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With the release of Ice Cream Sandwich, version 4.0 of Google’s popular Android mobile operating system, a lot of refinements have been introduced to the platform. The entire interface has been given a makeover for a more professional look. Specifically, the launcher and many of the system apps have received a lot of love from Google.

These tweaks have many wondering if rooting phones that run Ice Cream Sandwich is really worth it. After all, a lot of the benefit that used to be derived from rooting phones had to do with the same things that Ice Cream Sandwich addresses. These are things like interface customizing and tweaks to the overall system.

For the most part, the answer is yes – it’s still absolutely worth it to root a phone, even if it’s running Ice Cream Sandwich. We’ve outlined a few reasons why below.

The Biggest Benefits Are Still There

Interface tweaks were a huge reason that rooting became so popular on the Android platform. Even though the need for those has been greatly minimized, there are still a number of benefits to be had by rooting Ice Cream Sandwich. The biggest ones include:

  • Free wireless tethering
  • Ability to backup app data
  • Being able to remove bloatware

For many users, free wireless tethering will stick out as the best reason to root Ice Cream Sandwich. Most national carriers charge a minimum of $30 for tethering. With a rooted phone, users can save themselves hundreds of dollars per year.

CDMA Galaxy Nexus Owners Need It

The most popular Ice Cream Sandwich phone is, without a doubt, the Galaxy Nexus. While other flagship phones such as the Galaxy S2 and Droid RAZR are awaiting updates to Ice Cream Sandwich, the Nexus has the most market penetration.

Is it Worth Jailbreaking Android Phones Running Ice Cream Sandwich

Since Nexus phones are usually considered developer phones, it was a little disheartening when Google announced in January that its support for the CDMA Galaxy Nexus wouldn’t be as thorough as it has been for other Nexus devices. This left most of the user base for Ice Cream Sandwich without the rigorous support they were expecting.

By rooting an Ice Cream Sandwich phone, users can benefits from improvements made by independent developers. For Galaxy Nexus owners, this means that rooting their device is the only way to receive the consistent support they were expecting when they purchased the device.

Small tweaks to things such as call quality and battery life have already been made available to rooted Galaxy Nexus devices. Bigger changes, such as updates to the launcher and system apps, are also available.

Even ICS Eventually Needs Tweaking

This may be the point that covers the most users. Ice Cream Sandwich looks great right now. Its slick transitions and futuristic launcher add a layer of eye candy to the high functionality that Android already possessed.

At the same time, what’s new today will eventually look dated. Older versions of Android, such as Eclair and Froyo, were once the most up-to-date mobile platforms available. Even early versions of iOS were once considered to be beautiful and on the cutting edge.

However, things change fast in technology. Ice Cream Sandwich will be no exception. For all of its flair today, in six months there’s a good chance that it will look dated. By rooting phones that run Ice Cream Sandwich, owners can update the look of their device over the months and years that they own it.

By keeping this look updated, devices will last longer and keep their owners happy for a longer period of time. Ultimately, that’s what the goal is.

Thus, despite all of the improvements made in Ice Cream Sandwich, it’s still worth it to root these devices. The privileges gained by unlocking the devices will likely never be offset by any tweaks Google makes to its platform. Users wants to have full control over their devices, and rooting allow for just that.

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