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It’s been a big week in the world of rooting, and we are pleased to announce if you are the proud owner of the HTC One S, you have not be forgotten. The talented team over at XDA Developers have worked out a way to root the HTC One S on Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) all thanks to the developer Paul-o-Brian. Check out the guide below to get your hands on ICS on your HTC One S.

Read our home-made list of essentials for the HTC One S before starting, so you know everything you need in preparation for opening up the smartphone away from the OEM restrictions.

HTC One S

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.

Details of Note

  • We recommend you head directly to the Google Play Store and download one of the third-party backup apps to help you store the sensitive data you don’t want to lose such as phone contacts, SMS texts, music files, videos of you and your friends and Settings. Helium for Android is one of the most popular choices out there today that helps you store most of those things.
  • You want to turn on the HTC smartphone and navigate over to the Developer Options to enable the USB Debugging Mode. Without permissions for the USB Debugging, you cannot connect the device to the computer.
  • Some people cannot see the Developer Options menu coming off the Settings menu because it’s hidden. If you are one of them, you must head to the About Device menu and tap on the build number seven times.
  • You lose the warranty after the steps below. You must unroot the device by using one of the third-party applications from the Google Play Store, or by flashing official firmware updates manually. Sometimes flashing software updates doesn’t remove root access. For those times you want to wait for a future OTA release or pay the price for the app from Google Play.

Rooting the HTC One S Running Android 4.0.3 ICS

1. You need to head over to the XDA Developers website (here) and download the Superboot .zip file. Once downloaded you need to extract its files.

2. Turn off your device, then restart whilst holding down the Volume down button. This will put the device in bootloader mode.

3. From the .zip file you downloaded in the first step, you will need to take the contents from the r3-ville-superboot.zip and save it in an easy to find location.

4. Using your USB cable, connect device to your computer.

If your on a Mac you can go straight to step 6. Or Linux users can go straight to step 7.

5. For Windows users – Double click on ‘install-suberboot-windows.bat’ which you can find in your folder with earlier extracted files.

6. For Mac users, run the Terminal app pointing it towards the extracted files directory that contains the download. Type this command:

chmod +x install-superboot-mac.sh ./install-superboot-mac.sh

7. For Lexus users, run the Terminal application pointing it towards the extracted files directory that has the download. Type this command:

chmod +x install-superboot-linux.sh ./install-superboot-linux.sh

Your HTC One S should now have root access. If you did have any problems or got stuck at all whilst working through this tutorial, we strongly suggest you re-visit the XDA Developers thread (link in step 1). They are generally more than happy to lend a hand and get you pointed in the right direction, they are after all the experts.

There’s only one thing left to do now on your HTC smartphone: download and install our recommended root checker application from the Google Play Store and test your method worked on your phone. It’s also a great way for checking if you’ve successfully unrooted the device in future if you decide to do that next. However, for now, you are free to install a custom ROM or app from Google Play which require root access.

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