Why I ended up rooting my Galaxy S II

siiroot - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

I’ve been procrastinating like crazy when it comes to rooting my phone. I got it half a year ago, but didn’t root it until yesterday. The process was easy and quick, so it shouldn’t have taken me that long, but it did. The short explanation is that having another rooted device, I knew what it allows you to do, and there was simply nothing that I really needed from the root side of Android. Tasker is my portal into having an advanced phone, and the things it allows me to do can’t be rivaled in usefulness for me personally by customs ROMs and things like that.

So why did I do it anyways? It wasn’t the same reason Calob rooted his Nexus, as you don’t have to pay anything extra for tethering here in Norway. Instead, it came down to two reasons.

The first is Titanium Backup. After my infinite system app force close loop a week ago, I realized it definitely wouldn’t hurt to augment my existing limited backup solution with Titanium Backup. Now I have all apps and their data backed up up to Dropbox, on top of having each app’s own backup files in there. Titanium Backup also has another neat feature that I’ve used on my Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus: The ability to freeze apps. Freezing apps is a root-only deal where you simply disable an app’s ability to work. Think of it as uninstalling without removing the files. This is very useful for bloatware that the manufacturer and/or carrier puts on your device, as that kind of software is installed as system apps, and as such can’t be uninstalled traditionally. Some of these apps run 24/7 even though you’ve never used them, and that’s an allocation of system resources I’d rather be without, thank you very much.

The second reason is Screencast. This root-only app has been used quite a lot on my Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, allowing me to record the screen directly without having to point a camera at it. Back in the Nothing But Tablets days, being able to record the screen of my Tab and iPad 2 was enough, but now with the new Pocketables, I’ve definitely been missing that feature on my S II.

I’ll probably also end up using the root part of Root Explorer every now and then, and I know that root enables a few more features in Tasker – though none I’ve actually needed so far.

I’ve used quite a few root-only apps on my Tab, but few of them have made it into daily use. That’s why I’ve put this off for so long, and aren’t using more apps now that I do have root.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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4 thoughts on “Why I ended up rooting my Galaxy S II

  • I tend to procrastinate rooting my new devices too (and I swap much more often than I think you do)… It’s really kinda silly, I’m always better off doing it sooner rather than later. I agree backup flexibility is the next best reason to root after tethering. I can live without most of the tweaks that custom ROMs add (battery % and other mods), tho the memory tweaks on the EVO LTE were invaluable in order to improve HTC’s stock multitasking (which was far too aggressive in vacating memory).

      • Heh, that’s totally accurate… I pay for insurance and I’ve swapped my phone on a yearly basis the last three years yet I still baby the heck out of it when I first get it (constantly wiping the screen, doing exactly what that comic shows, etc). I think I might actually stick w/the EVO LTE for two years tho…

        • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

          I had my last phone, the iPhone 3GS, for 2.5 years. At the end it was only a…well, frankly it was a clock, not even a phone since I rarely use phone features. I instead focused more on the iPad and Galaxy Tab.

          Now the phone is the most important gadget I have, so I’ll likely upgrade it before that long has passed. I’m thinking Galaxy Note 2, as the Galaxy S III is frankly not that interesting. First of all I think the design is ugly, and second, I’m not buying an AMOLED device that isn’t black. Would be like buying a pink ghillie suit…or something like that.


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