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CyanogenMod founder wonders if root is necessary anymore

0. phoneArena posted on 29 Jul 2013, 18:15

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...

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posted on 29 Jul 2013, 18:20 3

1. Hammerfest (Posts: 384; Member since: 12 May 2012)

I think if he can manage to pull it off it would be nice... however there will always be something that needs root for some reason, some action I would want to take that requires an action to be performed that someone else would deem "wrong"...

Root isnt for everyone, and the complete removal of Root would be tantamount to ROM suicide...

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 18:34

2. TruPatriot (Posts: 110; Member since: 27 May 2013)

What about turning your phone into a wifi hotspot?

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 18:43

3. jeanrivera (Posts: 9; Member since: 10 Jul 2012)

You need root most of the time for tethering

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 18:51 3

4. Tux_Alan (Posts: 74; Member since: 30 Jan 2013)

???? Back in 1806 you mean?

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 19:01 5

5. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

What was the point behind behind your comment?

posted on 30 Jul 2013, 21:14

29. JunitoNH (Posts: 1934; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)

Not anymore, you don't. My Nexus isn't rooted, and plenty of apps to create a hotspot.

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 19:20 3

9. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

If you're running a custom ROM, you can do hotspot/tethering without root.

Or, Koush also solved that with an app:

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 19:35 1

11. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

Tether with my nexus 4 to my cars stereo to stream audio in 320kbps usually racks up like 5ish GB per month by itself and tmobile has never said anything about it.

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 19:15

6. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)

I thought Kousk (ClockworkMod) did the Helium App, not Kondik...?

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 19:17

8. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2720; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Right you are. My bad. I fixed that.

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 19:15

7. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Well my GS3 is running 4.1.2 and plan on rooting it to 4.2.2 with LiquidSmooth. I want the stock Android experience with the S3 hardware until I get my S4 soon and my Note 3 in Oct.

If the team behind Cyanogen mos can put it off, it would benefit everyone.

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 19:31

10. Mr-Robert (banned) (Posts: 23; Member since: 27 Jul 2013)

MichealH are you planning to Root your LG Nexus?
Any plans to buy the S4 with S800 CPU, or what is your next phone purchase...... ?

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 19:50

12. icyrock1 (Posts: 307; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)

Don't you need Root access to flash a custom Rom, anyway...?

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 20:42

13. yowanvista (Posts: 341; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)

I don't see the logic here, saying that rooting is redundant by claiming that it's an open door to threats is like questioning the core philosophy of open software. Having full access to an operating system which is essentially built upon the Linux kernel makes it truly open to anyone. Besides security isn't hampered in any way since every single root request must be confirmed by the user via SuperSU. Now depends if user is stupid enough to ignore such and allow anything. It's the user's fault in the end. The feature is here for all, shall anyone not deem it useful then better stay away from it. Root is still required for customizing Android at the system level and tons of Apps rely on that. His analogy is flawed and based on the assumption that open = risk. If that's the case he should also question the purpose of having root access on any linux distro out there. The problem lies with the USER who may be a total ignorant, don't blame the implementation since it was never intended to be used by users who don't have a clue about what they're doing. I still see so many ignorants rooting just for the sake of doing it or because "it's cool" to do so when they'll never actually make use of it.

posted on 30 Jul 2013, 02:09

20. illiad (Posts: 128; Member since: 07 Feb 2012)

what is realy needed, is to change the way it works...
(correct me if wrong, but is 'root' just a way to get into the 'admin' account?? If so, can it not be 'worked' like linux or windows access is?? - 'fully locked down' for the user, and admin access brings up a big warning screen saying 'be careful!' ... )

It could then be managed just the way many sysadmins do their PC networks... :)

edit: oh yeah, what about all the crapware that comes with... another reason to root, if you are not rich enough to buy lots of new, expensive phones!!!!

posted on 30 Jul 2013, 08:07

23. yowanvista (Posts: 341; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)

Correct, root is analogous to 'Admin' access on Linux, though it requires elevation via the terminal each time root access is invoked. It's buried deep in the system so it's not really accessible to the user, on Android the user gets a prompt while on Linux distros it's a password request. So getting root/superuser access isn't straightforward, but of course it could be prone to misuse by some users.

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 20:57 1

14. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)

Haven't rooted anything since ICS came out, don't see the need for it any longer. Different people have different needs but for me, Google's stock offerings have fill all the needs I have in my phone and tablets.

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 21:33

15. thelegend6657 (unregistered)

But if you dont root your stock rom , how can you flash awesome roms like paranoid android/cyanogen/aokp/miui or whatever you prefer ?
There are awesome things i can do with root , such as tweaking my device to its max performance and my own liking , different people has different needs , my friend for example tiara8918 and wendyG has never been rooted and they cant sense the smell of freedom of being rooted .
If you dont need / want to be rooted , i dont blame you , but hey , root is awesome .

posted on 29 Jul 2013, 23:27

16. Reonhato (Posts: 5; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

While I know it is less likely that people here do this but one of the main reason people root in some parts of the world (3rd world, or perhaps even higher is) is to install pirated software =_=

posted on 30 Jul 2013, 01:24

17. faisolbauuz (Posts: 121; Member since: 05 Jan 2013)

Installing game data to external sd still requires root
Kernel setting requires root
Game hacks requires root
There still many things that requires root to do does android 4.3 can do all that things without root?

posted on 30 Jul 2013, 01:28

18. sss_ddk (Posts: 74; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)

Here is why i rooted (Android 4.3):
1- install a firewall (any app that accesses my personal information, has no right to go on the internet)
2-remove hangouts and reinstall google talk
Once gtalk stops working and the new "dynamic permissions" start working in android, i may be less tempted to root.
PS: you don't need root to install pirated software :)

posted on 30 Jul 2013, 01:56

19. skyline88 (Posts: 610; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)

root is like putting NOS on your car, u won't die for not having it, but adding some extra kick for an already powerful car (in our case, smartphones/tablets), thats priceless :)

posted on 30 Jul 2013, 04:46

21. xoxoGeorges (Posts: 209; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)

As long as I get my custom ROMs I don't care to be honst

posted on 30 Jul 2013, 05:19

22. techsavvy.jaz (Posts: 161; Member since: 07 Feb 2012)

If Steve says so, I would nod my head and wait for CM 10.2!

posted on 30 Jul 2013, 10:30

24. raghu67 (Posts: 30; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)

Steve has said this earlier in 2012 also... he also proposed to build api's that give more functionality.
it would be really good if we can do away with root without loosing functionality

posted on 30 Jul 2013, 11:57

25. illiad (Posts: 128; Member since: 07 Feb 2012)

yowanvista, thanks! :)
steve: 'more functionality' ? how difficult (no, serious face... ) would it be to get that linux funtionality?? :)

posted on 30 Jul 2013, 12:10

26. Phoenity (Posts: 16; Member since: 12 Dec 2011)

Not to sound like a d*ck or anything, cuz i've been using CM roms (among others) for quite some time, but I feel like CM is getting too big, almost becoming the TouchWiz of ROMs, and it's changing the dev team's perspective on what we need. Kondik worked for Sammy for almost two years, and while he even said that TW was bass ackwards on great hardware (GS4), i feel like the commercial focus rubbed off. Now he's not sure we need root, and i think it's because he's looking at "us" as android users as a whole instead of the small (but growing) niche group of hackers, modders and early adopters. Don't develop for the lowest common denominator, cuz we were never that, and ppl who won't work to make their devices do what they want don't deserve cool new features (ie Nemesis) if it costs the rest of us root ability. Just saying....

posted on 30 Jul 2013, 14:53

27. Stuntman (Posts: 839; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)

If someone can tell me how I can get my phone to automatically switch to the SwiftKey keyboard when in landscape and Swype keyboard in portrait without root, please do. All of the research I did has indicated that I need root to do this.

posted on 30 Jul 2013, 16:42

28. V3TTOO (Posts: 27; Member since: 29 Nov 2012)

I don't think he is saying he wants to prevent root acces, but only pre-rooted custom ROMS. I am sure if root is removed, the device would be easily rooted. I highly doubt that any custom ROM would be hard to root.

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