Why I rooted my Samsung Galaxy Nexus

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I’ve been very happy with my stock Android experience, but one of the things that Android prides itself on is the ability to root a device and let you do anything you want to it. For the longest time during my first month with Android, I thought rooting was useless for me. I could do practically anything with my completely-stock build of Ice Cream Sandwich, so I never thought about doing anything extra to it.

Yet here we are: it’s June 15 and I’ve just successfully rooted my Galaxy Nexus. This is really just a testament to how quickly I make decisions about technology. I mean, just yesterday, I said I didn’t want to spend time rooting. But I did anyway.

I did this for one reason and one reason only: WiFi tether. Although I’m only on a 200MB per month plan with AT&T, I still find myself wanting a connection to other devices – specifically my iPad. (Before I go any farther, yes, my iPad is a Verizon-equipped model. To get 2GB a month on a monthly bill, though, it costs $25 – a little too much for another monthly payment.)

Anyway, I decided that the only logical fix to this problem was to root my phone and install WiFi tether. After an hour of switching back and forth between operating systems to root the thing, the task was completed. My bootloader is unlocked and I can also install any app that I want to.

Oddly enough, even though this started out as a simple way to hook up my other devices to a data connection when I’m on-the-go or at an AT&T device-only McDonald’s WiFi location (which was exactly what made me start my rooting journey), I may start to play around with the wonders of rooting and ROM flashing. Many of my colleagues already do this – and I’ve just sat idly by and watched their discoveries without ever thinking that I could do the same thing.

Throughout the next few weeks, I’ll probably play around with ROMs and a lot of root-only apps. If I find anything interesting, I’ll certainly write something up about it.

In the meantime, what is your root story? Had you always planned to root your device, regardless of the version of Android or skin it was running? I’m curious, so please let me know!

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Calob Horton

Calob Horton is an associate editor at Pocketables. He loves all technology, no matter which company it comes from. This unbiased view of the tech world allows him to choose the products that best fit his personal needs and tastes: a Microsoft Surface Pro, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and a third-gen iPad.Google+ | Twitter | More posts by Calob | Subscribe to Calob's posts

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7 thoughts on “Why I rooted my Samsung Galaxy Nexus

    • Avatar of Calob Horton
      June 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Shoot, I wish I would’ve known about that! Oh well, at least rooting will give me the chance to experience even more of what makes Android great.

  • Avatar of John Freml
    June 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I always root my phones for WiFi tethering, but never felt a need to root my tablets. I usually prefer a stock experience, so the benefits of rooting are limited in my case.

    • Avatar of Frank
      June 15, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      I felt the same way about my tablet until I started playing games on it that I was also playing on my phone… Seems kinda ridiculous but I actually rooted my TF just so I can copy over game data from my phone and retain my progress.

      I mainly root my phones for Wifi tether but I always end up flashing custom ROMs and customizing it for a variety of reasons… From simple little things like having a percentage indicator on the battery and hiding the dumb location services icon on Sense to moreccomplicated stuff that folks at CDS come up with.

  • Avatar of Carlos
    June 15, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Bettery battery life and performance are my main draws to rooting. WiFi tether was my initial reason but I maybe use it once every three months or so.

    With root access you can dictate how you want the processor to run (low speed on screen off to sip battery juice and full speed/dual core when screen on for best performance while actually interacting with the device)

    Many customization apps can be optimized for running on rooted devices – if you try out a new lockscreen you might see a decrease in performance because your phone is actually running both stock and replacement lock screens, to freeze the stock lockscreen… You’ll need root


  • Avatar of kgee
    June 18, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I rooted my OG EVO after having it for less than 1 week just to see if I could. It took me a few months to realize the true power of rooting, namely complete control. I can’t imagine how slow and buggy my 2 year old EVO would be without the optimization afforded by custom ROMS.

  • Avatar of J
    July 5, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Found out my SGS2 had too much vendor crapware (as the kids call it these days)…and this specifically was draining my battery. Specifically WiFi tether and the SNS related stuff. Unreal. Anyway; quick root (CF) and then I could freeze all the offenders. It did make a difference.


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