The Way of The Android Modder

Runtime Permissioins in Android 6.0

This. This right here. The single, most important feature of Android 6.0 “Marshmallow”, if you ask me—runtime permissions for personal data, a feature previously only on custom ROMs. You could also control app permissions via modules from Xposed repos, but the only real-time solutions I’ve ever seen were on MIUI and CyanogenMod-based ROMs.

Now that this feature is available on stock Android, is there even a reason to root any more? Again, if you’re asking me then yes, absolutely.

It’s true that rooted devices don’t play nice with Android Pay, or work at all with the Royal Bank of Canada equivalent. It’s also true that I’m a big fan of mobile payments, and have been largely dismayed by the lack of progress in this country on that front.

But there’s something even more important to me than tap-and-pay support, a critical feature that I need on every device I use: an ad-blocker.

When I first started using Android I was aghast at how almost every app seemed to be ridden with advertising. I’ve no problem paying for ad-free software but many apps don’t even give you that option. Thus, just like I deploy Adblock Plus on my desktop web browsers I also run AdAway on every Android device I own. And if you didn’t know, AdAway requires root.

There are other good reasons to run a rooted Android device in late 2015. I remain a big fan of Titanium Backup, which puts the user in command of the apps on their device.

I understand that there are a lot of users out there who have stopped worrying about rooting and are just enjoying their stock ROM. Here’s a post that was making the rounds on Google+ over the weekend:

My evolution using Android..
Get Android…
Learn to root..
Learn to flash ROM..
become flashaholic flashing multiple ROMs per day crack flashing.
Never having the same ROM/setup for two days in a row
Want more power….
Flash a custom kernel…..
OVERCLOCK!!
Too much battery being used
OVERCLOCK! UNDERVOLT!
Now horsepower is not so important.. Need more battery life…
UNDERCLOCK!!
Need to squeeze more battery life out of device
UNDERCLOCK!! UNDERVOLT!!!
Tired of custom kernel stability(even when not OC/UC UV)
Stock kernel… custom ROM, rooted..
Tired of all the bugs and little nuisances in custom ROMS..
Stock rom, stock kernel… still rooted of course
Root? I don’t need root anymore..
Completely bone stock
The end…

My history with any given Android device would proceed as follows:

Buy a phone (usually a Nexus);
Figure out how to root it;
Wait for custom ROMs;
Try out custom ROMs;
Settle on a custom ROM (usually CyanogenMod);
Be happy.

That’s the Tao of this Android modder. 😎

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