Three Days Without Root – Can I Survive?

Sad Keanu Can't Root His PhoneOn Wednesday I was given a brand spanking new Nexus 5X as a surprise gift.  It was unexpected and very much appreciated!  It has been an awesome phone and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  It has however been a lesson in patience.  It has shown me how far Android has come since the days when it first came out.  It has also shown me how much I take my root access for granted on my other devices.

As some of you may know, I am currently with Sprint.  Sprint is a great carrier and I have been with them for almost a decade without any complaints.  As soon as I opened the package and determined that it really was for me I was immediately opening a chat session with Sprint Customer Care and ordering my SIM card.  I was ready to fight for them to at least waive the cost of the SIM but they beat me to it and sent me the SIM at no charge, not even for shipping.

After ordering the SIM I quickly went to one of my top five favorite sites, XDA-Developers, to see how I could go about rooting my new Nexus 5X.  There was already an awesome guide, written by my friend, Heisenberg, that walked me through the whole process.  There was one problem…  The Nexus 5X in all its awesomeness has one flaw.  It comes with a USB-C charging port and a USB-C cable.  You may ask yourself, how is this a problem?  USB-C is the new standard, is blazing fast and it doesn’t matter if you plug it in upside down or upside right.  How is it a problem you ask?  Because the cable is USB-C to USB-C and I have no machines that come with a USB-C port!

So rather than rushing to Best Buy to buy some overpriced and poorly built adapter, I chose to listen to my wife and order a decent USB-C to USB-A cable and wait for it to arrive.  I put the 5X back in its case and left it on my dresser.  Taunting me with the unreachable joys of root access and being able to activate it.  Fortunately for me both Sprint and Amazon said I should receive my packages on Friday.  I could wait for two days.

Friday morning came and I checked FedEx for the SIM card and UPS for the cables.  Both said they were going to be delivered by 8:00 PM.  I went to work and daydreamed all day long about the joys awaiting me when I got home.  I got home and just a few minutes after closing the garage FedEx dropped off my new SIM card.  I opened the package, put the SIM in my phone, opened another chat session with Sprint and activated my 5X.  I put my S5 in airplane mode and started backing it up with Titanium Backup.

I waited and I waited.  UPS still showed that the package should be arriving by 8:00 PM.  At 7:51 PM I texted my friend, Alex, and pointed out that UPS had nine minutes to get to my house.  At 8:18 PM I texted him again to share with someone who could relate to my pain and suffering (at this point my wife was making fun of me) to tell him UPS had failed me.  At 8:59 PM UPS updated the tracking details to say that at 8:05 PM the package had left the sorting facility.  Even though it had previously left it at 6:32 AM…  At 9:22 PM they changed the delivery date to Monday the 16th.  I wanted to cry.

This morning I chose to give it a go and see how the phone was without root.  Normally I use root access to make backups of my phone, tweak the performance, enable hidden functions and change the look of some things.  This was a good opportunity for me to try and see what I could make do without.

I made it until about lunch time before the flashing bug kicked in.  This is the longest I have ever owned a device that hasn’t been rooted.  I needed to root it and flash something.  It didn’t matter what, I just needed to do it!  When an addict needs a fix it doesn’t matter where they get it, I decided to try Best Buy.

Best Buy was a flop.  They had plenty of adapters to allow you to take an existing USB-C port on a computer and turn it into a USB-A port but nothing that would work in the other direction.  I have plenty of USB-A ports, I needed a USB-C port!

Jamba Juice - Android PaySaddened and disappointed I went back to my car and remembered seeing something about Jamba Juice giving away Android mini-figures if you paid for your order with Android Pay.  Seeing as how I always had a rooted device I’ve never been able to use Android Pay.  Here was an opportunity to test it out.  I was impressed with how quick it was to setup and even more impressed with how easy it was to use.  All I did was unlock my phone and put it on an NFC reader.  Two seconds later and I was done, it was WAY faster than my credit card using the new secure chips or even swiping it would have been.  I am now the proud owner of an orange Android mini-figure.

As I’ve been using the device throughout the day I’ve found that it really isn’t that bad.  There are a few minor annoyances but nothing that would break me.  I’ve been very impressed with the 5X and will definitely be keeping it as my primary device.

I’ve learned several things from this whole process.

  1. Friends are awesome!  Here’s to you guys Alex and Mike!  You guys are AWESOME!!!
  2. Sprint is awesome!  They have great customer service and as long as they keep it up, I’m sticking around for another decade.
  3. Google is ahead of their time but that is not always a good thing.  Although USB-C is the new standard it hasn’t been adopted widely yet.  It was a massive oversight on their part that the cable that shipped with the device for all intents and purposes can only be used for charging.
  4. UPS stinks.  Three days late?  Enough said.
  5. Best Buy is behind the times.  You think they would at least have one adapter that would do the trick but they didn’t.
  6. Root is great but I can live without it.
  7. I love Jamba Juice.  Ok, I’ve always known this one but I had to throw it on the list because they gave me a free Android figure and let me order the old Pomegranate Pick Me Up even though it isn’t on the menu.

So all that remains to be seen is whether or not I can make it to Monday at 8:00 PM.  Hopefully UPS delivers it and I don’t have to wait too much longer!