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Question: Jaibreaking vs Rooting - whats the difference

post #1 of 8
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OK, I know what jailbreaking and rooting do, they are basically just different words for the same thing (hacking).

What I don't understand is why some Android users seem to think that the iPhone is total crap because it is so restrictive, yet the first thing they do when they get their phone is root it and install a new ROM. If the android phone is so great, why do you have to root it? What can a rooted Android do that a Jailbroken iPhone can't? How is it "better" (valid reasons, not just because "Apple sux" and such).


Yes, I have a 3GS, but mainly because 1) it plays Netflix and 2) it was $20 (a refurb from AT&T). Aside from an original iPod Shuffle I was given, I have never owned an Apple product, yet I am really impressed with my iPhone (but hate iTunes with a passion that I am unable to describe). Once I JB it, it became even better.
I have nothing against Android phones, never used one (if it supported Netflix at the time I got a phone, I probably would have gotten one since I am not an Apple fan). I also considered a Windows Phone 7 device, but they were a bit pricey at the time and had just come out, so no real reviews. I have another year till I can upgrade, so I am not looking for phones at the moment, but really want to understand what I could gain (if anything) or loose (if anything) if I do decide to go Android (or WP7).

On a side note, I work with a guy that is a total Apple fanatic (when he started here, I had to show him how to do basic stuff on the Windows XP machine we have here). He has had an iPhone since they came out and has had every model, but his last upgrade he decided to try an Android (Incredible I think, maybe an X) and he can't stand it. He said he has rooted it and flashed ROM's (no idea which ones), and says he is just waiting for the iPhone 5 to come out.

And please this is not meant to be a flame war, I will report and posts that go that way, I want real information.
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post #2 of 8
To be quite honest, even when the Apple iPhone/iPod Touch is jailbroken, it really doesn't add much of anything to the device. Sure. Cydia and that other up coming jailbroken "app store". But when you go through and look through it, there is really nothing of worth in there. Not to mention, the things that are. It's just like Apples app store and costs you some $$.

I find that you have way more ability to customize your phone with your rooted Android phone than you do when your iPhone is jailbroken. But then again, this might come down to the limitations of the OS.
post #3 of 8
Rooting gives you access to Android's inner filesystem and 3rd-party customization features like a Jailbroken iPhone, but it also allows for completely replacing the stock ROM with a community-developed, optimized alternative that does a lot of neat features. Also possible is doing a complete backup in the form of a Nand backup, which is basically an entire image of your current phone state right down to the very apps and options - kinda like a Restore Point for the phone. Also, you can flash new kernels which alter the phone's radio baseband version (to fix or improve certain connectivity functions like WiFi or 4G) or overclock the processor for better performance.

You do not need root in order for Android; it works well as-is. But the option is there for people to mess around with their device, and make it their own. Customization is done from the icons down to the notification bar, settings etc. which make it enticing for tinkerers and power users.
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post #4 of 8
jailbreaking in still only allows you to run a legit copy of IOS, whereas with rooting you can run a custom rom, a custom rom can allow you to enable extra features on your phone (i.e. wireless tethering etc) it can also allow you overclock your phone even while undervolting the CPU whereas you get increased performance with little to no hit on battery, on and on the list goes.

For me on my newest Android phone the only reason I rooted was to remove some bloatware that came locked onto the phone (Verizon's choice not HTC's) other than that I was happy with it completely stock and technically it still is stock minus the bloatware and a few added apps that only run on a rooted phone.
post #5 of 8
To be honest, I'm sure there are technical differences, but I don't know them. Practical differences pretty small, they both tend to do similiar things. Really, the difference between a jailbroken iPhone and a rooted android device is very similiar to the differences between the two at stock. The root/jailbreak each add many of the same types of features (such as tethering), but they are still on top of their respective OS's. Jailbreaking does add on some extra features like theming and improved notifications, but you don't need that in android. Android root also gives you some things iOS JB does not (like overclocking). Much of the same ideas are in each though.

At least, that's my experience, however my Jailbreak experience is far more limited.

Edit: Rooting and flashing roms are not the same thing people. You can flash a rom without rooting your phone (I do it everytime I restore to stock), and you can root your phone without flashing.
Edited by E_man - 6/3/11 at 2:43pm
    
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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by E_man View Post
To be honest, I'm sure there are technical differences, but I don't know them. Practical differences pretty small, they both tend to do similiar things. Really, the difference between a jailbroken iPhone and a rooted android device is very similiar to the differences between the two at stock. The root/jailbreak each add many of the same types of features (such as tethering), but they are still on top of their respective OS's. Jailbreaking does add on some extra features like theming and improved notifications, but you don't need that in android.

At least, that's my experience, however my Jailbreak experience is far more limited.

Well, jailbreaking could only provide you with extra features but Cydia is still well within the confines of iOS. With rooting however, you have a choice to completely remove the stock firmware of your phone and get something else like CyanogenMod or MIUI. Sure, they are still built from Android's source code but most of the inner machinations are usually customized and optimized by the developer.

For example, a Nexus One originally works only with Android builds up to Gingerbread. But some talented devs are able to port over Honeycomb on the device, tweaking features here and there to enable support on the lower-resolution screen. MIUI largely emulates iOS' settings menu with toggles and also allows quick uninstallation of apps within the homescreen; stock Android does not have this feature enabled as default. CyanogenMod allows users to enable/disable JIT, tinker with ext4 format and others which, again, a stock ROM does not provide.

EDIT: As E_man has said, flashing does not require root. That's how OTA updates work; they reboot your phone to recovery mode and flash the update. However, most custom ROM's require root access for them to function properly.
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjsoviet View Post
Well, jailbreaking could only provide you with extra features but Cydia is still well within the confines of iOS. With rooting however, you have a choice to completely remove the stock firmware of your phone and get something else like CyanogenMod or MIUI. Sure, they are still built from Android's source code but most of the inner machinations are usually customized and optimized by the developer.

For example, a Nexus One originally works only with Android builds up to Gingerbread. But some talented devs are able to port over Honeycomb on the device, tweaking features here and there to enable support on the lower-resolution screen. MIUI largely emulates iOS' settings menu with toggles and also allows quick uninstallation of apps within the homescreen; stock Android does not have this feature enabled as default. CyanogenMod allows users to enable/disable JIT, tinker with ext4 format and others which, again, a stock ROM does not provide.

EDIT: As E_man has said, flashing does not require root. That's how OTA updates work; they reboot your phone to recovery mode and flash the update. However, most custom ROM's require root access for them to function properly.
I flash Cyanogenmod without rooting my phone every time I go back to stock. You need clockwork, but you just need it in an update.zip, no root required. Yes, flashing opens up a whole new world past Jailbreaking/Root, my point was that there root and rom flashing are two discrete things.
    
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post #8 of 8
A easy term maybe is think of a limited acount on windows then the admin acount that you can do almost anything thats what root is basicly. Lets you install apps like data backups and stuff that can make backups of your entire phone daily or weekly so if you ever lose or kill your phone you could restore it to a new one or back to the old one if it went back to stock. And like others said you can overclock and stuff root is not really a must but it can help if your a tweaker and like to change tons of stuff.
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