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We are what we think & my blog entries reflect how I think. Have a sip of the poison of my mind.. It's not always lethal.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Rooting My Nexus 7

It just had to happen.

After rooting my Galaxy Note 2 and enjoying the administrative-level freedom that post-root gives me over my device, as well as the benefits of rooted apps (I love you, Titanium Backup and Greenify), it just had to happen that I ended up following suit with my Nexus 7 tablet, which was what I just did.

After doing some extensive research online (I bulldozed my way through hordes of YouTube videos, Zedomax's Nexus 7 site and XDA's Nexus 7 development threads), I learned that the proper process for the Nexus 7 involves basically unlocking the Bootloader first and followed by flashing the rooting files onto the device.

Initially, I decided to follow Zedomax's rooting method but once I got past the Bootloader unlocking stage, I decided not to proceed with his subsequent rooting method which involves flashing ClockworkMod Recovery because of the following reasons:

  • Since the Nexus 7 runs on pure Android OS which I'm perfectly fine with and which I would like to continue using, I didn't see the need for flashing custom ROMs (which you do using custom recoveries like ClockworkMod or TWRP), at least for now.

  • The nice thing about Nexus devices is that since they are running on pure Android out of the box, they are always the first in line to receive the latest Android OS updates. I've read that OTA (Over-The-Air) updates update using stock recoveries and custom ones might hinder them. Ok, so even if I'm using stock recovery, rooting my device might also hinder OTA updates, you might argue that and you will not be wrong. But hey, there's always OTA Rootkeeper to take care of the issue (insert smug smiley here).

So, as compared to the rooting and R0Ming of my Galaxy Note 2, I'm adopting a different strategy here for my Nexus tablet.

So now that I've unlocked the Bootloader, I still had to root it while keeping the stock recovery intact. After some consideration, I decided to use the Nexus 7 Toolkit method to achieve that. At first, I was having some trouble determining if the correct drivers for my PC have actually been installed or not and to cut a long story short, I eventually changed my Nexus's USB connection mode from MTP to PTP mode and successfully rooted the tablet while using the following video as a reference:

Well, you know how it goes if you've hacked your Android device: after you're rooted, you install Titanium Backup first thing to get rid of all the bloatware (just a handful on the Nexus I've found but your mileage may vary depending on your needs and standards) as well as system processes you don't need which like to run constantly in the background, sucking up battery juice unnecessarily (again, just a handful of these I've found on my Nexus for me. One man's bloatware can happen to be another man's essential tool though).

So either you zap them away with Titanium Backup or you convert them from system apps to user apps and use Greenify to automate their hibernation when they are not in use (which I did with Google Maps, for example - after deleting it as a default system app with Titanium, I downloaded it off the Play Store and installed it; thus making it a user app which I can then 'Greenify' with. The paid version of Titanium Backup allows you to convert system apps to user apps straight without having to go through the delete-then-reinstall loop.

Perhaps it was due to the fact that I've compiled the different methods of unlocking the Bootloader and rooting the Nexus 7 from all over the place or perhaps I didn't have to take the extra step of unlocking any Bootloader for my Galaxy Note, but I think that rooting my Note was a more straightforward process as compared to the Nexus tablet.. I-R-O-N-I-C spells ironic. Come on now, it's a Nexus device yo. But when it comes to bloatware and wakelock-happy bloat system processes, my gosh, the Nexus is a super clean slate as compared to Galaxy devices, cough.

Time to enjoy not only the administrative-level freedom and the rooting apps that give me the whip over my device, but also better battery life for my tablet - all these factors make up the whole point of it anyway.

-De Lion Speaks

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