external sd card however there’s a CHUNK of bloatware or Samsung apps no longer supported I’m unable to remove or move over. Some of these custom roms either restore the ability to remove ANY app or has removed much of the bloatware. The biggest hurdle is finding the right rom for the t-mobile version, I run the risk of bricking the tablet!

  • I have the Nexus 6P. Rooting this phone won’t let me use the fingerprint sensor for transactions and such. So, nope; no rooting for me!

    • Aaron Hawkins

      this is false.

      search xda and you’ll see many folks, including myself, who use chainfire’s systemless root and have made successful android pay transactions. oh… and imprint works regardless of root.

      • Oh wow! Then I’m definitely going to root. Thanks man!!!

      • gilahacker

        @aaron_hawkins:disqus – Because I can’t upvote that twice, here’s an extra +1. :-)

      • JosephHindy

        Keep in mind three things
        1. Systemless is an experimental project which means not everyone is comfortable using it yet.
        2. Just because it’s available for this particular person doesn’t mean his point is invalid. Systemless is not available for everyone.
        3. Android Pay blocking out root users is effing stupid.

  • Pomacat

    I just got the LG v10 a couple of weeks ago and am keeping it stock. I am burned out on custom Roms. I have been rooting since the OG Droid. It’s getting more trouble then it’s worth. For now I am done.

    • JosephHindy

      I understand your premise, I’m getting a bit sick of that scene too, but the V10 is fastboot oem unlock, like a nexus device.I’m not making fun of you or trying to cause trouble, but I enjoy the irony that you’re tired of the trouble and then buy probably the most easily rooted non-Nexus device released in 2015 :P

      • Pomacat

        Just in case I change my mind?

        • JosephHindy

          Forward thinking, I like that! :)

  • patstar5

    You realise that these numbers will be no where near accurate compared with general population? Most Americans only know about iPhones or Samsung’s Galaxy series. I doubt any of them know what rooting is. It’s sad…

    • JosephHindy

      Well, in this context, we’re talking directly to our readers. Most of you know about rooting and roms and are more than just ordinary consumers. Just because we’re not getting the opinion of non-tech-enthusiast people doesn’t invalidate the opinions of the rest of you :)

    • Hotbod Handsomeface

      “General population” = “sheep who accept what is given to them and don’t understand the possibilities in the world”

      We go out and fvkken take what we desire.

      • アルジュン Kuniyil

        YES!

    • Who said anything about general population? It’s clearly about what we, geeks, think.

  • No, haven’t done it since I got my Note 4, don’t find it necessary anymore.

    • Daggett Beaver

      I rooted my Note 4 because there’s a custom kernel I like. But it worked great without rooting. It was just my compulsion to tinker.

      A big no to custom roms, though.

  • What really makes me want to root my phones is AdAway, hands down. Also, I like to install a custom kernel with KCAL in order to use CF.Lumen. Other than those two things, for me, the rest is unessential.

    That said, since I had some problems with my old Moto G 2014 which I think were caused by messing with it, and my new Nexus 6P is still very recent, I will wait some time before modding my new phone.

    • Aki I.

      Yes,this. Ads destroy the android experience

      • Hotbod Handsomeface

        OMG THIS!

    • Xavier_NYC

      I have the 6P and I just flashed Pure Rom with Elemental Kernel and I’m super happy. Thing is super fast. Looking for AdAway now so I can install that and I should be good. Stock nexus rom is great but doesn’t have simple things such as close all apps option in the recent tab hence why I flashed the rom..

    • Karly Johnston

      Adguard doesn’t require root which replaced AdAway for me. Once DT2W became standard and getting rid of ads became easy, not really seeing the need to void warranty. The only phone i had recently that was a must to flash was Zen2, that 5.0 ZenUI build was such a bloated nightmare.

      • Raul Acevedo

        Adguard is pretty awesome, highly recommend it.

      • Nice. Didn’t now about AdGuard. But, anyway, I found it too expensive and it prevents me from using a VPN I already use :/

        • Karly Johnston

          The free version works fine, at least for browsers. The premium blocks across the entire OS but is too pricey for me.

    • mobilemann

      isn’t CF lumens a bad version of f.lux?

      • Not if you have the KCAL driver on your kernel. Actually, there is no f.lux for Android, so CF.Lumen (if used with the KCAL driver) is the only decent alternative to it.

        The rest, such as Twilight, Bluelight Filter, Lux, or even CF.Lumen without the KCAL driver, only cast a transparent warm color over your screen, ruining your blacks. And it even shows on your screenshots.

        • mobilemann

          crazy. f.lux for iOS runs sandboxed now, unjailbroken.

    • trapchan

      Same reason I root (mainly).

  • coldspring22 .

    Whole point of having Android phone is to do what you want with it. Most people don’t need to install custom rom, but adding or tweaking some feature which is lacking in stock rom is great. Being able to use program like Titanium backup or Nobloat free is indispensable. And for those who have time to tinker, ability to reprogrammed phone from ground up using open source android or some other operating system is priceless. Freedom – that’s the beauty of Android.

  • ianberg

    My Moto G (2014) does what I need. I haven’t had any issues with this phone. No need to fix what isn’t broken. I understand that I’ll get the Marshmallow update without having to root.

  • Bianca Enix

    I’m never happy with a phone unless I root it and use a custom ROM. My LG G3 was way too slow stock…very frustrating.

    • droidtomtom

      Just got an LG G3 (wanted to upgrade from Samsung GS3) I have been wondering if it was worth a custom ROM (worried it will have inferior battery life without the LG optimizations). So far I rooted to enable wifi hotspot, installed TWRP recovery so that I can make full backups and use Titanium backup to freeze all the AT&T apps. My frustration level with stock is slowly growing.

      • Hotbod Handsomeface

        Slap a custom ROM on that bish and don’t look back. Stock G3 ROM is TERRIBLE.

        • droidtomtom

          Thanks. I will do a nandroid and give a few roms a test drive. I hated having to double pull down on the visor on my GS3 with CM12.1 to get to the quick toggles. But there are way too many background processes running in stock form.

        • アルジュン Kuniyil

          Tell me which ROMs r good for the G3? I need a ROM which I can use daily…

          • Hotbod Handsomeface

            I use SlimLP version 0.3 as my daily driver. Everything works as it should. I didn’t even bother trying other ROMs.

          • I’m using Resurrection Remix and I think it’s perfect :D

          • Resurrection Remix

      • Asif Hasan

        Get rid of that stock ROM. It is horrendously slow. Flash a custom ROM.

      • Laura Arroyo

        When I saw the draft which was of 7159 dollars, I accept that my friend’s brother was like really generating cash in his spare time with his computer. . His aunts neighbor has done this for only 10 months and by now repaid the loan on their home and bought a new Car .This is what they are donig …

        http://www.ocair.at.st
        i

  • thecodye

    I will root my phone, but instead of flashing a whole bunch of roms, i find one that i like and stick with it for a couple of months or so, then ill switch to something else

    • Bob Bobson

      Couldn’t agree more

  • Hotbod Handsomeface

    Is this really a question? Which of you fvkkers here aren’t rooting and / or custom ROMing?

    • JosephHindy

      A lot of people have been openly talking about how root doesn’t matter anymore. It’s become a thing among the “popular” Android bloggers to talk about how useless root is now.

      • Hotbod Handsomeface

        “Popular” Android bloggers are wrong. Rootability still hands down the number one thing I look for in a new phone.

        1) Xposed (many very useful modules that no stock ROM nor most custom ROMs can perform)
        2) Wireless hotspot tethering without paying VZW’s ridiculous charge for it
        3) Make backups and ability to remove bloatware
        4) Overclocking, underclocking, etc.
        5) Team Blackout modified apks (flashable zip files, not just the signed installs)
        6) Flash in an ad-blocker zip file (MOaAB comes to mind)
        7) Etc.
        8) Etc.

        • JosephHindy

          Hey hey I think they’re wrong too lol but that’s where the conversation originated. A few guys with 100k followers say “yknow what, i don’t need root anymore” and suddenly it becomes cool to talk about.

          • Hotbod Handsomeface

            Lol, agreed. Probably exactly how it happened.

  • wrkerr

    I no longer feel the need to install custom ROMs on devices which are actively supported with software updates, as long as it’s a close-to-stock UI (Moto or Nexus). I may on occasion still root so I can use some additional tools, or leverage Xposed framework, but often I don’t even need to do that.

    Devices which are no longer actively supported with software updates, in my home, greatly benefit from custom ROMs. I have significantly extended the usable life of my 2012 Nexus 7 tablet by using a optimized filesystem (F2FS), and installing a lighter, more optimized ROM based on the latest AOSP.

  • Ryan

    Main reason I root is for AdAway, another reason is to flash a custom kernel that has software where you can calibrate the display

  • Aki I.

    My main reason for root is to block ads and titanium backup to debloat. And if xposed is available for the phone, even better. I know you can block ads without root but it’s just as easy with it and more benefits. Just blocking ads alone makes such a huge difference in phone performance to me.

  • Master

    I don’t like TouchWiz roms older than lollipop so I installed Cm12.1 on my Note 2 and this is great! I can’t use phone whithout flashing and rooting ;)

  • Nope since Android 6.0 arrived onto my Nexus 7 (2013), it’s bloody great.

  • MaxPower27

    After 5+ years of rooting & ROMming, I think I may have finally given up the ghost. I played around with some ROMs on my Nexus 6 after an extended hiatus from flashing anything on a previous phone, but mostly found it to be a lot of pointless effort for no real gain. I never did find a ROM on that phone that performed as well as stock (which itself was laggy as all hell). I now have a Verizon Note 5 with basically no chance of root ever being achieved (let alone an unlocked bootloader), and I honestly couldn’t be happier with the phone. I feel like ROM flashing is mostly a vestige from the days when Android needed all the help it could get to be usable, and is pretty much unnecessary now for all but the most diehard hobbyists.

  • ѦՊԻ

    I can’t use Android without Root privileges .
    Also if I use an old phone I definitely flash a custom ROM .

  • XL borengsek

    As a geek, I own a couple android device.

    I have Sony Experia Ion (lt28h), did try to install the Lollipop custom rom, the kitkat custom rom, but in the end I fall back to the original ROM, because all custom ROM I tried for lt28h either slow, or crash a lot.

    I install CM 11 on my old Galaxy S3 & Galaxy Nexus. Just because the last supported android version for this both device were Jelly Beans. And this CM 11 work greats on this 2 phone.

    But I don’t install any custom ROM on my LG Nexus 4 & Galaxy Notes 4 because I think the original ROM is better. I might install CM 13 next year on my LG Nexus 4 if CM13 for Nexus 4 is good.

    About rooting,
    I only root my phone because my cellular carrier CHEAT ME.
    Everytime I browse, they INSERT ADVERTISEMENT.
    the advertisement is from my carrier (NOT from the web site I visit)
    So, I root my phone, and edit the hosts file and put this, so the ads from their web site gone.
    127.0.0.1 ads.telkomsel.com
    127.0.0.1 adpop.telkomsel.com
    127.0.0.1 ibnads.xl.co.id

    I also block this 2 web site because this 2 web address put shady advertising (‘your phone got virus’ advertising) to told me to install CM browser

    127.0.0.1 myappswall.com
    127.0.0.1 freemobs.com

    and then I go to play store, download CM browser, and GIVE THEM 1 STAR, and told them I give them 1 star because they use BAD ADVERTISING. I also WhatsApp my friend and family to URGE them to download CM browser and give 1 star.

  • chriseckeard

    I do Root and sometimes ROMS only once my device is out of manufacture warranty especially on my carrier handset. This is mostly due to the difficulty of removing the tattle tail or the blown efuse. There is also less of a need with modern devices. I hate Touchwiz but Nova is the Launcher I use regardless and flagship devices are fast and efficient compared to what they use to be. When I do, it’s for Ad blocking especially when accessing this bloated website from mobile user agent reporting, thank you androidauthority.com.

  • Bob Bobson

    Probably not the best idea, but I’ve used a custom ROM with Xposed for ages, apart from the odd clash of features or whatever, it still works no problem

  • nyarathotep

    Over the last year or two I have kind of become a “stockish Android snob”, and my current tablet (N7 #2) and last couple phones (Moto G/X) have been getting or are scheduled to get the latest Android and I have no problem waiting for OEM updates. I still flash the occasional ROM on my tablet for fun but I need my phone to work so I prefer not to mess with it.

    I am fine with the speed and performance of my current devices, even the old lowly Moto G, and any minor improvement in performance that I can get from a custom ROM/kernal/overclocking isn’t worth the time and effort to me. But if I had to use a device that came stock with a heavy skin, I’d definitely be interested in doing whatever I could to get things closer to AOSPish assuming it didn’t break features that I rely on.

    That said, I still have a 100+ GB of nandroid backups and dozens of ROM zip files from three or four previous devices taking up space on my PC. In the case of my original TF101 Transformer, the custom ROMs and kernals really did make a difference in extending the life of the device. The other devices I flashed ROMS to get the latest Android version, but performance improvements were questionable and there always seemed to be some feature broken. But it was still fun.

  • Dumitru Popliuc

    Not all people buy a new phone every year or two so an old phone whit a new battery and latest android is a go

  • Neal

    Great option for older devices but now that my daily driver is a Nexus, I plan on keeping it as pristine as possible. Android is evolved enough as an OS to provide everything I need.

  • Le

    Used to be on the Root train, but considering how often security updates are rolled out, I found it to be a hassle to unroot, update, and reroot each time. As much as I would love to have a custom ROM, it just doesn’t make sense. Also, since I have a Note 5, the stylus apps wouldn’t be effective, thus making it pointless.

  • JSo

    Android has gotten to the point where I could live with full stock without root if I had to. But there’s a lot of good ROMs available and still reasons to root in my opinion.

  • Darrin Ramlochan

    Yeah, I still root and flash custom roms every now and again. The only reason I do this is because OEMs are slow to deliver updates to their devices. Fortunately for me, HTC made it extremely easy with their devices (at least to my knowledge) and I’m currently on GPE 6.0 on my M8
    It is an important factor for me because of bloatware and poor optimisation

  • Arjoma92

    Agreed – new devices are mostly great (although there is only one new device so far that launched with the latest Android Version – the HTC A9).
    But what about everything else? For so many devices (some not even 2 years old) Custom ROMs are the only way to use the newest Android version. ROMs allow me to run a perfectly smooth and stable build on Marshmallow on my 3 year old Nexus 4 (Hail do the d.evs! But why couldn’t Google do what one private dev does in a week or so?); and another flawless Marshmallow build on my LG G Pad 8.3 – a device LG never really cared about.

    Root is mostly great for one App: GMD Gesture Control. Hide virtual buttons and gain the full screen real estate, replace them, as well as the Power button and every other app/shortcut with an elegant swipe gesture.

  • Ahmed

    for me .. rooting is like freedom .
    nothing i can’t do .. no problems can’t be fixed.
    logically whatever the official ROMs give .. developers give more .. that why they called developers and by the way because of them android becomes better .
    they come with awesome ideas and then we get them officially on the next update
    i love rooting and special thanks for all developers who set us freeeeeeeeeeeeee and more than satisfied :)

  • Jason C

    LG G4 is the first phone I don’t feel necessary to Root or custom ROM at all. More than happy with the stock ROM after de-bloat some of the rubbish came with it. I believe I won’t root any phone I bought in the future.

    • Hotbod Handsomeface

      How the fvkk do you de-bloat without rooting?

  • Raul Acevedo

    Fuck yeah! Carriers, manufacturers and even Google impose too much BS. I refuse to buy a phone I can’t root or bootloader unlock. And at this point, I’ve seen so many bugs in the changes they make to AOSP, it’s Nexus only for me (or an AOSP ROM). Thank god Google finally made a truly awesome Nexus 6P… And the modding community for making phones fun and awesome.

    • Hotbod Handsomeface

      THIS!

  • Decrux

    My main reason for rooting is security. But there are more reasons, of course.

    1. Root + clean AOSP (or as close to AOSP if a clean AOSP is impossible)
    2. Firewall
    3. Xposed Framework
    4. GravityBox and other xposed apps
    5. Remove apps I don’t need/want
    6. Long and tedious process of disabling anything I don’t want running in the background to secure and optimize the device (phone or tablet)

  • Brian Walker

    With my Thunderbolt, I had a new ROM every few days. Galaxy Nexus, same deal. Nexus 4, usually between CM and Paranoid Android, but I tapered off toward the end. With my Nexus 6, I’ve had it almost a year and I have never installed a custom ROM. I haven’t even been rooted in about 8 months. The phone does everything I need it to right now.

  • Michael McGrade

    I used to root and ROM everything but as time has progressed most of my devices are now just rooted…older devices still run ROMs but I’m over the work it takes to get everything going smoothly. I’m happy with root and Xposed now…it’s all I need. The new changes to Android do make me worry a little about updating to a new phone.

  • Kevin Flannery

    Every time I try to venture away from Nexus devices, I always find myself missing the huge development community with the Nexus line. I enjoy rooting and flashing/tweaking custom Kernels, ROMs, etc. This is mainly so I can tweak small user interface features (adjusting nav bar size, adjusting display color calibration, adding in advanced reboot options etc). None of this can be done without rooting.

    Another useful side effect of rooting Nexus devices is that you can mix and match various factory image files with each other to give you the best experience. For example. On the latest 6.0 factory image for the Nexus 5X (MDB08M), the updated radio they use actually removes band 12 LTE on T-Mobile. This limits the LTE connectivity I’m able to get in my area. However, once I flashed a radio file from a previous factory image (MDA89E), I got band 12 back and my LTE signal is improved. Again, this is something I wouldn’t be able to do if I didn’t root my phone.

    • Chauntella Stephanie Brown

      Wow that is awesome and very informative! How do you go about rooting a device?

      • Matthew Allison

        Google Kingo Root it makes it really easy but you have to have a pc

        • Kevin Flannery

          As I mentioned above, if someone is just starting off, they absolutely should not rely on rooting tools, like the one you mentioned.

          You should NEVER attempt to root your phone through a tool that does the work for you until you properly know how to use ADB/Fastboot commands. And the funny part is, once you know how to root through ADB/Fastboot you’ll laugh at how simple it really is and realize those tools are not even necessary.

          • mobilemann

            (if you don’t have a locked bootloader) You look at things from such a rosey (nexus) point of view. I come from the streets of OEMs with locked bootloaders and verizon!

          • satyam

            Ya OEM with shitty locked bootloaders ,then the after setup device again USB debugging blah blah ,command for custom recovery, those were the days oops still is for me at least.

      • Kevin Flannery

        Rooting methods often vary a bit from device to device. But if you have a Nexus device, there are some great step by step tutorials that show you how to do it. However, the #1 key thing to learn if you plan on rooting any Android device (Nexus line or not), is how to properly use ADB/Fastboot commands without relying on “easy” or “one-click” rooting tools.

        The reason for this is that if something gets messed up and your phone gets bricked, or won’t boot, it’s crucial to understand how to manually use commands on the computer to reset/revert it. Often times these rooting tools will help you get root but if something goes wacky the tools can be very limited and often won’t even recognize a bricked/un-bootable phone. Thus, making these tools good for causing a problem, but not for fixing it.

        I see it every week on the XDA forums… Someone, who doesn’t know how to do basic ADB/Fastboot commands, turns to a simple rooting tool to do the work for them, then at some point their phone gets locked up or bricked and they post a thread saying “OMG!!! HAAALP! MY PHONE IS BRICKED AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!”

        Meanwhile, if they took the 20-30 minutes to properly read/understand how to do the simple ADB/Fastboot commands, they could easily get themselves out of that dilemma. Trust me, even though I’m confident in saying I know what I’m doing, I’ve still soft bricked my fair share of devices from stupid mistakes. Knowing how to use ADB/Fastboot has gotten me out of those binds every single time.

        Anyway, here are some guides to get you started:

        Setup ADB/Fastboot with SDK Tools on a PC (also applies to Mac, for the most part)
        http://forum.xda-developers.com/nexus-5x/general/guides-how-to-guides-beginners-t3206930
        *This also shows you how to root Nexus devices

        More in depth ADB/Fastboot setup for Mac:
        http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1917237

      • Flip Jumpman

        Look up Wugfresh nexus root toolkit

    • mobilemann

      a nexus is the only device i would say you are safe with different rom’s. All the other ones have far to much proprietary drivers and software to allow it to work well. (IE exynos processors)

      Also, using the wrong baseband for your phone can lead to horrible things.

  • Mark Allan

    Flashaholic, keeping my s4 alive devs giving me marshmallow goodness and Samsung couldn’t even get lollipop finished. Lots of custom TW ROMs that urinated all over Samsungs effort

  • T Redd

    Root is a must for me.. i hate ads!! Adaway is the way to go.

  • Meowlow79

    I would love to root again. The bloatware my carrier adds is unreal. Because of security related issues with rooting (ie connection to smartwatch and the use of NFC payment) I am unable to do so.

  • Elfsiren

    I haven’t even rooted my daily drivers, but I have older devices lying around that I put custom ROMS on to breathe new life into them.

  • mrjayviper

    representing cyanogenmod users here :)

  • Justin Ricks

    I have a Samsung gs4, so it’s starting to show it’s age. The biggest problem though is that I’ve been abandoned by Samsung. The gs4 doesn’t get updated fast enough. I finally rooted and flashed a rom with a stage fright patch. As long as oems don’t update, there will be roms.

  • crisban

    I’d only root now to kill ads on my Moto X. But the software is solid. I don’t need a custom ROM. Plus Cyanogen wasn’t interested in releasing a stable Marshmallow build for my old S4, so I lost interest in Cyanogenmod. My Moto X with Nova Launcher has been treating me very well and I’ve never looked back.

  • ASYOUTHIA

    Who needs to flash ROM’s when you have Xposed Framework?

  • qinghai

    I can’t live without root.
    I flash custom roms only to my old phones to get latest android version. Otherwise I stick with stock roms.

  • Higinio Calderón Jr.

    I’ve never rooted. I know the benefits, but I’ve never had the time to learn

  • LY Lee

    Haven’t done it before.

  • Igy Tech

    Lost point to put custom rom. custom rom have more bugs then original one. I am tired of it.

  • アルジュン Kuniyil

    I used to be an avid fan of rooting a year ago when I used the Huawei ascend g600. It was terribly slow. I used to over clock the CPU, uninstall bloatware. Customize the ui.
    Last year I got the LG G3. At first I didn’t feel like there was any need to root it. It was fast, could handle absolutely any game or app thrown at it. But now a year later I can feel that it’s starting to show signs of aging.. There a lot of lag, reboots and the battery life sucks too…
    Only a few days ago I started searching for how to root the G3.. Still haven’t rooted yet… But it’ll be rooted soon….
    I’ve never flashed a custom ROM before… Can any one tell me which ROMs r good for the G3?

    • Chetan Ramdewor

      Try ressurection remix don’t pay attention to the name im using it on my oneplus one,battery life is great.

    • Kamlesh

      Cloudy 2.5 and above is best for LG G3 D855

  • Gaurav Pandey

    Other : Yes, i do rooting but i am tired of all the hard work now.

    I have done lots of flashing now but now I want a phone that works smoothly even after 2 years and getting timely updates. That’s the reason iam for the first time considering iPhone but no money so might take Nexus later. As of today i have lost interest in Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony and so on. I appreciate some of their features and camera improvements which i wish to have but again late updates and performance degradation in a year is not i want.

    I have S4, have to run custom ROM to make it work smoothly but the camera is not good, ROM is not as stable and have random issue.

  • Sun

    Unable to root as I am using a Japanese smartphone. Known for their hard-ass security.

    • アルジュン Kuniyil

      Lol ?

  • Nacos

    Rooting is often misunderstood and used without a clear knowledge or understanding of the scope. To those, your argument has value, to the ones really knowing what rooting does, not so much. Ultimately, rooting is about getting full access to the OS in all its intricacies and with that comes freedom to choose. Today rooting is as relevant as it always was and your (somewhat misleading) article doesn’t even scratch the surface on the possibilities that rooting opens up. To make an analogy, you’re asking something like, is freedom still relevant today when anyone can escape whenever and wherever they want through internet, TV and other media? Answer that and you’ll also have the right answer to your dilemma!

  • Tommy Crosby

    I managed to keep my Note 4 unrooted since I got it in May and now that I’m on 5.1.1, I’m struggling to find serious reasons and tripping the Knox counter to root it. Especially since there’s a non-root app to disable stock apps in TW ROMs.
    There’s one thing I really enjoy: no more ROM jumping, daily updates and always the search for new features. I found myself to be more happy with my phone because I take it as it is.
    I still plan to root it at some point but I may wait for my warranty to end up.

  • Tanuj Chokshi

    I would root and ROM if verizon didn’t put an indestructable chastity belt on all of their phones (referring to the samsung devices)

  • Dels

    About battery life, i miss the era of symbian (S60) is the primary smartphone OS (since windows mobile only for those serious) where battery life could be up to 3 days with normal 3g browsing back then…

    Back to topic, yeah I still root my phone, I still install custom rom, I still install custom kernel, I still install tweaking script and I still (mostly) hate manufacturer rom…

  • Say What??

    My main reasons to root are to get rid of all the white, get rid of all the ads, remove the screen hogging navbar and remove all the crap that you still cannot remove that you don’t want. Some phones don’t even have a reboot menu. You have to shut down, then turn it back on. Yea, a lot of the stock ROMS now have a lot of features but they are still missing some of the basic features. Take the Nexus 6 for example. They disabled the notification light. I like my statusbar clock centered or hidden. I like the battery icon to show a percentage inside it. These are things that a stock ROM in 2015 should have built in. Thanks to being rooted you can flash ROMS to change these things. I want to have black backgrounds with white text. All the white hurts my eyes and it looks terrible to me. So thank god for root and ROMS.

  • Rooney-

    Wow! I remember flashing roms on my LG optimus P500 ! NOw that i am using Moto phone, i think i dont need to.
    BTW, any good ROM for MOTO G2?

  • TekG

    I primarily root due to bugs with stock and to have the latest Android goodness. Also ROMs like Cyanogenmod provide features unavailable in stock, eg themes, cast screen etc

  • Alexandros Vourlakos

    I flash custom roms only if my phone is laggy, but i always root: xposed framework, adaway, bloat remover, cpu control, maybe some custom recovery are all essential to me.

  • Hemant Limaye

    CM13 Marshmelo update available .is it safe?for Yureka plus.
    Please let me know

  • sjesudasan

    I always want to run the latest Android version on my phone and also I like to keep changing the appearance of my phone UI (Xperia Z ultra) and to try new features, So I switch between rooted stock Sony ROM, GPE ROM, CM12.1. But I like Vanilla android’s speed and look more than others

  • ozan6661

    Other because i was’t rooting my phone but im still avid fans and custom rom, because custom rom is make faster and better performance

  • Michał Olesiński

    My story…

    My first Android phone was Samsung Galaxy S II, bought in September 2011. On Gingerbread phone run smoothly, but after come Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. Phone was running like turtle or snail and fast drain battery. It was in this condition 5-6 months because I don’t know what to do. In April 2013 I broke and install CyanogenMod (probably Jelly Bean 4.2), after some problems. This was nightly builds and have a lot of crash restarts. But phone run smoothly and has good battery life. In September 2013 I install Slimbean after my uncle recommend it, because he install it on his Galaxy S III. I was very delighted about modified DPI. Rom run smoothly, battery life is good. Stability is good when I know that clean cache is solution. My phone was in this condition, sometimes I try other roms but always back to Slimbean, later Slimkat. I also use Titanium Backup Pro and Xposed Framework. I try make swap (increase ram with partition on internal memory) and hard bricked phone (no bootloader, no system). Fortunately was repaired by normal service (no Samsung service because my warranty is expired, also they not repair phones with modified system). But GPS don’t work (don’t see satelites). I was try to repair, but I did nothing. Luckily sometimes GPS catch fix. In early 2015 back camera usually don’t work (black screen). I was thinking that is programmatic problem, so I try stock rom and flash different camera firmware. No change. So I disassembly phone and try fix camera, I check connection. No change. Finally discovered when I grab phone like to bend and try slightly straightened it camera sometimes fixed. In Mai 2015 I decide to buy new phone. I know 1 thing – i buy phone with Zerolemon Battery (I found that ~2013 and wondering about phone with it). My choise is Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (N910C 8-core Exynos). Standard battery has 3220 mAh, Zerolemon has 10000 mAh. In normal use 1 charge of Zerolemon enough for 3 days of work and ~11h screen on. My record is 20h screen on when I watch series. Phone is very good, stock rom is smoothly and good. I don’t need anymore root and custom roms. I’m accustomed to modified DPI, but instead of this I change icons size and increase grid in Nova launcher (best launcher btw). I don’t miss anything from custom roms and root and on 90% I won’t try it anymore.

    PS.
    Sorry about English.

  • bL4Ck

    Strange but, i completely stopped caring about root and custom roms since i got a Nexus phone, i used to play a lot with my phones but always ended up going for the stock look and minimal customization, then, when i finally stopped caring about superior specs of other manufacturer phones and bought a Nexus i looked no further, sure you can get more, but making constant backups, keeping that zip around just in case shit hits the fan and phone doesn’t boot up etc, I’m sort of fed up with that, i realized that i wanted my phone to look stock Android, be always reliable and get updates fast. I mean, years ago i was still using a Galaxy S2, was rocking an unreleased radio module and custom rom + kernel, was getting crazy good battery life and signal in my city, then i went abroad for a week and someone called me, spent 30 bucks in phone calls because i could hear anything from the speakers and spent 2hrs in a Starbucks downloading radios and roms, making backups to see which combo was working there, that sort of thing, then my Nexus 5, now a 6, worked perfectly fine in any place i went without me doing anything. Sure battery life and signal could be better, but at least I’m worries free now, since I’m certain it will work.

  • hoggleboggle

    I gave up on rom flashing after my Galaxy S2 as it was incredibly tiresome and incredibly unreliable. I had to root my Note 3 for a while after Google pulled the idiotic stunt of removing SD card writing access from apps in kitkat but this has been largely fixed with lollipop, so not needed anymore.

  • Pete

    One reason to root: Ad blockers!

  • Marvels

    One of the best things I did in life was to stop messing with root and custom rom. I have been through a lot of anger and lost hours of sleep. Worst thing in the world was a rom running smoothly for about three days, you thinking it was stable, and suddenly the camera hangs or you receive a call and can not meet. That rule was.It is two years since I’ve seen most need it.

  • pjtpjt

    It all started with my Note 3 and cyanogenmod 11 after the warranty period was over. Now I bought a Nexus 6 to develop my own custom rom.

  • trepă

    I mainly use custom ROMs to try and use future versions of Android that my phone (I don’t currently have one) does not get officially!

  • Haik

    I still root most of my devices, just to have couple of root apps like AdFree, Titanium Backup and Greenify. But I don’t flash custom rom’s on my current devices, only when the manufacturers stop providing updates for a device that I still like (for example Nexus 4), I will consider flashing some fresh software (Marshmallow).

    p.s The reason I don’t use custom rom’s is mostly cuz the UI’s now days are light enough and another reason is that sometimes some hardware elements are not being fully supported on custom rom’s (like cameras ..).

  • Mohammad Hussain

    I use a Xiaomi device and have realised that Xiaomi still wants us to mess around with different time. They themselves have developer roms of miui that give us full root access and also weekly updates. This is probably the best thing I love about Xiaomi

  • Cyanogen lover, SuperSU lover.

  • Devon

    So…. Why do you think the oneplus series is so popular? I feel that my phone isn’t mine until I root it. There’s certain apps I want on there forever and certain ones that won’t work without it. There’s custom roms I follow and features I need. Tinkering with your phone is a lot more than Uninstalling bloat ware and I’m confused as to why a brand such as android authority wouldn’t know this

  • supi

    It’s Like a drug u just keep checking for updates on stock but u don’t get every time but on custom roms get updated on similar intervals its. Like a race making ur phone smoother & smoother with a lot more features & New android version these dev focuses on your phone mid range phones low legacy phoning tries there best to provide them life once again

  • Andrew Tan

    I root my phone and play custom ROM for all phone I purchase since my first android phone HTC Google Nexus One in year 2010 but it get stop in earlier year of 2015.

    My last root and custom ROM phone is Moto Google Nexus 6.

    I start not rooting my next phone Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Mi 4i, LG G4 and now Samsung Galaxy Note5, which means already total 5 phones I use completely in stock because I no longer seen a need of it anymore.

    Root and Custom ROM is official history for me now. :)

  • neonix

    Yes. I can’t imagine any point in the future when I will not need root on an Android phone.

    I don’t root just to clean up the phone. I like custom roms and kernels because they have many many more features that allow me to change things that stock roms simply don’t.

  • s2weden2000

    no..it’s pretty much out…

  • Andy Gibbesh

    Little to no reason to root when you have a Nexus. Certainly no reason to use a custom ROM when stock Android is so nice already.

  • mobilemann

    It’s more about if you’re a child. You have time to do this as a child. When you grow up, it stops being about what you can theoretically do, and what you can do right now. You stop.

    Because with most roms that aren’t based on your OEMs flavor of android have massive amounts of bugs, (unless we are talking cyanogen for a nexus) plus you loose whatever custom software your camera drivers were using, as well as any other hardware. At one point, you just want a phone with the best software you can get.

    Personally that’s when i went to iOS. (queue boos and hisses from people who don’t do a 10th of what i do with their “mega customized” devices.

    Fuck things like an xposed module to get launcher options for Google Play’s Launcher. Fuck how much time it takes when you don’t dirty flash. Fuck nightlies. fuck kids who continually comment on iOS without knowing how powerful homekit is, or that you can completely sideload.

    • Flip Jumpman

      Rooting is only for children?

      • Flip Jumpman

        … then you grow up and use a iPhone?… Lol

      • mobilemann

        no, not rooting, flashing roms. Rooting to get a feature or install an xposed module, or to allow some tasker plugin is totally understandable.

        wanting to re-invent the wheel with lots of terrible roms is for children.

  • Stuart TERREY

    I like immersivemode

  • dhruv bisht

    Where do I get that wallpaper?? The one on the note 5 I guess

  • 3223

    The only time I rooted was to convert my m8 from an AT&T ‘infected’ sense (phone was imported to my country), to an ‘official’ Google play edition rom. But apart from that I’m not the kind that tweaks my phone to no end. A launcher fulfills most if not all of my customization needs, thank you very much :)

  • Hal Fountain

    I don’t necessarily need a custom rom, but I do like to be able to get rid of bloatware, and I also like the ability to customize my phone in a way that only rooting allows. Although, I do use a custom rom from time to time. I have a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus that is stock, but I also have a HTC One M9 that has S-off and rooted for customizing.

  • satyam

    My manufacturer doesn’t plan on giving android 6.0 but there is already cm13 build for my device which I gets more and more stable in every few day.

  • SLiT

    My phone got retarded, I’m having major sync issues, SMSes won’t come in until two weeks after they were sent, only Whatsapp and normal phone calls work. I have no idea what’s up with the phone and i dont have money for a new phone. Factory reset didnt seem to help either… So rooting it might just be my next move.

  • peterudiger

    I root only to increase headphone volume, as all phones are Purposely turned down. And yes, my hearing is perfect, I just want to hear my music at the volume that I prefer.

  • Brian Williams

    I root all my phones and tablets but keep stock rom. I use the root to control which apps auto-start, and which apps should be hibernated as soon as the screen goes off. Battery life is thus far better. My Note 3 gets charged every three dayss.

  • setspeed

    Always root my phone first day I get it. I won’t live without AdAway and Xposed.

  • leiremmers

    My phone runs cm os, so you could say I use a custom rom already;)

  • roccotool

    Rooting isn’t needed anymore. It’s so Atari 2600.

  • trapchan

    Just rooting. Modern Android ROM usually good enough for me (currently running Z2), I don’t even bother updating it to Lollipop, except the phone is extremely unusable on it’s factory state like Redmi 1S. But then again, getting a better phone is better than messing with custom ROMs.

  • Fernando Torres

    I am a fan of rooting android device also i currently rooted my Samsung Galaxy S4. I also just brought a new Sony Xperia M4 do you think i should root it also? Cause as of now there’s a lot of apps that requires rooting that is possible on the unroot android device.

  • Choda Boy

    These days I root for the following two reasons:

    1) Titanium Backup – Allows me to backup app and data.
    2) FolderMount – Allows me to mount folders on external SD storage to internal SD storage for apps that STILL do not support the use of external SD storage. (Amazon Music was a huge offender until recently.)

  • NINJA1200

    I have started flashing phones since the days of Windows Mobile and through the Androd era, but I got totally fed up with it. What I want today is a phone that works as expected and not a flashy and colorful rom with many stupid bugs and missing features.
    The only roms that I flash nowadays are the official ones, but from another country just to hide the tethering from my provider :)

  • John

    I feel like the results are a little bias as most ppl who read Android authority are going to be power users who are more likely to root and rom

  • Root plus custom ROM is still very valid way to improve android devices today. Even though hardware has improved. Many manufacturers take large portion of internal storage with bloatware and unwanted apps. Also, android is an open source operating system and as long as there are developers, people are going to want something more that what came in the box. When you want to change your software why buy a new device? Instead simply flash a different custom ROM. Also, custom roms along with custom recovery give users more options for back up and upgrades. I think android root plus custom ROM is here to stay and will actually grow in the future as more users are on android and become aware or the benefits.

  • Sheikh Safwan

    Regarding me the phone should be rooted to get some new UI’S faster response removing system app bloatware customization themes and all. Because you really get bored with the same official rom which is too Laggy. Hands up for rooting . Even I also need a better rom for my samsung galaxy note 3 sm n900 running on exynos octa core processor please suggest me and help thanks….