Why I Won’t Be Rooting My Droid…For Now

jail_androidLet me begin by giving my experience this past year with rooted or “jail broken” Android phones.  I used the standard Android image doled out by T-Mobile for seven long months before I took the plunge and gained root access to my G1.  And after that, it was on like Donkey Kong.  I proceeded to buy G1’s off of Craig’s List just to root then sell, use, or whatever.  I even purchased a new G1 and a myTouch 3G and promptly had them rooted just a few minutes after getting them home and powered up with RyeBrye’s quick one-click method.   In fact, after my Droid purchase, I have let my two teenage children use the G1’s and they are the envy of their friends with such weird and quirky looking phones.

Another issue that I have personally is all the management I had to do, just for the phones.  I have a tower PC, three laptops, and three netbooks all running different operating systems from Windows XP, Ubuntu, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.  So various  iterations of Android versions including Hero, Cyanogen mods, and MOTOBLUR got to be a little hard to keep up with for all the changes and updates, not to mention all the background information I’d be gleaning from the XDA forums to stay current.  And all the while, I never felt as if T-Mobile cared that I was doing this or maybe even liked that modders are flocking to Android in droves and have made the G1 the poster child of what can be done with an open mobile platform.

But today I have a Verizon Droid by Motorola and as you readers  know it comes with Android 2.0 and so far I have found little wrong with it.  Hence, no need to root.  For now.  There are things I truly miss though like: Wireless Tether, VPN Connections, and the ability to overclock the CPU but other than that I’m good. The trade-offs are that I get free turn-by-turn navigation courtesy of Google Maps, a native VPN client that is maturing by each release, and finally a processor that in my humble opinion for now does not have to be overclocked.  Another “wait n’ see” issue is how Verizon will react to the XDA crowd.  I am waiting to see how they handle the Droid ROM being ported to other non-Verizon phones, maybe something maybe nothing, just saying.  Plus now that I am a member of the non-SIM CDMA crowd it is a big hassle to change phones at a moment’s notice.  I definitely miss that from my T-Mobile days of GSM SIM “eeney, meeny, miny, moe what will I use for my Android phone?”

But I am sure Cyanogen and others like him will make me eat the preceding words in the coming months, as there will probably be a blindingly fast and stable version of Android 2.0 modded to the hilt.  And if/when that day comes, I will be anxiously waiting with glee.

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  1. @jdrch
    November 24, 17:21 Reply

    VPN works on the Droid though … so I'm really not sure why you're missing it

    • @herrensam
      November 24, 17:28 Reply

      I need an IPSEC VPN w/ group ID and password and w/o certificate. I have tried several configs but it never connects. Did you get it working? Would love to know if you did.

      • thetango
        December 30, 23:43 Reply

        Ditto here on the need for IPSEC VPN w/ group ID. I rooted, installed busybox and openvpn. I used TunnelDroid + tun.ko from get-a-robot-vpnc and voila! IPSEC VPN w/ group ID now works.

        IMO, if you need IPSEC VPN w/ group ID, then it is worth rooting….

  2. ambarish
    November 24, 19:11 Reply

    Hi Sam,
    To summarize your article, what you seem to be saying is you won't be rooting your Droid until somebody figures out how to root it?

    • @herrensam
      November 24, 19:58 Reply

      I'm still on the fence but more or less….yes. Takin' it day by day though when it comes to considering the Droid. Again, not sure what the Big V will think of hackers doing "insidious" things like unauthorized tethering and CPU over clocking.

  3. BrianC
    November 24, 19:58 Reply

    Ummm… You forgot to mention that you *can't* root your droid for now. Seems like that would be a key point.

  4. Jay
    November 24, 20:13 Reply

    You can tether using the pdanet app

  5. @herrensam
    November 24, 20:17 Reply

    Yeah, you're right. Crappy title by myself.

  6. @herrensam
    November 25, 03:47 Reply

    Tether, yes…wireless hotspot, no. I currently use PdaNet but my TMO rooted phones all have wireless tether app.

  7. moombr
    November 25, 07:56 Reply

    Don't expect XDA to start playing with the Droid ROM. There are several posts on XDA asking for Droid mods and the answers so far have always been that XDA focuses on HTC devices, not all the others.

  8. Sam
    November 25, 14:43 Reply

    I will be rooting it the first chance I get. I makes no sense that the browser does not have support for other fonts/languages

    • SiI
      November 26, 12:29 Reply

      Probably will be able to port the Milestone (European) ROM which does have this… reported!

      Doesn't mean you have to root it (just need a signed ROM).

  9. @jwoody
    November 26, 20:02 Reply

    Although I salivate every time I see and touch the Droid, Internet Tethering (especially Wifi Tethering) is a deal breaker for me. I use that feature as my primary means of getting online from home. I think I'll hold on to my rooted G1 until I see that feature on the Droid.

  10. ldimick
    November 28, 08:52 Reply

    I recently converted from iPhones to the Droid. One reason was because of the bickering, chest thumping and hot air regarding the jail breaking of the iPhone. To be honest I have found very little to not like about the droid. I do miss the tight integration with iTunes and the update process of podcasts. But beyond that, and missing a couple of favorite apps, I have not found a compelling reason to root my Droid. I am in no hurry

    • Davest010
      November 30, 16:29 Reply

      I've been on Android for over a year now, and I'd recommend DoggCatcher for podcasting. It's a great app that will automatically download your podcasts directly to the phone, over any connection, so that they're there waiting for you when you want them.

  11. newspeak
    November 28, 12:51 Reply

    @ldimick have you tried google listen for podcasts …its pretty decent…and there is plenty other podcatchers out there too

  12. Zuri B
    November 29, 07:08 Reply

    im with tmobile at tha moment abd cant wait till income tax to get tha droid and switch it to tmobile by that time everything should be figured out rite?

  13. Derek
    November 30, 02:33 Reply

    This guy wont be rooting his droid for the moment…. its not even possible to do, this is the dumbest article ever.

    And to Zuri B, no you cant put Droid on T-mo, two different kinds of wireless tech, one GSM, one is CDMA.

    • booboo
      February 07, 00:38 Reply

      yes you can… sholes(dev name), droid(us cdma name), milestone(everywhere else gsm name)… get a milestone, its a gsm droid with multitouch outa the box and it works with us tmo…

  14. Mikeg
    November 30, 04:47 Reply

    Don't have a Droid yet, but at the risk of making things too easy, I suggest those wantng to tether check out pdanet from junefabrics.com.

  15. Davest010
    November 30, 16:38 Reply

    To the best of my knowledge, it's not possible to root a Droid yet.

  16. juniper
    December 09, 00:56 Reply

    Now that it's possible to root your Droid, do you still hold the same opinion? I didn't think so.

  17. @herrensam
    December 09, 19:53 Reply

    Nope, works via adb but not on the device. No rooted apps work with superuser and terminal emulators.

  18. IndyCross
    December 23, 06:10 Reply

    I'm holding off on rooting (even though it's possible now) for one reason & one reason alone: Flash. They are supposed to be coming out with flash w/in four months that'll support Hulu and general online viewing. I really want that OTA update through Verizon & fear it won't happen if I'm rooted. Plus, the navigation is just too great.

  19. dmo
    February 11, 04:29 Reply

    Rooting is for fags. My droid is sick the way it is.

  20. Goz
    September 27, 14:34 Reply

    i see no reason to “root” or Jailbreak a droid. none. so many “how to’s”, so few “why to’s”.

  21. Jeff
    November 16, 13:36 Reply

    can you send me a censored config file you are using? i can’t get it working for nothing. the tunnel loads in insmod, but i can’t figure out what is what for the config in openvpn

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