Best Android Root Apps

Here's the best of the currently available Android root apps. These apps won't work on a standard Android phone, only phones that have been rooted. If you don't know what that means, have a look on this WHY ROOT page.

What's your best root app? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

Quick Boot

There are various reboot apps in the Android Market, the best of which is Quick Boot. So simple, but why doesn't Android have this feature as standard?

Backlight Off

This will only concern you if you have a WHITE T-MOBILE G1 Android phone, but if you do, you MUST INSTALL THIS! The most stupid design feature ever was the colour of the QWERTY keypad on white G1s, which you CANNOT SEE in certain light conditions. This app instantly solves the problem. Tap the icon to turn the keyboard backlight off, and again to turn it back on. It remembers its state even after a reboot.


The absolute best thing you can install once you have root access is the CyanogenMod ROM. OK, it's not an app, but it totally transforms your phone. Have a look at the CyanogenMod features you'll find if you install this fantastic ROM. (That's a bit out of date, CyanogenMod 6 is out now, which is even more brilliant). This ROM includes some of the other essential root stuff, like a reboot option, so you won't need those if you install this ROM.

CM Updater Screenshot

CyanogenMod Updater

Does the job of replacing the OTA updates you will lose when you root your Android phone. It displays an alert in the notification bar when there is a new version of the CyanogenMod ROM available, and downloads and installs it for you.

10 Meg hack

The 10 Meg Hack patch gives your operating system an extra 10 Mb of RAM at the expense of being able to run 3D intensive games which grid to a halt. I don't really play games on my G1 so I don't care about that, and it's made a big improvement in speed, especially when switching between apps. Sounds like a nerdy, boring thing to do, simply to increase your available RAM by 10 Mb, but it really has made a noticable difference in speed on my G1. Probably won't be worth bothering with on newer Android phones with more RAM though.

Adfree Android

This removes ads from most apps and web pages. It works by blocking requests to certain ad serving hostnames. I think it actually does this by adding squillions of entries to /etc/hosts that deliberately cause DNS lookups to certain blocked hosts to fail. It worked great when I tried it, but it did cause a noticeable slowdown in the browser. I'm sure this will work better on newer handsets with more RAM and processing power.

Screenshot apps

There are quite a few screen capture apps out there for Android, and they all require root. The screenshot app I use is dropcap2, which I used to take the screenshots on this page. It has three trigger modes to capture the screen. You can shake the phone to take a screenshot, add a clickable trigger in the notification bar, or use a countdown timer to take a screenshot. It works really well for me.

Always Flash

This is a simple app that fixes another stupid design feature. Isn't it annoying when you plug your phone in and you lose the flashing LED notifying you of new calls, messages or emails? Always Flash fixes that.

Wifi Tethering

Wireless Tether For Root Users is a brilliant app that lets you share your phone's Internet connection with other computers via Wi-Fi or bluetooth. It's amazing how easy and quick it is to set up and it works perfectly for me. It provides full access control to only allow certain clients to connect, and includes WEP encryption (for what that's worth). B-) The speed of the connection you'll get on your laptop through this will be pretty slow, but it works well as a temporary internet connection should your broadband go down.

Titanium Backup

This is absolutely essential if you're fiddling about installing different ROMs. Titanium Backup allows you to easily backup your apps AND their data to your SD card, so you can restore them on your new ROM, or even on to a different phone. Another useful feature is that it allows you to uninstall apps, with root permissions. This is good for getting rid of those annoying apps the carrier installs that you can't get rid of such as Amazon MP3 or Bookface. It still might not work on newer versions of Android, but it will on some.


This app simply syncronises the system clock with an Internet time server. You might need this is your network doesn't provide this feature which would cause your phone to repeatedly display an annoying time settings notification. ClockSync does the job instead, and can work automcatically if you want. It's important to have the system clock right on your phone for lots of reasons, not least because chat messages can appear in the wrong order if the time is wrong.

ROM Manager

Essential for all root users, ROM Manager is a collection of ROM flashing and backup tools. From within the app, you can download and flash the latest version of the ClockworkMod Recovery, which ROM Manager then works with for most of its functionality. A list of available ROMS compatible with your phone is available for download from within ROM Manager, which you can download and flash easily. You can also check for updates to your chosen ROM from within ROM Manager and flash them. Nandroid backups are also easily managed from ROM Manager, and also a tool for automatically partitioning your SD card is included which is makes partitioning so much easier if your ROM supports proper old school Apps2SD.

SQLite Editor

SQLite Editor lets you view and edit the data in any of the SQLite databases on your phone. In case you didn't know, your Android phone has a SQLite database engine that lets apps store their data in a database which is normally only visible to the app that stored it. But as you've got a rooted phone, you can poke around and see all the tables stored by all the apps on your phone. You'll find SQLite editor really useful if you're an app developer or just if you like to have a nose around at what your apps have stored.

That's my pick of the top root apps for Android phones! Hope you found something here worth installing.

Adfree Android Screenshot AdFree Android
Quickboot Android Screenshot Quickboot 3 reboot options
Android Wireless Tether Screenshot Wireless Tether for Root Users