MrSeb writes: "The degree of freedom afforded to the user by nearly any Android device is almost unparalleled in the brief history of mobile devices. You are free to customize the user interface, run services in the background, and even replace system apps. Many power users have also taken to gaining root access on their devices for additional control. In fact, many users consider this an essential feature. However, most root methods we have are essentially a dangerous system exploit — a flaw in the software — and this has taken a toll on the community. In the last couple of years, DroidDream and RootSmart, both malicious malware, have used community-made root exploits (RageAgainstTheCage and GingerBreak respectively) to steal sensitive data and sign you up for premium SMS services. It's also common practice for exploit writers to hold back vulnerabilities, so that they can write another root exploit even after Google plugs the original hole (and hey, how long does it take for OEMs to release Android updates, anyway?) In short, the current situation of rooting Android devices is horrible. Google could fix it, though, by providing an official, sanctioned method of rooting your phone. It could be a settings menu, or require the Android SDK and a USB cable. There is a precedent for this, too: If you venture into Android's Developer Options menu, it is easy to put a phone in a nearly unusable state until an experienced user goes through and fixes all those little checkboxes. Unfortunately, though, Google will almost certainly never provide legitimate root access — because of the carriers."