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My understanding is that rooting an android smartphone or tablet allows you to add functionality and to flash custom ROMS (amongst other things) like MIUI or CyanogenMOD.

A Nexus device offers the pure "vanilla" android experience from Google without the additional "skins" etc. that mobile phone companies add/tweak to further differentiate their product from one another.

If it is the case that nothing has been added/tweaked, customised etc. on a Nexus 4/7/10, can I achieve this personalisation (via the Google Play Store) on such a device without the need for rooting?

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I think it depends on what level of customization you want, if you want some launcher changes, just try some of that are on Play Store, but if you want to do some overclocking, undervolting and this sort of thing, I'm almost sure you need rooting – Markissimo Nov 26 '12 at 14:21
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you're not sure if you need Root, you don't need Root.

There are any number of alternative Launchers you can install that will give your device a custom look-and-feel and add/adjust functionality from Vanilla Android. Heck, there are Launchers that can simulate the look-and-feel of iPhone and Windows Phone.

Have a look on the Play Store for "Launchers" or "Home screen replacements".

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Thankyou for your response. I know about the different launchers such as Nova, Apex, ADW etc, lock screen widgets. Is rooting therefore for people who want to have some kind of "power" or "command" over there device (if i'm making sense) – Simon Nov 26 '12 at 13:42
Have a look at the higher-voted questions in the rooting tag, like I've rooted my phone. Now what? What do I gain from rooting? – Al E. Nov 26 '12 at 13:44
Ok thanks alot. But what i'm trying to ask is, can i achieve similar levels of personalising my phone without the need or "hassle" of rooting. – Simon Nov 26 '12 at 13:53
You can customize the heck out of these things. It's only when "I want to do X" and "X requires Root" will you require Root. If you want a more specific answer you need to ask a more specific question. – Al E. Nov 26 '12 at 13:57
I see your point, as long as i can customize without root, it is when it gets to the point when i need to root in order to achieve X. I havent got to X yet so I guess thats fine :) – Simon Nov 26 '12 at 14:02

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