It’s true that rooting your device has become far less essential these days than the days of old but there are still plenty of reasons to root your device. You won’t be installing awesome mods over recovery so much anymore but there are a handful of root apps that have maintained their reliability and usefulness even in this age of non-root. Here are the best root apps for Android.
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[Price: Free / $3.99]
Flashify is a simple root application that helps do a bunch of otherwise tedious tasks. Using it, you can flash a variety of recoveries, download ROMs, flash ZIP files, create full Nandroid backups (depending on your recovery), and more. It also adds itself to menus so you can select it as an option when trying to open ZIP files and the like when using a file explorer. It’s simple but effective and easy to use.
[Free / $2.49]
Next on our list is Full!Screen. This app takes away the soft key at the bottom of your device as well as the notification bar. The reason for this is simple. Without soft keys, the Galaxy Nexus screen was 4.65-inches. With the soft keys and the status bar, it was closer to 4.3. This app gives you that extra space back. When you activate it, everything disappears and you get a back button on the bottom left and a home button on the bottom right. Both of these buttons can be customized a number of ways. You can add a pie menu, swipe gestures, and long press functions to turn these two little keys into everything you need to get rid of those top and bottom bars.
[Price: Free with in app purchases]
GMD Auto Hide Soft Keys is a direct competitor to Full!Screen and another option for hiding your soft keys if you want them there. This one has plenty of options and generally works by hiding the soft keys for you. You can then retrieve them by hitting a pre-determined hotspot. It’s a great way to enjoy full screen mode more often and it’s definitely great for apps that don’t support the full screen option. It’s free to try which is nice.
Next up is the official app for goo.im called GooManager. This app is a one way ticket to download and install anything you can find on goo.im. It has an easy to use interface and can help you find a lot of files that you may otherwise have to Google Search to find. Some examples include ROM and Gapps downloads for your device. You can also use it to install TWRP Recovery if you need a custom recovery, and use the interface to reboot to recovery or flash ROMs without using the recovery.
Greenify quickly climbed the list as one of those essential root apps a long time ago. The app checks out your running apps and shows you which ones are running, which ones run, how frequently, and how many times each one wakes up your device. Using this information, you can hibernate apps to prevent them from running in the background and drain your battery. This is the only app that prevents Facebook from waking up your phone 700+ times per day and it’s totally free.
[Price: Free / $1.99]
Quick Boot is an app that is both absurdly simple but absurdly useful. In most versions of Android, you only get the option to power down your device or reboot (sometimes you can hot reboot). With Quick Reboot, you can reboot into bootloader, recovery, or download mode. It’s not as convenient as having it built right into the power menu, but it’s a lot easier than shutting down your device, holding the required buttons, and rebooting again. It’s a must have and the free version works just fine.
This is one of the very few all-in-one solutions for root users. It has a bunch of features that all root users could find useful and it’s even designed with Android in mind. That means all you #holoyolo fans will appreciate it. There are simply too many things this app can do and we only have a limited time here so I’ll tell you the highlights. With this you can download ROMs, install recoveries, manage your applications, and it even comes with a built in root enabled file browser. Count in the stuff for more advanced users like kernel tweaks, and you have a valuable app for any root user.
Root Explorer uses root access to let you browse files on your entire device. For root users, this is an essential task. There are a plethora of activities that require you rummaging through the system parts of your device and Root Explorer helps you do it without being encumbered. It has a clean interface, plenty of features, and is one of those essential tools for all root users.
SDFix is a system modifier tool that helps those running Kit Kat and Lollipop overcome the dreaded locked-down SD card problem. I have personally tested this on a Note 3 running both Kit Kat and Lollipop as well as an HTC One M9, NVIDIA Shield Tablet, and Nexus 5 all running Lollipop. This makes your SD card useful and takes away the limitations placed on other apps like file browsers. It doesn’t work for all devices but it’s definitely worth a shot if you are afflicted with this issue. It’s also absurdly easy to use. Open it, hit go, wait a few seconds, and then uninstall the app.
[Price: Free with in app purchases]
SuperSU by Chainfire is the de facto Superuser application available. Most root methods have you installing this app anyway so most new root users already have it. It’s a solid app and works great to be that front door to root access on your device. It’s simple to use and frequently updated to support new devices and changes in how root works. Also, it helps that Chainfire is one of the most well-known developers out there with a sterling reputation and a deep knowledge of Android and root access.
Eighth on our list is a very useful root app called Tasker. This powerful application can make your phone do pretty much anything whenever you need it to. It’s a vague explanation but pertinent because it can really make your phone do almost anything. So here’s how it works. You create a task or a scene, then you define what those tasks and scenes do. It’s highly recommended to read the online FAQs before attempting because there is a steep learning curve involved. A fun use for this app is using the Tasker add-on that some NFC apps have to make your NFC tags do things you created in Tasker.
Titanium Backup is a long time mainstay at the top of many root lists and this one is no different. With this application you can uninstall bloatware (a must have for many people), freeze apps (leaves them installed but prevents them from ever running), and backup your applications and application data. ROM flashers have sworn by this app for years and it may very well be the most popular and oft recommended root app of all time. If you have root, go get it immediately. Root life just isn’t the same without it.
Xposed Framework has replaced installing ROMs for many as the default root experience. Modules are created inside of the framework by many developers that do various things like theming, UI and performance tweaks, visual modification, button remapping, and much, much more. Modules can be a tad difficult to find sometimes depending on your device but there are plenty of universal ones that you can use and enjoy. The button below will take you to the XDA thread where you can download it.
If we missed any great root apps, let us know in the comments!