July 12, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Rooting my phone and then flashing a custom ROM is something I’ve done on every Android device – except my Galaxy Nexus until 16 hours ago. The Nexus was the first phone I’ve ever used to provide access to every feature that I wanted or needed, so I never felt the urge to bother trying to fix something that already works.
But then Android Jelly Bean came out and I got hooked. It was annoying to use the 4.1 on a HSPA+ Nexus that I got at I/O, and then be stuck on 4.0.4 on my CDMA/LTE. When I thought about how long it took Verizon to deliver 4.0.4, I said, “To hell with that, I’m flashing something on here.”
That’s when I came across WugFresh’s Root Toolkit, a Windows program that made it too damn easy for me not to give in to my root desires. The toolkit connects to the phone through USB and then guides users through a step-by-step process with no heavy lifting. My phone was rooted and unlocked within 20 minutes.
The process was so easy that I’m going to repeat the steps again in a few hours with my Nexus 7. I’m able to do this of course because the toolkit supports all modern Nexus devices, including the GSM and CDMA/LTE variants. You can get all the files and info you need here.
So why now after all this time did I decide to root?
I like to think it was the perfect storm of motivation, opportunity, and assistance. Wug’s kit made it incredibly easy, even for a rusty user like me who hasn’t done any tinkering in months. I wasn’t about to put up with Verizon dragging its feet on the Jelly Bean update, and I’ve heard great things about Peter Alfonso’s Bugless Beast, so it just felt like the right time.
Flashing custom ROM’s is not something that I recommend to most users. It requires paying extra attention to detail and changes in the dev scene, and doesn’t always provide the extra features that will appeal to you. I reached a point where being unwilling to wait made sense for me to dive back in, but I’ve got a lot of reading and catching up to do before I revert to my old ways of flashing a new ROM every time the moon changes. Be sure to think about why you’re rooting and if what you’ll gain is worth the effort, and always pay attention to instructions. Thankfully, there are tools that make the process far less daunting than when I first started.