There are a million reasons why you should and should not root your android phone. I am going to go through some of the more popular reasons now. In a later post I will go through how to root your phone and what to do once you are rooted.
1. Get rid of bloatware – unless you bought a nexus phone it will come preinstalled with tons of extra software that you may or may not actually need. This is referred to as bloatware as it bloats your system and can actually slow it down. Why not let me choose what software I want on it? With rooting you can choose what you want. I would root just for this reason alone. Then again I would never buy a droid unless it was a nexus device:)
2. Get the latest updates – when you root you can get the latest version of android within days of it being released. If you are not rooted you might actually never get the update. Only a very small % of phones are updated to the latest version of android out there. Do you know why your phone is not updated? It would require samsung/lg/etc to work on the operating system and test it on your phone. Why do they care to that if you phone is already 6 months old and they are focused on the newer ones that replaced it already?
3. Apps – Yes there are tons of cool apps out there that will not work unless you phone is rooted. However I will admit this isnt much of a concern for most people
4. Use cyanogenmod or AOKP or Baked Beans (among many others) – what does this even mean? These are groups that have taken the android operating system and improved it. If you are rooted you can install their version on your phone. They offer tons of great options and themes. For example putting the battery % on the notification bar, weather, or date. Basically allowing you to do whatever you would like.
5. A very advanced feature – access to the phones internal controls. If you do not know what that means just ignore this as a feature until you are ready to test it out.
Why Not to Root:
1. Voids warranty. If you are unsure you might want to wait until your warranty runs out. However remember you can unroot.
2. Brick – if you brick your phone (ie break it) you are out of luck. However its not very easy to do.
3. Nexus – if you have a nexus you might not really need to root. You have stock android to begin with and should get your updates fairly fast.
4. Rooted apps coming to non rooted devices – in some cases this is happening so some of the great features rooted users have always enjoyed are now on regular devices such as a wifi hot spot.