That's it...I'm rooting my Droid

Verizon, like every other US carrier, is hobbling their awesome phones. Enough already.
Written by Christopher Dawson, Contributor

So I finally got the Android 2.2 OTA update this past weekend on my Droid Incredible and, although I noticed an immediate improvement in battery life and application performance, my ear speaker died. It was probably coincidence, but after a couple of hard resets, Verizon ended up sending me a "certified like-new replacement." Great. The replacement came in yesterday and, after I activated the phone, I started reinstalling apps and exploring Froyo in more detail. And was, as usual, disappointed by Verizon's limitations on an incredibly (no pun intended) capable phone.

In particular, I'd been looking forward to using my Incredible as a wireless hotspot. This support came automatically with Android 2.2 (along with draft-n wireless support and limited Flash support via Flash Player Lite, among other things). This was a feature I needed and I had avoided picking up yet another device and data plan, knowing that the capability was on the way. As most people have discovered, though, connecting any device to the phone when it's operating in hotspot mode brings you to a Verizon web page that forces you to pay $20 a month for the capability.

Because the $30 a month I'm paying for the data plan and $50 a month I'm paying for the phone service aren't enough. Guess who doesn't need to pay this, by the way? Users with root access to their phones.

Guess who can actually get Adobe Flash Player 10.1 instead of the unstable, limited Flash Player Lite (despite original Verizon claims of support for full Flash Player and native support of Flash in Android 2.2)? That's right: rooted Froyo users.

And if I want to get rid of the crappy HTC Peep and Mail clients, I need root as well.

I'd held off rooting my phone to ensure full Verizon support, to make sure that I didn't brick an expensive phone, and because I just never had the time to deal with it. Now that there is a 1-click root for the Droid, as well as several command-line walkthroughs that are well-documented and frequently used, the time issue is no longer a problem. And full Verizon support? The only thing Verizon seems to be supporting is their bank account.

I paid a premium to get a phone that I knew was on a relatively quick upgrade path to Froyo and that would have all the capabilities I would need for the duration of my 2-year contract with Verizon. I also bought an Android because it was open source, customizable, and powerful. If Verizon is going to insist on hobbling some of the best features that Google has put into its mobile OS, then it's time to take back my phone, root it, and enjoy the full benefits of Froyo on the only network that is reasonably reliable in my area.

I'll let you know how it goes - Share your Android rooting experiences in the talkbacks.

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