WARNING: This is going to be a bunch of geek talk that I will not stop and explain, much unlike my previous blog post about FB Messenger. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google is your friend. If you STILL don't know what I'm talking about, please steer away from this blog.
Anyway, I STILL don't get what the big deal with rooting is. People pay top dollars for phones, either getting stuck in a 2-year contract or paying $500+ for a hunk of metal, plastic, silicone and glass that lets you do all sorts of things... Except unlock your phone's true capabilities? Isn't blocking root going against the whole purpose of Linux, which is founded as an open-source operating system? Isn't that what Linus Torvalds wanted?
Also for the sake of example (I have none of these things, I swear... OK, minus having Linux and a VM of Mac once), if I can put a Corvette engine and solder a dragon's head onto my BMW 3-Series, put a fake dead hooker on my lawn and paint an [insert offensive organization's name] symbol on the side of my house, put Macintosh or (wait for it) Linux on my laptop and have the glowing HP logo superimposed to look like the Bat-Signal, why is it that the most I'm able to customize my most frequently used device is the wallpaper and perhaps a limited array of cheapy decorative shells from the mall?
Here's another example: Why is it that I can have an alarm, immobilizer and BMW Assist recovery tracking on my car that's hardwired into the car's computer system, ADT at my house that's hardwired into the household wiring and either have cops swarming the house or you'd have to pull some pretty hardcore ninja stuff to bypass the alarm, have a hidden theft recovery tracker AND have Intel Anti-Theft embedded into BIOS on my laptop... BUT NOT have a security solution that'll survive a factory reset? NOTE: I have no clue if there are any solutions without root, but I've been using Avast Anti-Theft, and Android Device Manager failed me the last time.
Why do I say this? I still have a Motorola DROID RAZR Maxx HD. Yes, it's from October 2012, 2 years and 2 months old as of Dec 26 or simply... Old as hell in Android terms since they seem to rapidly evolve (just for scale, my previous laptop was still able to keep up despite for 4 years, but I hope phone evolution stabilizes after I get the newer phones); I get it. I got it as an emergency, but the DROID Maxx was announced the very. Next. Month.
Even worse? I can't upgrade this thing since it's amazing that Verizon is willing to give me a loyalty bonus of doubling my data plan, but they can't just give me an early upgrade, meaning I have to wait until June 27, 2015 (2nd year to the day) to upgrade... And since I had an identity theft issue, I'm sure that further screwed up the credit that I was desperately trying to repair... And possibly any chances of upgrading via EDGE or early MORE plan. So I'm stuck unless I'm willing to drop $599.99 on a new phone.
Anyway, back to the main point. Why do I want root? It's simple... There's more enhanced battery managers (Greenify), I can get rid of the bloatware instead of simply disabling it, and most importantly since I got my tablet stolen from a [so-called] friend's car (he even showed me the police report and busted lock so it's legit)... He's being a weasel about replacing it and it's severely putting a hamper in my business since it comes in REALLY handy, and there are times where losing $2,000 of revenue is a very modest estimate, or GREATLY simplifying another task I had at hand... But anyway, that VERY important function is retaining anti-theft tracking after factory reset. Since the anti-theft is written into /system, it'll be harder for Mr. Thief to get away with stealing my stuff forever. I understand that someone can simply re-image my tablet, but will the average crook know this? Not too likely.
Also, why was it not until 4.2 (November 2012) that Android thought of multi-user on tablets? Because when I let my so-called friend, I forgot that I was lending a tablet that only came with 4.1.2 borrow it, and he happens to be the most paranoid person I've ever met. He's the same person that inspired me to write my previous FB Messenger debunkment blog post, and also a person that not only turns off all track requests for his phone (no GPS, no triangulation), but also has a sticker over the front-facing camera, and knowing his paranoia, probably disabled everything that makes theft recovery worthwhile on my tablet, and the Motorola Xyboard didn't have root options at all. Before you can say iPhone/iOS... Wait. It's ALMOST worth considering... ALMOST. Now their phones aren't as tiny and cutesy, plus their features are pretty much on the same league as Android. But not quite enough, sorry.
Now, what prompted me to post this, you ask? Well, it's pretty hard to mask the disappointment when your phone WAS rooted and survived a minor upgrade that closed the loophole that enabled root. Following bad advice, not knowing that this particular phone is no longer able to be rooted from scratch, I tried resetting the phone to install Lollipop since if Android and Motorola can't decide on whether or not to put Lollipop on this thing (or even 4.4.4 to at least fix the battery drain and Heartbleed issue), since I REALLY wanted to at least have ART on it since Dalvik was hanging a lot (my main hangup with keeping this phone, otherwise I'd use it into the next year, really), but ART almost made it worse (hence another reason I reset the phone)... Plus the enhanced security, multiple user/guest mode, Project Volta battery management, updated Material Design look-and-feel... In that order, but all stuff I want.
Anyway, hope some Google and/or Motorola exec sees this post and at least has a butterfly effect that'll say... Please don't bogart our right to root. Don't let Apple win the entire war with iCloud.