Originally Posted by twillet50
I'm new to all this Android stuff. Had Blackberrys forever. What exactly ist it to root the phone, how "dangerous" is it, and what exactly are the benefits to doing it?
I now have two Android devices, the LG Revolution, and a Dell Streak 7.
Thanks for your patience.
Rooting the phone gives you access to the protected areas of the phone. As far as how dangerous it is, that depends on the ability of the end user to carefully follow directions :P
The advantage is that you can customize your phone as you see fit. The manufacturers place certain software on your phone that may actually hinder you from using your phone to its full potential (i.e. Microsoft Bing, and Verizon Navigation).
Once you remove these additions, you can add the Google counterparts (for free) that make your phone far more functional, and eliminates the need to pay third parties (like Verizon for Navigation).
You can also install new images on to your system that does most of this work for you (meaning you don't have to be a developer to get rid of those services as someone else has done it for you). With some ROMs, it increases speed (overclocking), gives you functionality you didn't previously have (wireless tether - the free kind), and allows you to skin the parts of the interface that can't be skinned with a home app replacement.
Typically speaking, if you are using a stock home-screen, and the original firmware, you are getting the worst experience from your phone. Counting on developers, however, can have it's down side. Since they are working for you to get the perfect phone, but aren't perfect by nature, there can be bugs and flaws as they are in the development process. Most developers want to release a quality product, so they continue working on their product until it is as close to perfect as conceivably possible.
The trickiest part is getting your phone rooted and putting CWM recovery on it. If you can follow the directions to a 't' without skipping or ignoring portions of the instructions, you will usually be home-free to do whatever you want with your phone.