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November 27th 2012 8:34 pm

Benefits of Rooting a Nexus?

In the past, I rooted all the Android phones I've owned in order to flash CyanogenMod for a more "stock" experience and to overclock less capable hardware.

I just bought the Nexus 4 today and was wondering if there were any significant advantages to rooting an already high performing device with stock Android. I'm not really looking to put on any themes or fancy customization of that sort, although a numeric battery indicator would be nice. If you're a Nexus owner, why do you root your device and what do you use to take advantage of it?
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JasonTsay's pick

I don't own a Nexus but the reasons for rooting pretty much are standard across the board except for the 'stock' thing. Most usually root so they can get access to stuff they normally can't ie Wireless Tether. Despite being stock some prefer customized ROMs that have tons of different options in there like switching between phone and tablet mode (I personally think some just like to have these nth degree of options just because but never use them). Another reason people will is for loading different kernels which can overclock or undervolt the CPU. Some feel this is a battery saver and I think it was with 2.1/2.2 versions but it seems like some are moving away from it other than loading a kernel to fix a sound issue or something. I think if you're happy with how the phone is working just leave it be but if you want to have fun you can root it, which is incredibly easy on a Nexus device.
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JasonTsay's pick

I still own an HTC EVO 4G – the original HTC Supersonic. While my device is over two years old, I rooted my device early on to gain access to several apps, like AdFree Android, Titanium Backup ★ root, and WiFi Tether for Root Users, so that I could block third-party advertisements on Web site and in apps, backup my app configurations (and remove Sprint bloatware), and use my device as a wireless hotspot for my laptop computer while working on the go (without paying Sprint an additional monthly fee).

If you have a new device, then you have to determine whether the apps that you wish to use require root access. If not, then you probably don't need to bother rooting you device.
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JasonTsay's pick

My only reason for rooting would apply to any Android device: MarketEnabler. Where I live, not all apps are available and top listings are pretty terrible and boring. With MarketEnabler, I can spoof being a T-Mobile user or any other carrier and get access to what the Play Store would offer them.

However, similarly, with my new HTC One X, I wondered what other purpose I had to root my phone. Previously, I used to install custom ROMs that offered a bit more speed/smoothness and App2SD since my previous phone was slow and had little internal storage. With the HOX, I'm more than happy with just about everything. :D
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JasonTsay's pick

Also keep in mind that rooting dramatically decreases security on your phone. With all the talk of malware-infested apps making their way into the app store, you have to be extra careful about the apps you install once your phone is rooted. Being a bit paranoid about data security, I avoid rooting except in cases where the stock ROM is such crap that it is worth the risk to be rid of it or where the manufacturer has stopped updating it and there is a valid need for a newer version of Android.
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Hey Jason,

I've rooted my Nexus 4, like I had with all my previous Android devices. I'd recommend it, and here's why.

I've installed/flashed a custom Kernel onto my device, which has significantly improved battery life. Previously I could use the Nexus 4 for maybe a day, at most. With the same usage, I'm able to get two days of battery. A custom ROM (like CyanogenMod) is also enticing - I'm currently running AOKP, and it has many advantages. Read about it more at

Nexus 4 devices also have a weird yellow hue, this can also be solved with rooting. I love my display now!

Aside from the new features, the battery life was the real reason I rooted my device. The chance to increase my battery substantially is extremely enticing.

Hope this helped!
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