To root or not to root — how do you decide? Too much is made out of the idea of rooting phones, and too much misinformation is spread about the risks and dangers of this process. To tell you the truth, it’s quite easy, painless, and risk-free, especially on the Droid. If you spend a few minutes going through this guide, you’ll be able to open up a world of features and customization that were never possible before. After rooting, it’s possible to install a free wireless tethering app, remove unnecessary bloatware from your phone, install themes, and even upgrade to newer, experimental versions of Android. Whether you want to do all of those things or only dabble, here’s a guide to do it on the Motorola Droid.
The rooting process
The process to root the Droid 1 is long and┬ácomplicated, and can be viewed here over at DroidForums. This guide is quite possibly the most in-depth rooting guide around for any phone, and will tell you everything you need to know. There’s honestly no way to tell it better than this guy, so I’m just going to leave it to him.
So, what can I do once I’m rooted?
Now, you didn’t think that I was just going to link you to some other dude’s content and leave it at that. Once your Droid is rooted it opens a whole world of possibilities and options for your device. What all can you do? Let’s take a look…
Easy Backups – Using programs like Titanium Backup, making backups of your apps and settings takes only a few minutes. Copies of your apps, settings, and even text messages can be made to your SDCard, and in the unfortunate event that you have to wipe the Droid’s internal memory these things will be able to be restored in only a few touches. Titanium backup requires root, and has free and paid versions on the market with differing features.
Wireless Tether – Verizon touts that their newer phones can double as Wi-Fi hotspots (with an additional fee, of course), but rooted Droids have been able to do wireless tether since the beginning. Android Wi-Fi Tether is on the market as “Wireless Tether for Root Users,” and can turn a long list of devices into wireless hotspots with no additional charges — it uses the same data plan as your phone. Android Wi-Fi Tether runs on the G1, HTC Evo, Samsung Fascinate, Nexus one, and many more phones in addition to the Droid, and is quite the cool way to show off your phone.
ROMs & Theming – One of the biggest advantages of rooting is the ability to install experimental ROMS and theme your Droid. When Android 2.3 comes out, you’ll be able to install it much sooner if you have root access. There’s just too much to talk about on this subject in this space, so it’s going to be best to just link you to where all the info comes from: XDA. The XDA Droid Development and Droid Theming forums are far and away the best places to go for information on these subjects.