Phone

Rooting the Samsung Galaxy S

This is my second hack-tivity of the week.

I have owned the Galaxy S for more than a month, running on stock firmware. Recently I noticed the performance of the device is degrading. The Galaxy S is known to have lag issues because of the way the cache storage is implemented. Actually, I felt embarrassed about the laggy performance of the Android device despite running on a powerful 1GHz Hummingbird processor.

So on this day, I decided to root the firmware, for 3 purposes:
1. To give the device a reboot.
2. To improve the lag response.
3. To install apps not possible on non-root firmware (e.g. capture screenshots of the Android phone)

This is by far the most smooth-sailing hack-tivity I have ever encountered on a gadget. I simply followed the instructions here (to update to the firmware DXJPE) and  here (for the speedmod root) and I had it done in a jiffy.

Rooting actually does not wipe your memory, but for my case, I also took the opportunity to update my firmware, which restores the phone to factory settings. But, manual restoring of apps turns out to be so much easier than I imagined. All I had to do was to log in to AppBrain website on the PC, copied my old phone’s apps list to the new phone’s apps list, install AppBrain on Galaxy S, then initiate the sync. Within minutes, I got back all my apps, no less. Backing up and restoring SMS (SMS Backup & Restore) and Notes (ColorNote) are also possible using free apps in the Market. Restoring contacts and calendar is a matter of re-creating my Office Exchange and Gmail accounts and re-syncing my contacts and calendar entries.

This rooting activity improved my Android experience once more, reaffirming my decision to go for this OS instead of iPhone. Having said that, Apple products are certainly more fuss-free and more consumer-friendly, even if that means restricting features and limiting capabilities so that users do not get confused, lost or frustrated over complex interfaces.

Before I sign off, here’s 10 things Android do better than iPhone.

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