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CyanogenMod founder wonders if root is necessary anymore

Posted: , posted by Michael H.

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CyanogenMod founder wonders if root is necessary anymore
CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik wants everyone to stop for a minute and reflect on something that some may think is wholly necessary: rooting your Android device. Steve has taken a look at the security enhancements that Google has added with Android 4.3, and the security trade-offs that tend to come with rooting your device, and he is wondering if root is really necessary anymore, especially if you use a custom ROM.

In Android 4.3, Google has put some much more strict security provisions into the system, and some even affect what you can do with root access. Steve's logic goes like this: having root access on a stock ROM makes sense, because those ROMs limit what you can do to the system. But, what exactly are the benefits of having root access on a custom ROM like CyanogenMod? According to Steve, the answer is that there aren't really any benefits, especially given the much higher security risks posed by obtaining root access in Android 4.3. 

Steve says that anything you could potentially need root access for can be done (and done more securely) without root. Many tend to point to app data backup or tethering as reasons for root, but of course fellow CyanogenMod developer Koush answered both issues with his Helium app, and ClockworkMod Tether, neither of which require root. Of course, if you're using a custom ROM, you likely don't need root for Wi-Fi hotspot or tethering anyway. There are other popular reasons, but Steve says that for most problems there is a solution in custom ROMs that doesn't require root. 

Steve does want to be clear that he isn't planning to remove root from CyanogenMod, but rather to build more functionality into CyanogenMod which would remove more and more of the need for root access, thus making everyone's devices more secure.

What do you guys think?

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