If you are browsing this article from a Windows computer, you might know about having administrator permissions. Microsoft have named that task well, since it’s fairly self-explanatory. With Androids, things aren’t so obvious. However, having root access is the same thing as having administrator permissions on the operating system.
The only difference is Android is based on the Linux operating system and not the Windows operating system. That’s why they have different names. Root access is giving access to the root file system. That means danger for inexperienced Android users who might accidentally delete files. That’s the same control you need to have if you want to have the advantages of using the internal system to it’s fullest potential.
What Is Rooting the Android Operating System?
When you buy a new smartphone, you might not know it, but the Android operating system is in a “locked” state. For the most part, it will not make much difference to you: most apps are still available to use, and there are benefits to this locked state such as better security. When you root the Android operating system, you are gaining full administrative rights over the OS.
Why Would You Want to Root Android?
Gaining full administrative rights over the operating system has some perks to some people. For example, out of the millions of applications available on Google Play, some of them will not be able to run on your device unless it has root access. Until you have a specific need for wanting Android rooted, you probably want to leave Android as it comes out of the box. But if you need to unlock an app, then that is when you want to look into rooting methods. Using more apps is only one example of why you may want root access, here is the full list of benefits:
- Unlock more applications. Some of the apps available for Android cannot run unless you have root access. This is because the app’s features cannot run without the root permissions because the features require the full system access before they can be useful.
- Better battery life. Smartphones are great, but they have one caveat, which is each time you recharge the battery, it loses some of its overall lifespan. That means smartphones, in general, do not make great investments, and if your weekly paycheck is low, you will want to limit the number of smartphones you go through. One of the ways you can do that is by removing bloatware and creating a better battery life.
- Bolster performance. If you are the budget-conscious shopper, you may want to increase the device’s performance. This can be done by removing the bloatware as well. The more processes you have running, the more memory that is used. By removing some of the apps, it can help lighten the load on your hardware.
- Customize Android with themes. With root access, you can download and install any theme that’s at your disposal. That includes any customized theme you can find.
What Are the Risks of Rooting?
If you are buying a smartphone that is not running iOS, then it is probably the Android operating system that you want running as the ideal software to pair with your shiny new hardware. It is, in fact, the Android OS that offers you the chance to customize the OS considerably more than iOS: custom themes, run any app you know about, the works. For many users, the “openness” of an operating system is important, because it offers them more freedom which means running into fewer problems with their investments. But there is a reason iOS likes a far more locked approach: the ability to customize is not for everyone, and if you do not know what you are doing it can lead to a lot of problems which can define your time with the OS rather than freedom.
With power (full admin permissions) comes greater responsibility. Here are some of the main risk factors when it comes to rooting:
- Malware becomes a larger threat. You might read the occasional news article about how new malware is wreaking havoc in parts of the world on Android. But the Android operating system with root access becomes considerably more vulnerable to exploits because applications are no longer prisoned off in their own sandbox environments. This means if you accidentally download malware, it can do more damage because it can spread throughout the operating system and even jump into other applications and potentially view sensitive data.
- You can accidentally brick the smartphone. There is always a chance that you end up bricking the smartphone before you had the opportunity to use it with root access. That is because if you are going to brick it, it is going to happen during the rooting process.
- You may void the warranty. Most manufacturers do not allow you to root the Android operating system and still get to bring it in for repairs under warranty. Whether they are legally meant to do that or not is another question, but it is now common knowledge that most do not want to help you if they find out you have unlocked the OS with root access.
The Files You Need
- Download the Modaco rooting file you need from this page.
- Download the universal driver by Koush — the same guy who has made ClockworkMod recovery. The universal driver will work on the PC as your Huawei driver.
- Applying the following steps to root the Huawei MediaPad does void your warranty. You should be able to unroot the same device and get that warranty working again.
Rooting the Huawei MediaPad
- Download the rooting file from the files section above and have it waiting on the desktop.
- Enable the USB Debugging Mode on your smartphone by pointing to the Settings > Developer Options > USB Debugging Mode.
- Those of you who do not see any Developer Options will have to unlock that menu. Sometimes you’ll find it is hidden. You can unlock it by going to the Settings > About Device > tapping the build number until the display tells you that you are now a developer.
- Right-click over the rooting file that’s on the desktop. Choose the ‘Extract here’ option from the menu.
- Connect the Huawei MediaPad to the computer with the USB cable. You can use the same USB cable you use for charging the device.
- Click the Install Root.cmd that should be on the desktop after you extracted the rooting file.
- Wait as your device reboots three times during the rooting process.
- Eventually your device will reboot and after the third time you can unplug from the computer.
Now you are ready to install those wonderful root-requiring apps available from the Google Play Store. But first, you might want to install the root checker app just to make sure it did work.