rooting

Should I root my Android phone?

Android

Episode 1140

Gary from Buffalo, NY

Gary is thinking about rooting his old Android phone. Leo says that rooting means he can run his phone as an administrator, or "super user." Some companies, like Samsung, make it a bit harder to do, but it can be done.

Gary should check out XDA Developers.com. Two popular boot loaders include Clockwork Mod, and Twerk. But he'll have to use the exact rooting instructions for his specific model phone. And it varies from model to model.

What Android phone is better: HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S5 or the Google Nexus 5?

OnePlus One

Episode 1114

Jonathan from Los Angeles, CA

Jonathan is ditching his iPhone 5s and moving to T-Mobile. He's trying to decide between the HTC One, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Google Nexus 5. Leo says that the Nexus 5 is the pure Google experience with no added "skins" or bloatware. This means it will always get updated right when Google releases a new version of Android. Leo likes the HTC One, but it's a bit smaller. Leo isn't a fan of Samsung because they put too much bloatware on their phones. The Galaxy S5 isn't bad, but has a cheap plastic feel to it.

How can I get my phone to stop rebooting?

HTC One

Episode 1101

Christine from New Jersey

Christine has an HTC One and now it's just rebooting. Leo says it can happen with any phone. It generally means something with the phone's data storage. It's called a "boot loop." She can go into recovery mode and start over, but that may not work. She could also try and root it with different firmware or a third party recovery tool. Clockwork Mod works well. Leo says she should first try going to her local store and get the expert to try and clear it.

Should I root my HTC One phone?

Episode 1092

Sam from Realto, CA

Sam is thinking of rooting his phone so he can buy apps from other places. Leo says that he could get Android apps from almost anywhere with a simple check box in settings. Rooting gives the owner super user or admin access to backup the phone, and erase apps and overlays they want the user to have, etc. Should he follow the tutorials he finds on YouTube? Leo says he wouldn't. There's a different procedure for every single phone. He won't want to follow the wrong suggestions and brick his phone.

How can I jailbreak my iPhone and root my Note 2?

Samsung Galaxy Note II

Episode 1088

Don from Mojave, CA

John just stopped using his iPhone in favor of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. He wants to know if he can jailbreak his iPhone to be used as an iPod. Leo says sure. What about rooting the Note 2? Leo says he'll have to be careful rooting his Android phone. It's very specific to the model. John should check out his specific model at XDA-Developers.com. He can enter his device under "Find Device on Forum" and it'll take him to all the posts for that particular model. The root posts are "stickied."

Why can't I install a custom recovery mod on my Galaxy SIV?

Episode 1061

Grant from Los Angeles, CA

Grant rooted his Samsung Galaxy SIV AT&T Android phone and now he can't install a custom recovery mod. He got the information on how to do it through XDA-Developers forum. Leo says that Grant may have a locked boot loader that's causing the issue. Leo adds that Samsung's firmware prevents other custom firmware from being added. It's all of the Samsung junk that Grant wants to get rid of.

How can I install apps on my Android SD card?

LG Optimus

Episode 1053

David from Lake Balboa, CA

David got a new LG phone and now he can't put apps on his miniSD card. He could on his old HTC One, though. Leo says that LG may be preventing app installations on it. Or, it could be a function of the app that prohibits it. If it's a widget, then it can't. Also, that phone may not support it from LG's point of view. David can root the phone, though. CyanogenMod will do it.

Hide the Pre-Installed Bloatware on Your Android Phone

Unless you get an Android phone that's advertised as a "pure Google experience," chances are your Android phone has some pre-installed software that often is referred to as "bloatware." This means it has extra programs or features that are installed over top of Android, and in many cases cannot be removed. Samsung's recent phones have particularly suffered from this. Fortunately, it's fairly easy to at least hide these unwanted extras.