Rooting Android remains very popular with a certain crowd of users, but fact of the matter is for most folks it is an unnecessary hassle. I have gone through the pros and cons of hacking the operating system in previous articles, so I will not discuss them again here, but suffice to say that both the software and the hardware have matured so nicely that the vast majority of people can be perfectly happy with their new smartphone or tablet as it comes out of the box.
Google has been somewhat permissive with regards to rooting, but, behind closed doors, it has been working hard to close the open avenues. While hacking Android has become harder, Nougat will take things to the next level, bringing new security features to make sure that your device stays the way its maker intended.
As with every previous version of iOS, it had to happen -- jailbreak instructions for iOS 9 have been released. Rumors have been circulating for a little while that a group called Pangu was on the verge of releasing a jailbreak tool, and now it's available.
Pangu Jailbreak for iOS 9 cracks open iOS in next to no time, opening up the possibility of installing apps and applying tweaks that would not otherwise be possible. Whether you're rocking a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, or you have an iPad or older handset the whole process can be over in less than five minutes. Here's what you need to do.
After upgrading to Android 6.0 Marshmallow on your Nexus device you have likely noticed that there is still no way to change how the battery information is displayed in the status bar or choose which Quick Settings toggles are shown in the notifications panel. Google continues to be quite limiting in this regard, which is a bit puzzling considering others like Samsung allow this kind of customization. (After all, who wouldn't like to see a battery percentage instead of a bar that is hard to interpret?)
Fortunately, both of those things can be easily customized without relying on third-party apps or rooting. All you need to do is enable System UI Tuner, a control panel that is included, but hidden by default, in the latest version of Android. Here is how you can do that.
With previous versions of iOS we have had to wait a while for a jailbreak to finally come out, but for iOS 8.4 one is already available. The TaiG team has moved extremely quickly to update its tool, releasing an updated version that supports iOS 8.4 shortly after Apple made it available to the public yesterday.
While iOS has become more permissive and powerful in recent years, there are still users who find the mobile operating system to be too limiting. There are few customizations one can make without running into Apple's barriers, but that can be easily fixed through jailbreaking.
Jailbreaks are usually available awhile after Apple releases a new iOS version, and in the case of iOS 8.3 the first jailbreaking tool, made by the TaiG team of modders, just arrived. Here is what you need to know about it.
LG's Android handsets are not the best choices for enthusiasts. Bootloaders are tightly locked, so loading a different kernel or installing another distribution is next to impossible. And there is no official tool that lifts the restrictions, even if that would mean having the warranty voided. Without getting a Nexus 4 or Nexus 5, you are out of luck. Heck, even iPhones are friendlier to the modders.
Fortunately, LG is well aware of the enthusiasts' interest in its devices, so it has finally taken the first step towards embracing the community's ways by allowing G4 users to unlock the bootloader. Here is how it can be done.
Rooting is still a controversial topic among Android enthusiasts. Bring it up and be prepared to hear countless arguments for and against it. I don't fully support either side; I admit to having conflicting thoughts about it. On one hand, root opens up a world of possibilities, but, on the other hand, it's not often that one needs to take advantage of the cool things it enables.
However, we can all agree that what's most important is having the option to choose. And if you plan on getting a Samsung Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge on launch day, then you should know that rooting its Android distribution will be possible right from the start.
Galaxy Note 4 is not yet available in most markets across the globe, as Samsung has opted for a staggered launch. However, despite the limited market availability, a well-known Android modding enthusiast has already achieved root access for the phablet.
Chainfire, the developer behind dedicated modding tools like SuperSU, has announced on his Google+ page that a number of Galaxy Note 4 models, based on Samsung's own Exynos chip as well as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805 processor, are now supported by CF-Auto-Root. The software has been designed to automatically enable root access on Android devices.
Unlocking the bootloader is not a task most Android users may want or need to undertake, as it comes with its fair share of risks, but it is paramount for those who want to install a different distribution, load a faster kernel, use a third-party recovery and so on. I personally prefer to turn off all the nannies on every Android device I own, as it makes way for quick modifications.
While not all manufacturers allow users to unlock the bootloader on their devices, there are a couple of vendors which believe this should be possible, and straightforward. Among them is Sony, known for its modder-friendly attitude, which has just improved its dedicated online tool for Xperia smartphones and tablets. And here is how easy it is to use.
When it comes to the Android custom ROM community, CyanogenMod is considered by many to be the holy grail. If your smartphone or tablet receives official support for the ROM, you can be assured of regular updates. However, for many, the stock Android experience has now matured to a point where custom ROMs are no longer needed.
Despite this (or maybe because of this), CyanogenMod decided to monetize its ROM and form a company. To easier facilitate the process of installing it, the company released a helper app on the Play Store. Yesterday, the app was pulled from the store -- and that's a good thing.
I recently upgraded my already fast PC, adding a large Kingston SSD, Intel Core i7 Processor, and new motherboard, and additionally boosted the amount of DDR3 RAM to 16GB. Unfortunately, my new super-speedy system could be out of date as soon as next month -- well the memory and motherboard elements of it at least.
Memory specialist Crucial has DDR4 listed on its website, along with a nifty infographic (embedded below) to tell you more about the next generation memory. According the information on the site, the faster RAM is coming out late in 2013, which means -- as we're running out of months -- it should be available some time in December.
Android is well known for its seemingly never-ending customization options and its permissive rooting credentials (well, among other things). Distributions that cannot be modified to enable elevated permissions are quite rare, as enthusiasts seek to have virtually every possible feature available at their disposal. But should you pursue that path? Does root provide what you need, or what you think you need?
There are a couple of good reasons why you probably should root Android. I've explained them in a past article. But, on the other hand, root is not for everyone, as the risks can far outweigh the benefits and you are likely to regret your decision once things get messy (and they can get messy). So here is why you should not do it.
I’ve personally never had any great problems with my Raspberry Pi overheating, but then I work in a cool office and rarely push the uncased credit card-sized device to its limits.
If you do have problems with the ARM GNU/Linux computer getting a little too warm, the good news is you can now buy a heatsink for it.
I’ve never owned a Mac before, but I’ve secretly wanted one since the release of OS X. The first time I tried the operating system was at CompUSA where I was a salesman. I regularly sold iMacs, iBooks, PowerBooks, Mac Minis and eMacs. The people that came to the Apple section of the store always seemed very odd -- they dressed weird and were loyal to Macintosh as if it were a religion. However, as odd as the people were, they were also very computer literate -- the same could not be said for the average eMachines or Compaq buyer.
Sadly, like many people, Apple hardware has always been too expensive for me -- I live meagerly. And so, I had to settle for Windows. There was nothing bad about Windows per se, but it lacked the cool-factor that the Apple computers had. Plus, I like to build computers and upgrade them. Something like a Mac Mini was affordable but not upgradeable -- a major turnoff.
Playing with root-friendly apps was one of my favorite activities whilst being an Android user. There was something that I can't quite put my finger on -- be it the empowering feeling that I got or the endless possibilities that were available at my disposal -- that attracted me towards having elevated privileges on the green droid operating system.
I would run my Android smartphone with an overclocked processor (and, even GPU) -- which I enjoyed, as it made everything faster -- but, through root, also gained access to some other features, such as the ability to change color profiles, access system-level files and create and restore backups. These are all things that one can't do when running an untouched version of Android. Undeniably, as you can see, rooting has its perks.