Settling Into North Carolina and Rooting my HTC M8 While Exorcising AT&T From It.


Casual update on what I’ve been up to. There’s something for both followers and techies to enjoy in this post.


Well, I have arrived and settled into North Carolina with my friend Josh K. A seven hour cramped flight later and a little bit of sweat and I’ve “moved” from Oregon. Well, at least so much as I can move with a couple of laptops, a suit for interviews and some clothes. The flight went well, just a few bumps here and there and a crying baby a few rows behind me. I’m always glad to get the authentic economy seating experience on United. (/sarcasm) I had some pseudo-noise reducing headphones so that helped, mostly. But it went well enough.

Anyway, I’m here. Different place, new faces and a new location. I haven’t traveled around Durham much (oh right, that’s the city I’m in) but from what little I’ve seen….it’s strikingly familiar to Beaverton. I’ve more or less settled into my temporary place as much as one can. I’ve been keeping busy, helping out around the apartment and getting quite a bit done. So, progress. I don’t have much to talk about on the job front just yet. But I got to go to a boardgame night and enjoy NC BBQ. Which was great.

I’ve got more things to talk about in my personal life but I’m going to hold off for the time being until I’ve worked them out. But thanks for the support everyone, it does mean a lot. In the mean time, I want to talk about my phone and tech. So, feel free to leave the post if you aren’t interested in that. I’m not going to talk about anything else afterwards.

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Well, I finally did it. I finally rooted my phone. Only took a year to get it done but it finally happened. So. Let’s rewind a bit. A while back I had started noticing some extremely poor performance with my HTC M8. It was like there was a severe memory leak that would build up over the course of the day. (And there probably was). It was also really severe lag when switching from Wifi to mobile data, where the phone would slow to a dead crawl and take forever to open something as simple as a calculator app. At first, I thought it was one of the many apps causing trouble. But the system showed that there was plenty of RAM to spare. (I think it was lying). The battery’s history didn’t indicate that there was anything consuming the battery unnecessarily either. Even if I left the phone alone for an entire day and used it in the evening, it would still be really slow. It was getting pretty frustrating because I had to reboot the phone on a regular basis. Even getting to the point where I rebooted it three times on my way to North Carolina. My friend Jon M and I talked about it (as he has a HTC M8 as well) and we came to the conclusion that it was the Sense UI causing the problem. Which seemed to track with what I had heard and observed.

My M8 was on Lollipop running 5.0.1 and Sense 6.0, a few versions behind where the rest of Android is currently sitting at. I seem to recall that there was a lot of complaints about the AT&T version of the M8 being extremely laggy after the most recent update. And I seem to recall a promise from HTC to release an update to fix the problem. An update that never came a year and then some later. Even in spite of the Sprint/T-Mobile version of the M8 being updated to Marshmallow recently (or will be soon). But this is AT&T we are talking about and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were trying to encourage sales of the M9 or M10 through obsolescence. An irritating tactic that companies like HTC don’t seem to fight very hard, if at all. So, what to do? Well, root it and install the Google Play Edition was the solution.

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I have been contemplating rooting my phone for a long while now. Probably around a year by now. Why haven’t I done it before now? Mostly the risk and being conveniently distracted by other tech projects when I have the time. Certainly the risk of rooting a phone is minuscule so long as you know what you’re doing and you follow the instructions correctly. Which I generally know what I’m doing. *cough*. But, I didn’t want to brick a $600 phone. I can’t exactly replace that and not take insignificant financial damage for it. So, the risk outweighed the reward. Up until recent events and the need to reboot the device three times in order to use it. That was the last straw for me. I committed myself to unlocking, rooting and replacing the ROM with a Google Play Edition version for the HTC M8. A process that took about a decent amount of time to do…to put it lightly. I had a lot of help from Jon M as he had gone through several rootings/installing ROMs himself and I have to say: thank you very much for the assist.

I had already done quite a bit of research on how phones are rooted about a month or so ago as part of a self-improvement project. Said project is to learn more about technology on a regular basis to make myself more attractive for work and to actually gain more knowledge about the field. So, I understood how the process went, even if I didn’t know the particulars of each step. Still, that only slightly reduced my nervousness when it came to rooting it. But Jon gave me a list of steps to follow and plenty of double/triple checking ensured that the process went smoothly. So, it’s been done.

It’s been 24 hours since I rooted it and the change has been night and day. I haven’t even gotten to many of the special features of rooting yet either but the performance has been astoundingly better. It feels like a brand new phone. No lag, a lot easier to use it, it’s been great. I should have done this sooner *chuckles*. Yea, I’ve been impressed with how things are going so far. The best part about this whole process? No more AT&T bloatware. Finally.

It’s been an interesting start to this journey so far. I moved to North Carolina, I left AT&T to T-Mobile and I finally joined the rooting Android world. It’s all kind of a little crazy. I wonder what will happen next? Guess we’ll find out.

Thanks for reading! If you have any rooting suggestions or other comments, feel free to share. I’ll be talking more about my rooting experiences as we go along.


One Comment:

  1. A year of nagging and he has finally rooted. Only thing you missed is that I was your tester on the GPE firmware lol, you chicken you ;).

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