Rooting your Android device is an attempt to unleash its full potential, break it free of the chains that bind it. If you’re wondering why you should root your device, you should see our guide on the top 10 reasons to root your Android device. Assuming that you have root access on your device, you might now be wondering what more you could possibly do with it. Because root alone is just a state and you’re not accomplishing much with that. So here are 15 of the best apps that you might need, or you may want to try after you get root access on your Android device.
Before we start, you should know that we attempted to list apps that are free on the Android Market, unless we found no alternate to a useful paid app. If you do not have root access on your device, you might want to read our guide on how to root your Android device.
We cannot stress how useful and essential this app is. It will help you backup / restore your apps along with their data, coupled with the ability to freeze system and non system apps. For more on this app, see our complete guide on how to use Titanium Backup for Android.
Download Titanium Backup (Free)
Download Titanium Backup Pro (Paid)
The one app that you can be sure you will find on almost every other rooted Android device. And why not? This app lets you keep the ClockworkMod recovery for your device up to date, allowing you to flash it as well when launched for the first time. Helps you make Nandroid backups (backups of the entire ROM) and manage them by allowing you to delete a backup or rename it etc. Moreover, if you want to install a custom ROM and are not comfortable doing that through the recovery, you can always install it using ROM Manager, and if the ROM is supported by ROM manager, you can even download it straight from your phone and be notified of any updates of the ROM that may follow.
Download ROM Manager (Free)
Download ROM Manager Premium (Paid)
Are you missing some apps in the Market? Market Enabler will sort this issue out for you. There are some apps (especially paid apps) that cannot be seen in the Market depending on the region you’re in, where your mobile network identifies that region. With Market Enabler, you can spoof your network to be recognized as any you may choose from its list. The fake network provider can be set to last till your device is rebooted or you can set the app to fake it on boot.
Unlike iOS, Android does not have a built-in function for grabbing screenshots. While custom ROMs like MIUI or the official HTC Sense 3.0 ROMs have begun offering screen grabbing as a stock function, not all devices and ROMs have this option by default. ShootMe is easily one of the best screenshot tools for your Android device, allowing you to take screenshots by shaking your device, speaking loudly into the mic or by simply blocking the light sensor.
Unfortunately, the app was recently taken off the Android Market by the developer due to reasons he probably knows best. However, since the app was free, there are APK files scattered around the internet, a link to one of which is provided below.
Download ShootMe (Free)
CPU Master is your control room for managing overclocking and underclocking. Here you can set the minimum and maximum frequency of your device’s processor and assign a scaling governor as well. You can also enable Profiles, but that requires the Pro version of the app. If, however, however you do decide to spend a few bucks on an overclocking solution, we would advise you to go for the popular and tried SetCPU. Unfortunately, SetCPU has no free version on the Market, so if you’re not too much into profiling and all, CPU Master (Free) will easily cater for your overclocking needs.
File Expert or ES File Explorer
Honestly, it was a very hard call to make between the two file managers. Both offer you root-level access to the file system allowing you to modify and play around with the system files. While both boast an FTP server, allowing you to browse your phone wirelessly through a computer, ES File Explorer goes ahead to offer a cloud service as well.
Download File Expert (Free)
Download ES File Explorer (Free)
If you’re not sure what an FTP server like FTPDroid is all about, you should see our guide on how to access SD card and system files on Android from your computer. FTPDroid is your simplest solution for wireless access to your Android device’s data and event better, it gives you access to system files as well. FTPDroid is easy and very quick to set up and sticks to what it does best without luring you into the charms of aimless tweaks and settings. For a complete review of this app, see our post titled FTPDroid – remotely transfer files between Android device & computer.
This app here is a must-have for all those with rooted devices, but on stock ROMs. See, stock ROMs do give you the option to reboot or power off your device, but they lack the advanced power menu that most custom ROMs include these days. However, many of you may not want to move to a custom ROM, and that is exactly why apps like Quickboot exist. It will allow you to reboot your device straight into the bootloader or recovery, thereby removing the need for holding down those button combinations and messing up each time.
The ultimate savior of your battery! Juice Defender is the most tried and tested power management app out there for your Android device, designed to enhance your battery life by managing your phone smartly through schedules, triggers and however you may choose to set the app up. This app will definitely make a visible difference to your device’s battery life.
With Bird Bar, you now have access to your notification panel, even when in a full screen app (such as the Camera and most games). For more on this app, see our post titled Bird Bar – access notification bar within full screen apps.
Download Bird Bar (Free)
Download Bird Bar Premium (Paid)
Ever wished you could play those awesome Tegra Zone games on your non-Tegra Android device? With Chainfire3D, that is now a possibility. The app here plays around with the OpenGL rendering on your device via configurable OpenGL drivers, enabling your device to play all those Tegra based games out there. For more on this app, head over to our guide on how to play Tegra Zone games on non-Tegra rooted Android devices.
Download Chainfire3D (Free)
Download Chainfire3D Pro (Paid)
One of the simplest yet most useful tools on the Market, Battery Calibration is a must-have tool for users who frequently change ROMs and usually don’t have their devices charged to 100% while they do so. This can cause your battery to be misread, giving you a lower than usual battery life. You can correct that manually by fully charging the phone and wiping the battery stats file via a custom recovery, but that is a hassle that most users would want to avoid. With this app, you will be notified when your phone is fully charged, and when it is, just hit the big Battery Calibration button to wipe battery stats. You can also see our guide on how to calibrate battery on Android devices with Battery Calibration.
SD Maid – System Cleaning Tool
This small little app here will take care of all the dead files, temporary files, caches, history etc. on your Android device and make sure that your device stays squeaky clean. You can also see our review of the app, titled SD Maid for Android keeps your SD card & internal memory junk-free.
ScreenCast Video Recorder – Free
ScreenCast is way better than ShootMe when it comes to capturing screencasts. The app records your screen in real time and the result is almost as smooth as when you go through the device itself. So if you ever wanted to record your Android screen (while playing games, for e.g.), you can do so via ScreenCast. The Free version only lets you record up to 30 seconds. For more, you’ll have to buy the Pro version.
For more info on this brilliant app, head over to our review of ScreenCast and Recorder.
If you’re a geek at heart, whether you just rooted your Android device or it’s been a while, you would possibly know about ADB and some of it’s basic usage. If you do, this app here will rid you of the need to connect your device via USB in order to execute ADB commands. As the name of the app suggests, you can do all that wirelessly. For more on this app you should see our guide on using ADB wirelessly over Wi-Fi with adbWireless for Android.