15 Great Reasons to Root Your Phone
Okay, so you finally got around to rooting your Android device—now what? Well, to get the most out of your Superuser status, you'll need to find some good root apps, which will allow you to easily add features, reduce battery drain, remove ads, and much more.
- Don't Miss: Android Root Explained in Detail for Beginners
For years now, we've been rooting every Android device we get our hands on here at Gadget Hacks, so we've definitely dealt with our fair share of root apps. The following list highlights all of the best root apps we've found over this time, many of which we would even call indispensable.
Titanium Backup has always been the most highly-recommended root app for a good reason—it allows you to make complete backups of all your apps and their data, and lets you uninstall any unwanted bloatware apps. A new app-backup system in Android 6.0 has reduced the need for Titanium Backup ever so slightly—but until that system matures quite a bit, Titanium Backup is still an indispensable app.
Ads suck, plain and simple. Luckily, though, an open-source root app called AdAway can completely banish ads from every app and website on your device in one simple tap. It's the most effective ad-blocking app out there, but you'll need to make sure you have "Unknown sources" enabled so that you can sideload the app from F-Droid.
If you have a custom recovery installed, you know how important it is to create NANDroid backups periodically. But it's always a pain to boot into recovery mode, then wait 10 minutes while the backup runs, which is what makes Online Nandroid Backup such an awesome app. Instead of bothering with recovery, you can create NANDroid backups from within Android, which saves you time and makes it easier to always have a fallback plan.
Our circadian rhythms gather cues from daylight to know when it's time to sleep and time to wake up, but our electronic devices emit a bluish light, which can easily disrupt this cycle by simulating daylight. To reverse these negative effects, try installing CF.lumen, which automatically cancels out the blue light being emitted by your device as the sun sets, much like f.lux for desktop computers.
One of the main causes of battery drain on Android is the dreaded wakelock, which is a service apps use to prevent your device from sleeping so that they can sync data in the background and post notifications. Some apps are worse than others when it comes to wakelocks, but Wakelock Detector will help you get to the bottom of the issue by identifying the apps that hold the most wakelocks on your system.
A lot of people aren't fond of Samsung's emojis, and there are others who prefer the emojis from iOS. Emoji Switcher puts the choice in your hands and allows you to switch between several different popular emoji sets. This will definitely come in handy if you've been getting texts with missing characters from your friends who use iPhones, since it even lets you update to the Unicode 8.0 emojis.
SD Maid is a great tool for keeping the storage partition on your device nice and tidy. It can automatically find and delete leftover data from uninstalled apps, remove unused system files, and even tidy up device databases. On top of that, an "AppControl" feature lets you prevent apps from starting on boot, so there's plenty of battery-saving potential here as well.
One of the most powerful apps in this list is FlashFire from developer Chainfire. You can use FlashFire in place of a custom recovery to flash ZIPs directly from within Android, or you can even use it to install firmware updates on a rooted device without using a computer, so even though it's still in its beta testing phases, it's already becoming a very powerful tool.
If it's battery saving you're after, Greenify can make a huge difference by hibernating apps that you're not using so that they don't waste system resources in the background. Some Greenify features can be activated without root, but having root access makes things a lot easier. For instance, a new "Aggressive Doze" feature for Marshmallow devices can be enabled using root by pressing a button instead of running complicated ADB commands, and a similar "Shallow Hibernation" feature makes hibernated apps open quicker on rooted devices.
Android displays are calibrated to show icons and text at a certain scale, but since you own a rooted device, you don't have to accept this as an invariable fact. Texdroider allows you to easily change your device's DPI in a few simple steps, which in turn will cause visual assets to show up as larger or smaller throughout the operating system.
It's always a struggle to keep up with your contacts, especially when it comes to making sure everybody has a nice contact photo attached. An app called Social Contact Photo Sync can help with this issue, as it automatically downloads profile photos from many popular social media sites, then attaches them to the associated contact card on your device.
When Android 5.0 rolled out, many users were dumbfounded by the decision to keep individual Google searches mixed in with Android's task switcher interface and preserve all app entries even through a reboot. This obviously made things a lot more cluttered, but an app called Recently can clear things up a bit by allowing you to pick and choose exactly what entries are left in this list—and it even lets you add a "Clear All" button if you'd like.
If you've uploaded your MP3 library to Google Play Music, you can stream your favorite songs at any time. But even if you use the "Pin to Device" feature, these cloud-based songs can't be played in any other music app. Music Mate puts an end to this issue by allowing you to sync your own music to be saved to your device and played with any app. The free version only allows you to sync up to 50 songs, but this limitation can be removed with a $3.99 in-app purchase.
Android 6.0 has a brand new permissions system, but this still doesn't allow you to revoke an app's permission to access the internet. AFWall+, on the other hand, lets you pick and choose the apps that can access Wi-Fi, your local network, or mobile data. You can even set up multiple profiles to easily switch back and forth between allowing and denying internet access, so it's entirely your call.
If you ever end up accidentally deleting a priceless photo or an important file, all is not lost. An app called Undeleter can actually recover deleted files in most cases, but your chances are a lot higher if the file was recently deleted and you haven't rebooted since. The process is quite simple, but we've covered some tips that you should keep in mind, so check those out at the link below.
Do you have any awesome root apps you would like to recommend? If so, let us know in the comment section below, or drop us a line on Android Hacks' Facebook or Twitter, or on Gadget Hacks' Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.