Rooting was an excellent decision. FYI rooting your phone simply means gaining superuser or admin access so you can change the UI and other stuff. The process is a little nerve racking for anyone unfamiliar with mobile tinkering, but overall not too bad. Here’s what I did:
First, you need to decide on a ROM for your phone. ROM stands for Read Only Memory, and is basically some stuff that makes your phone do what the stock phone can’t (via root access). CyanogenMod, based on Gingerbread, seems to be the most popular ROM and is available for almost every device except the DroidX (typical). I read something about Motorola using an encrypted bootloader that restricts the compatible ROMs (whatever that means). Here’s a thread suggesting some good ROMs for the X. After further research, I decided on Liberty. Here’s very thorough review:
So, I downloaded a .zip of Liberty v1.5 and copied it to the SD card. Next, I followed the exact steps in this video to root and install the ROM.
Note 1: DO NOT RELY ON BACKUP ASSISTANT TO RESTORE YOUR CONTACTS. It isn’t compatible with custom ROMs and sucks anyways. Make sure they are synced with Google (mine weren’t somehow) and export them to your SD card to be extra safe.
Note 2: One thing about the video – the guy mentions a lot of things I wasn’t sure were apps or not, so was a little confused as to what I needed to get from the Market before rooting. App-wise, you’ll need to have Titanium Backup, z4root, and Droid X Bootstapper. Superuser is not something you download from the Market, it seemed to just appear once I had Superuser permissions.
Other than the small contacts glitch, everything went just as it did in the video. Liberty is gorgeous and I was/am stoked. However, I ran into a couple of initial bugs: the wallpaper returned to default whenever I changed an icon or other UI setting, the wallpaper option in settings took me to the last screen I had been on (i.e. if I’d just sent a txt, it would show the txt), and the phone seemed to blackout every more than was desirable.
After a week or so, the Liberated X seems to have gotten over these bugs for the most part. The first two wallpaper bugs haven’t been an issue since day 1, however the phone does go into a weird blackout mode sometimes – usually when it is put to sleep and woken up soon after. Not a huge deal, kind of recovers itself in a minute or so. I haven’t troubleshooted this at all, but once school is over might try out some different ROMs and get more creative.