Google is just starting to get its new Nexus 7 tablet in the hands of customers and already there’s a documented method to get hacking on the small slate. Liliputing offers up a step-by-step list to root the device, unlock the bootloader so you can install custom software and also replace the standard recovery software with a third-party version.
The full list of steps shouldn’t take long to run through and it’s probably best to do this as soon as you get a Nexus 7, if you want to do so at all, that is: This process will completely delete all of your data and programs. Here’s a video walk-through if you’re not sure what the process entails.
Why would you even want to do this? A few reasons. Rooting the device basically gives you administrator access rights, which some third-party programs require. A key such app is Titanium Backup, which is used to completely backup and restore an Android device. You can restore apps from Google, but you can’t get back any data from within those apps, so Titanium Backup or another solution could come in handy.
Unlocking the bootloader simply enables the installation of custom ROMs or kernels; the software that makes Android tick. And the customer recovery installation is what’s used to put custom ROMs on a device. I’ve flashed a number of custom ROMs on my Nexus devices in the past, but I don’t think I’ll be doing the same for a while on the Nexus 7. The Jelly Bean version of Android for now is quite nice as is, as noted in my review. Still, this instruction list is handy enough for me to bookmark for future use — I’ve never met a custom Android ROM I didn’t like.