AndroidGood and EVO

What do you need root for anyway?

The root tools I love on androidWith Android Pay once again being broken on rooted devices I switched to a stock boot.img with a non-stock custom ROM which allowed me to once again tap and pay. I got to wondering what do I do any more in the HTC ecosphere that requires root?

I realize plenty of other devices require root before a custom ROM can be applied, and some require it to do any sort of customization whatsoever. Not talking about those devices.

The custom ROM I use has a hacked WiFi hotspot, so in the event I want to send an email using a laptop and I’m out in the wild I’ve already got that, but I can count on one finger the number of times I’ve had to use WiFi Hotspot in the past year. Custom ROM hack means it doesn’t require root. But I guess if your custom ROM doesn’t have that built in.

Titanium Backup, an app that looks like something 2011 vomited , then 2012 ate and regurgitated once more, I use every night to back up and sync data, but I realized I haven’t had to restore any one app’s data in so long that it’s effectively only there for badly designed games. Even the games I play now I can uninstall, reinstall from the Play Store, and pick right back up where I left off.

Root explorer and the like are great for making tweaks, but most custom ROMs seem to be about perfect out of the gate these days. I’m also not particularly interested in changing a game’s XML data to cheat at it.

CF.Lumen seems to be the only app I use that the root driver seems to be actively useful, and even that’s not horribly impacted by having to use the non-root driver.

I’m not saying there’s no use case for root any more, but it’s feeling like on a daily basis it’s become increasingly less important as ROMs and Android have incorporated standard root capabilities and everything seems to be synched somewhere or other.

It’s also been somewhat disheartening that root still seems to be limited to shell scripting still to this day. Program A wants to pull Program B’s data? Execute a shell script, filter the results in to A as opposed to A just reaching over and grabbing B’s data. It’s like Dr Zoidberg attempting to eat with chopsticks.

I looked in the development section over at XDA and was somewhat disappointed to find that most of the root apps were ones I’d covered over a year ago, and the new ones I saw in the first few pages tended to be variations on a theme.

I guess what I’m trying to figure out these days is what’s root good for when you’ve debloated, nandroided, and you’ve got a ROM that’s unleashed? I mean, I’ll always want to be rooted as an option and as we spent so long fighting HTC to let us unlock without having to break. But what does it do in ye olde modern tymes?

What are your thoughts?

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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