Rooting your phone is like giving it superpowers. Basically android phones come with built in restrictions, which you can remove. I always do this so I can use the following best android root apps.

Note: in the EU rooting does not void warranty (link)

  • Adfree to block ads all over my phone (free)
  • Callrecorder to record all my calls and upload then to dropbox ($10)
  • Greenify to kill background apps and save battery (free, $2.99 for premium)
  • Titanium backup to back up all apps and data automatically (free, $5.99 for premium)
  • Wifikill to mess with wifi networks (free, premium available)
  • Tasker for advanced phone customization ($2.99)

Best android root apps

Note that all following apps need your phone to be rooted. If you are not sure if your android is rooted, it is probably not.

If you want to root your phone, try this overview page.

Before you root, note that you are responsible for the results. It’s possible to at least temporarily break your phone. Back everything up, and preferably have a geek friend along.

It’s not rocket science though, and I’ve never broken a phone by rooting.

Adfree root app

On my computer I have an adblocker in my browser. Phones are not so easy, because ads are spread out over the system. They are on websites, they are inside apps and so on.

Adfree is a hosts level ad blocker. Basically this means that your phone will not be capable of opening advertisement links. Meaning that the ads simply can’t load.

It’s made by bigtincan, and not available from the app store.

Callrecorder root app

For some reason people assume call recording is illegal, whereas in a lot of places it is not (if you are a private citizen and not a company).

This app has saved me a bunch of hassle and given a lot of peace of mind. It prevented me from having to take legal action against a lying landlady for example. “No I didn’t say that” conversations suddenly become a lot easier. Proof.mp3 does wonders.

Note that you have to check local law to see if using this app is ok. If it is, it’s very secure. It even has AES encryption available.

Greenify root app

Some apps have the nasty habit that they keep running after you click them away. For some this makes sense, whatsapp for example. For others it doesn’t.

Greenify tells you which apps may be sucking power out of your phone in the background and offers to automatically ‘greenify’ them. This increases speed and battery life.

Titanium backup root app

This app is a classic in the rooted phone world. It is super powerful. Basically what it does is back your apps up, including the data in them. I configured mine to:

  • Make a backup at 02:00 every day
  • Encrypt my backups
  • Upload the backups to dropbox

That way even if my phone is stolen/destroyed I can restore all my apps and their settings in 1 go. It saved my life in the case of second factor authentication apps for example.

Wifikill root app

I found this one out of frustration. For a while I lived in a house where the internet router was a bit unstable. That means that if a housemate left their laptop home to let it download a movie, I could get zero work done.

With wifikill I simply open the app, and knock their laptop off of the wifi. I don’t even need to be the administrator of the network.

Note that you should probably not do this on networks that are not yours without permission.

Tasker root app

I like my devices customized to my preferences. Usually my desires go beyond standard android functionality.

Tasker works on a Trigger > action, Trigger gone > other action basis. For example:

  • Flipping my phone enables airplane mode and slows down the processor
    • Picking it up again puts everything back to normal
  • Switching off the screen greenifies all apps and slows the processor a little
  • Connecting to an unsecured network triggers a secure VPN connection

You can do pretty much anything, these are just some examples I like to use. Another fun one would be to automatically text your SO when your battery is at 5%.

13 Comments

  • Couple o’more apps that require root permissions worth checking out:

    AdAway: Combines more lists than AdFree for better protection, includes a rudimentary adware scanner and allow you blacklist/whitelist domain names or even redirect them to other ip’s (per-domain). Much more flexible than AdFree.
    DriveDroid: Turn your phone into a (bootable) USB drive, mounts ISO/IMG files so you can easily install/run Linux/Windows from your phone or have a recovery system at hand wherever you go.
    MiXplorer: Best and most versatile file manager for Android I’ve ever encountered. Supports all major cloud storage services and includes pretty much every little feature you can think of. Great text editor with syntax highlighting and direct execution of shell script files.
    MyAndroidTools: Rather low-level shite and could break an app, but it does allow you to disable all elements of an app you don’t need. Great for both privacy and performance.
    SD Maid: Thorough clean-up of both SD Card and other storage, removing pretty much every single file the Android system or (old) apps leave behind on your phone.
    Online Nandroid Backup: Create a full system (nandroid) backup of boot/system/data/apps without having to go into recovery mode.

  • Interesting!
    At first I wasnt very convinced by the Titanium backup, but then I saw the note on Authentication apps. I recently lost the keys due to a reset on the phone and it was a nightmare, so I should add that app to my list.
    Any interesting no-root-required apps? Just switched to Android from Windows Phone and I’m still discovering the app universe.

    • Hello Martin,

      Yup, I considered doing an article on it too. For now, check these:
      Camscanner (use a photo to create document scans, it autocrops etc)
      Flipboard for new reading
      Pzizz for relaxation recordings
      Router keygen (reverse engineer some wifi passwords, check local law)
      Swiftkey keyboard (good keyboard at prediction, and more important for me: multiple languages at once)
      TED for daily mind blowing videos
      Unified remote to control your computer (read: too lazy to get up when streaming movies)
      Wifi analyzer to check what channel is most efficient for your router

      Have fun in the androidverse!

      • I “even” bought SwiftKey some years ago (it’s completely free, or “freemium”, now) but it’s simply too slow. I switched to TouchPal X, which has nice little features you’re sooo gonna miss when they’re gone, like a special edit screen, three keyboard layouts, swipe-left-over-backspace-to-remove-word and multi-language input, too (though SwiftKey outclassed it there last time I checked).

        No-root apps I like:
        Gnotes: If you’re using Gmail, store your notes under the “Notes” label with this and be able to search through all your mail and notes in one go.
        BlitzMail: Allows you to set up your email account once and then use it to share anything, or write quick notes to an address of your choice. No more read-it-later kind of service necessary, everything centralized.
        Simple Pomodoro: Although no longer in development, imho the best Pomodoro timer available.
        DroidSeries (2015 Reboot): My first go at programming for Android was to further develop a nice ‘n functional app for those who like to “binge-watch” television series. Free and open source.
        ArmAmp: Without a doubt the best thought-out and feature rich music player available. May be a tad overwhelming at first. Free for XDA members: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2173253
        Facebook Lite: Just came out last week, originally intended for developing countries (i.e. those places without a broadband connection), a lite version of the Facebook app that is actually fast for a change and – more importantly – doesn’t hog all your phone’s resources.
        Smart Task Launcher: This may not be the best looking alternative, but it sure as hell is the most feature rich and light one. Swipe along or from an edge to the inside of your screen and find all your favorite apps or key commands in one place, from within whatever app you’re running.

  • Great post and really after reading your post, I also agreed that APPS is not hard. Now I am following all the tips that you mentioned and thinking to get better results for my site. Thanks for sharing.

  • I’m curious to find out what blog system you are utilizing? I’m having some minor security problems with my latest website and I would like to find something more safe. Do you have any suggestions?

  • Hi… This information is very useful for those who use android mobiles. But i need a app which avoid to hang the phone for using..?? if is it possible pls ur idea. thank you…

  • Enjoyed reading the article above , really explains everything in detail,the article is very interesting and effective.Thank you and good luck for the upcoming articles

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