A quick look through the Google Play Store reveals a large number of apps that can only be installed on rooted Android devices, including some of the best and most powerful tweaking utilities. We take a look at our top ten apps that will let you really take control of your phone.
Direct access to Android system files
Root Explorer is a file browser that has access to the protected Android system files. Using this it’s possible to alter system settings for hacking purposes. To their credit the developers also support the old 24 hour app refund system.
SD Speed Increase
Increase the cache size on your SD card
With root access SD Speed Increase can alter a setting in the system files to increase the cache size on a memory card. By changing the default setting (128kb) to it’s optimal setting (2048kb) the read/write performance on external media can be noticeably increased. Not every phone model can support this tweak but either way it’s still worth a try.
Hide annoying adverts from your apps
Having plenty of quality free software on the Android Marketplace is great but it makes the presence of in app advertising something of a necessary evil. Adfree Android can block out these adverts so they never appear on your phone. It’s certainly useful but be careful, it can have adverse effects on other network dependant apps such as WordPress.
Fully back up your Android phone
Along with Rom Manager, Titanium Backup is another essential root app. The free version includes the incredibly useful app backup tools along with the ability to remove any bloatware apps. The paid version takes it a step further with dropbox support, encryption and much more. Recommended.
Take screenshots on your Android device
iOS users (iPhone, iPad) have been able to take screenshots for a while and it’s been reported that Ice Cream Sandwich will also include this feature. If you can’t wait until then you can always install a screen capture app such as Screenshot. Images can be captured either by setting a timer or via shaking the handset.
Fix battery calibration issues after rooting
When a new rom is flashed the battery meter can become inaccurate. Battery Calibration creates a new battery stats file that helps to fix issues with miscalibratrion. The reviews on the marketplace vary, some claim that the app works whilst others believe it to be a placebo. Try it yourself, see how you get on.
Overclock and tweak your device
There are a number of overclock apps available on the marketplace. For many users SetCPU is the default choice. Users who would prefer a free alternative should find CPU tuner to be worth a look. It combines moderate overclocking tools with power saving tweaks to deliver a pretty comprehensive package.
Keep an arsenal of roms at hand
Boot Manager is the first of its kind for Android. An app that allows you to store multiple custom roms all on one device. Up to 5 roms can be installed and switching between them takes place between reboots. It’s a great tool for testing out nightly rom builds whilst keeping a stable rom close by.
Potentially expand your battery life
JuiceDefender is a battery saving app that can perform system tweaks to reserve power when it is not needed. It runs on non-rooted phones but can perform more tricks when it has root access. Battery saving results can vary between users but it’s definitely worth a try if your battery isn’t lasting as long as you would like.
The backbone of everything root
In most cases Super User should appear on any newly rooted handset. If not then you’ll definitely need to download it in order to use any root dependant apps. Whenever an app requires root access Super User is what will grant it. It will automatically pop-up a notification on which you’ll click Yes. From there your root based app can happily work it’s magic.
Written by Paul Carr.