Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Android Without Root

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5,427
    Carrier(s)
    Telus $75/30GB (with family discount)
    Feedback Score
    0

    Android Without Root

    One thing I didn't mention about my new commodity smartphone is that it's my first Android phone in many years running without root access. Now I'm not going to be one of those apologists with excuses like "I need my device to work all the time", or "I stopped rooting back in 2013"... Nope, the honest truth is that the process of getting and keeping root has gotten to be enough of a hassle that I've lost the fight.

    I've actually been sitting on this post for a couple of weeks, thinking how it could possibly be of any value to you, an Android user, who statistically has almost never bothered with root. At best, this will hopefully give you the opportunity to reflect on your personal data; at worst, it will be a grim reminder of what we're all giving up.

    The Good:

    Name:  rootless01-boot.jpg
Views: 119
Size:  9.7 KB

    Far and away the best thing about being an Android peasant (sorry, still coming to terms with this) is having a clean boot screen like this. Once upon a time phones with unlocked bootloaders would display a simple and instructive open lock graphic at the bottom of the screen; that has long since been replaced by an over-the-top warning that your device has been compromised and that everybody dies if you proceed.

    Jokes aside, it's not hard to see the importance of a clear warning for someone inheriting a secondhand device from someone they don't necessarily know or trust. But I also think there could have been a better compromise for owners who know what they're doing.

    The Bad:

    Name:  rootless02-ad.jpg
Views: 144
Size:  29.9 KB

    Wow, it's like I'm looking into a mirror!

    For me the bad (but not worst) thing about Android without root is the constant barrage of ads. I personally would steer clear of VPN-based solutions like AdGuard or Blokada, simply because your traffic is being routed through points unknown. Instead, here are two easy fixes:

    1. Browser-based ads can go away by replacing Chrome with a different default browser. DuckDuckGo and Firefox with the uBlock Origin plugin are what I use.

    2. For apps and games where ads don't somehow improve the experience (I'm thinking specifically of games where watching an ad gives you an extra life or something) you might actually want to reward the developers for their efforts and, you know, actually pay for the app or game.

    The Ugly:

    And finally, the bitterest pill... Android without root means that I no longer have direct access to the data generated by my installed apps. It might be as trivial as login details for a particular service, or as critical as the database of collected WhatsApp chats and media that I never bothered to back up to Google Drive because I always had access to the local binary blob on my phone.

    Here again, however, it's not all doom and gloom. Through its takeout service Google lets you export virtually all of your data directly associated with its services. Apps like Swift can still back up your call logs and SMS without root, or you can use Google One to do the same. And WhatsApp? You can back that up to Google Drive or, like me, shrug it off with the realization that there's nothing so important on there that I couldn't stand to lose.

    Long story short, Android users don't necessarily need root for access to their personal data. Definitely nicer to have the option, though.
    My mobile memoirs — free ebook available here.
    My HoFo feedback... is that still a thing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1,161
    Feedback Score
    0
    The problem is google does not want to provide root access.

    Root access should be provided by google because it is required to do a lot of simple things like remove some apps you don't want.

    So we need more competition to google or I don't know what the solution is.

    It would be nice if you could switch to a linux based phone but then you give up a lot of nice apps on android.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    7,078
    Feedback Score
    0
    Currently my everyday driver is a Moto G7 Power. The ONLY reason I rooted it was that after updating to 10 it was impossible to permanently delete facebook. And it repulsed me.

    And far as an adblocker there's NetGuard - no-root firewall. The author is a member of XDA & highly respected. The play store version doesn't require root. The github version blocks some ads with an updatable hosts file. The Google play store does not block ads. I don't remember if root is required for the github version.
    I will be Judged on how I helped the poor, sick & others in need; strangers & loved ones alike.

    My plans:
    Visible (Verizon) UTT & Unlimited Data $25/mo
    T-Mobile Gold Rewards $10yr exp 01.03.23

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    5,758
    Device(s)
    N/A
    Carrier(s)
    Verizon Wireless;
    Feedback Score
    0
    Good reason! Facebook? Ugh.
    I don't have a choice on my phone... BlackBerry Keyone, the security's never been cracked on it as far as I know. So, no root or aftermarket firmwares. I loved rooting my old phones, but I have not missed it too much on there, I'd miss having a keyboard more.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5,427
    Carrier(s)
    Telus $75/30GB (with family discount)
    Feedback Score
    0
    Thanks very much for the comments!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5,427
    Carrier(s)
    Telus $75/30GB (with family discount)
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by brad4cell View Post
    It would be nice if you could switch to a linux based phone but then you give up a lot of nice apps on android.
    Yup, and also a decent camera. I only stopped flashing custom ROMS because of proprietary camera APIs.
    Last edited by acurrie; 11-14-2020 at 07:26 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    5,427
    Carrier(s)
    Telus $75/30GB (with family discount)
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    And far as an adblocker there's NetGuard - no-root firewall. The author is a member of XDA & highly respected.
    Was not aware of this, will definitely look into it. Some links for anyone else interested:

    XDA Labs | NetGuard
    [APP][6.0+] NetGuard - No-root firewall

    EDIT: Just realized that this is the same dev for FairEmail... very cool!

    XDA Labs | FairEmail
    Last edited by acurrie; 11-14-2020 at 07:54 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    15
    Carrier(s)
    pageplus, looking for better
    Feedback Score
    0
    SINCERE Thanks for addressing this issue - yes IT IS hugely valuable article. Sorry it took so long to finally find it. You wrote this just as I was discovering "The 4G Apocalypse" ... Sorry about the "necro-bump"

    Haven't worried about "Android" for years due to Blackberry Passport. The only good news in this "education" is finding 3G's 'twighlight' has been pushed back till Q1 2022 I think... Possibly time to solve the "Can NOT SECURE phone" problem. e.g. others with more ability / knowledge create said solution

    Before the BB, to have Camera / Phone, I've used Android - till about '18 (?) (ver 7.1) but with dire caution.

    As in skip the "Google Account" & then disabling every possible 'google' thing (GSF had to stay on). The few utilities I've needed (e.g. Telegram, Exif Cleaner, Browser) were on F-Droid... Off-loaded my contacts & photo's etc. to the SD card, then factory reset every couple of weeks. It also helped keeping the "DATA" (location, Wifi, etc) set to OFF, only turned on to check Telegram, or (rarely) use the browser.

    If we can't get root should one assume "Frequent Factory Reset" is the only way to keep one of these current devices CLEAN?

    Any input or suggestions gratefully heard.

    VW

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    15
    Carrier(s)
    pageplus, looking for better
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    Currently my everyday driver is a Moto G7 Power. The ONLY reason I rooted it was that after updating to 10 it was impossible to permanently delete facebook. And it repulsed me. ...
    If you're on a US Carrier, your report counts maybe the 5th (?) succesful "root" while keeping your "Daily Driver".

    And I've been looking 2 months... So I gotta ask, which carrier? And I'd recon you first had to activate the phone stock before getting root to clean it up? Sorry to seem dumb but the reports i've read left out "Activate FIRST" (believe it or not) - - Can't tell you how many I've read where the rooted phone FAILED activation

    Ty for the Head-Up on proper version of Netguard.

    I've not decided what phone to buy (it's kind of HARD when all but 1 carrier refuse to state their white list)

    Thanks Again
    VW

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    7,078
    Feedback Score
    0
    Modifying my earlier comment the github (only one that can block ads) version of NetGuard does NOT require root.

    I didn't root my G7 Power without a LOT of help at XDA. And many many people have rooted the G7 Power. My G7 Power was unlocked from Motorola & used on Visible (Verizon).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    15
    Carrier(s)
    pageplus, looking for better
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post

    I didn't root my G7 Power without a LOT of help at XDA. And many many people have rooted the G7 Power. My G7 Power was unlocked from Motorola & used on Visible (Verizon).
    THANK YOU -

    Gotcha on Github, if (when) I need an *.apk it's the first place I look.

    Did you activate your SIM w/ Visible before you got root? Or root the device first? Reason I'm asking is for VoLTE to work I'm not even sure a "Simple Mobile" SIM you can just "poke it in, and GO" -

    The carrier has to do some monkey-business within the device itself now (I think) I've not looked "inside" Android since 7.1 and from what I've read it's REALLY "ugly" now... For some reason VoLTE requires google services (though I found 2 AT&T stock phones provisioning it running v5, and v6)

    I'll look for your device over on XDA - they are great... What year did you obtain the device? I've read the ones made after 2019 are problematic.

    It should NOT be so darn hard to obtain & set up a TELEPHONE that doesn't also function as a darn LoJack (parole bracelet)

    Thanks for help
    VW

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    7,078
    Feedback Score
    0
    I don't remember the order. I've since moved on to the Moto G Stylus (2020). There was an insane sale at Amazon with a rebate & I couldn't resist the Stylus.

Similar Threads

  1. How To Root Android Without Common Odin Errors
    By Alex Pro in forum Samsung
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-26-2019, 04:03 AM
  2. Custom Android Without The Custom ROM, Part 1 - Root
    By acurrie in forum Android OS Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-04-2015, 07:25 AM
  3. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-19-2010, 02:38 PM
  4. Tether MyTouch Without Root
    By Antenna in forum HTC
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 08-19-2009, 01:12 PM
  5. PdaNet: Tether Android without root
    By bmaugans in forum Android OS Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-01-2009, 05:55 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks