For the final (for now) portion of the “Why Root” series I will discuss some other apps that are only available on a device that is rooted. Well they may be listed on here as “only available”, keep in mind that they may be install-able on a non-rooted phone but they probably won’t work, or do anything at all.
Description: Superuser is the main app that allows you to grant Superuser rights on your phone. Any of the apps on this page, or any app that requires root will need your permission to use the seperuser ability. This app allows you to save that permission and remember it for the next time you use the app. It is preloaded on a majority of the roms and root packages out there, but just incase it isn’t you can get it for free on the Android Market. The barcode and links on this page link directly to the Market page, so they will work on your computer or phone. From the Developer: Grant and manage Superuser rights for your phone. This app requires that you already have root, or a custom recovery image to work. Note: App and binary will have different versions. The app is updated more often than the binary is. Install fixed for CM6 Stable If install fails, check http://bit.ly/su2xx for a solution
Description: This is the first app I install after a reset or flashing a new rom. It allows you to backup your apps, mass move your apps to the memory card, and much much more. From Developer: EXTREMELY powerful tool. Backup ALL apps, Market links, remove bloatware & MORE! ☆Over 2 million users, 23+ languages! ☆Needs ROOT, Android 1.5-3.1+ ☆PRO Key is available on Market! ☆Voted #1 TOP ROOT APP on Twitter. ☆Problem? See matrixrewriter.com/wiki ☆Internet used for Dropbox/Changelog ☆AVOID “unofficial” TB versions: they cause infamous “package signature” errors! ☆ ☆ ☆ The ONLY tool that can backup, restore, freeze (with Pro) your apps + data + Market links! Fully supports protected and system apps! 0-click Batch/scheduled backups! Can move apps (or app data) to/from SD card! The PRO version adds 0-click batch restores, Dropbox sync, conversion between user system apps, Dalvik cleaner & MORE!
Description: Rom Manager was previously covered on this site, but is required on any list of root apps. It gives you the easiest way to download and flash a custom rom onto your phone, plus be able to make a backup of your current setup, and restore it too. This is the 2nd app that I install (after Titanium Backup). From the Developer: Must have app for any root user. Make backups, flash ROMs, and own your device. *June 15, 2011* I am aware of the recently introduced force close bug, and would like to apologize. I have updated a fixed version, 126.96.36.199. Please let me know if that works! ROM Manager is THE MUST HAVE APP for any Android root user. (Over 1.3 million downloads and counting!) * Flash your recovery to the latest and greatest ClockworkMod recovery. * Manage your ROMs via a handy UI. * Organize and perform backups and restores from within Android! * Install ROMs from your SD card. * Install your favorite ROMs over the air!
Description: Drocap fills a big gap that Android hasn’t officially incorporated, Screenshots. It gives you the ability to take a picture of your screen, which is great for sharing what is on your screen with the web, or through a picture message. As you use it you will find a million uses for it. From Developer: Screen Capture Utility. WARNING: You need root permission for use drocap2. Tap start button and shake the device or wait for timer to capture screen image. You can also make a capture trigger from Notification bar. This works well with “superuser whitelist” environment.
Description: As the only paid app on this list (unless you consider pro or upgraded versions) this is a must have app for anyone with root. there are tons of tutorials that tell you how to use this app to remove apps that are preinstalled, like all the bloatware… From Developer: Root Explorer is the ultimate file manager for root users. Access the whole of android’s file system (including the elusive data folder!). Features include SQLite database viewer, Text Editor, create and extract zip or tar/gzip files, extract rar archives, multi-select, execute scripts, search, remount, permissions, bookmarks, send files (via email, bluetooth etc), image thumbnails, APK binary XML viewer, change file owner and group.
So you bought yourself a nice little android phone and are wondering what more you can do with it? I mean you are probably already bored with the hundreds of thousands of apps that are available to it, let alone the amazing built-in capabilities it already has, like the calendar and email and browser. So what more can you do with it?
Before I get ahead of myself and jump into the “Why?” portion of the article, I want to tell you a little about what rooting your phone actually is. The wonderful humans that put together Wikipedia define Rooting as:
Rooting is a process that allows users of cellphones and other devices running the Android operating system to attain privileged control (known as “root access”) within Android’s Linux subsystem, similar to jailbreaking on Apple devices running the iOS operating system, overcoming limitations that the carriers and manufacturers put on such phones.
Therefore Rooting would be the equivalent of that little popup you get in Windows 7 (Or Ubuntu/Linux) when you want to make a change to something. The difference is that in the world of cell phones you can’t just accept a change and be done with it, because it is blocked by the manufacture. I don’t think that it is blocked to take away you humanly freedoms, or to take away the fun of it. It’s there because people are dumb by nature and if phones came out without any sort of security on them they would all get messed up by the end user…
So now onto the “Why?”. Although it seems like I have a million reasons, I have it narrowed down to the 5 greatest things you can do with a rooted phone. I will look at each of these in more details over the next few days.
1. The ability to use your phone’s internet on your laptop. (for FREE) 2. Enhanced Apps to SD. 3. Over/UnderClocking 4. Custom Roms. 5. Get apps not “approved” for your phone.
Sounds pretty cool, huh? You are probably asking yourself, “How can I do this to my new shiny Android phone. Well before you just jump right in, keep in mind. Doing this may void your warranty, and/or disable your device – and by disable I mean brick your device. And yes, the name means just what you would think. Turn your phone into a brick. Also keep in mind that I have seen a lot of you humans attempt to root your phones successfully. As long as you follow the specified directions for your make and model you will probably be fine, but either way I am not liable for any damage – besides… I am a robot anyway. Who takes advice from a robot…
So the moral of this article is that you will need to do a little research on directions for you specific make and model. A great place to search is the XDA site. There is a section for a majority of all phones released in the US, and around the world. So do up the research and post any questions you might have.