17 Must Have Rooted Android Apps To Get Whatever You Want

In the never-ending Android vs iOS debate, those in Google’s camp frequently like to brag about Android’s customization abilities. However, while standard Android devices do offer the ability to customize the OS to some extent, there are some things that cannot be changed. Fortunately, rooting your Android device clears any restrictions that app developers might encounter and, as a result, leads the way towards many possibility.

What follows is a list of the top 17 Android apps that either work on rooted devices only or require root access for their most interesting features. Please bear in mind that these apps are arranged in no particular order, as they cater to different aspects of the Android experience.

1. Titanium Backup – Free and Paid [$5.91]

Titanium Backup

Best backup app for Android

1.a Free Version

Given that Android devices store lots of sensitive information, the only way to make sure that your data doesn’t get lost along with your device is to install a backup app. Out of the myriad of backup apps for Android, Titanium Backup (an app that works only on rooted devices) is definitely the most feature rich.

These are the features available to you in the free version of Titanium Backup:

  • Backup Apps (with data and Market links)
  • Move app to SD card

Notable Feature: Backup data on the SD card

Downloads: 10,000,000 – 50,000,000


Android Version: 1.5 and up

Size: 6.2M

Price: Free

Download on Google Play

1.b Paid Version [$5.91]

The paid version of Titanium Backup brings the heavy artillery.

Some of the features available in the paid version of Titanium backup include:

  • Flexible backup schedules
  • Backup SMS, MMS, calls, bookmarks and Wi-Fi data
  • Freeze apps

Notable Feature: Sync to Dropbox/Google Drive/Box

Downloads: 500,000 – 1,000,000

Android Version: 1.5 and up

Size: 36k

Price: $5.91

Download on Google Play


2. Greenify – Free

Greenify

Place unneeded apps in hibernation

One of the disadvantages of installing a large number of apps on your Android device is that some keep running in the background and consume system resources although they are not in use. To regain full control over your device, install Greenify, an app that can put other apps in hibernation when you’re not using them.

You’ll have to “Greenify” each app individually, but fortunately, Greenify recommends some apps for hibernation based on the information it gathers from other users. Just remember not to Greenify alarm clocks and other apps that should run in the background at all times.

Here are the features that Greenify brings to the table:

  • Identifies misbehaving apps
  • Shows individual apps for evaluation

Notable Feature: Places misbehaving apps in “hibernation” mode

Downloads: 1,000,000 – 5,000,000

Android Version: 3.1 and up

Size: 756k

Price: Free

Download on Google Play


3. GMD Gesture Control – Free and Paid [$5.33]

GMD Gesture Control

Operate via gestures

3.a Free Version

Most of today’s Android devices support multiple-finger multi-touch, although it seems like only a few apps take advantage of this function. With GMD Gesture Control you can put your fingers to full use by drawing gestures to launch apps, cycle between running apps, go back, forward and so on. This is an app that works best on a tablet. While smartphone gestures do exist, they are not as effective as the pre-defined tablet gestures.

These are features available in the free version of GMD Gesture Control:

  • Predefined gestures
  • Cycle between apps and move around quickly

Notable Feature: Operate your Android device via gestures

Downloads: 100,000 – 500,000

Android Version: 3.1 and up

Size: 1.8 MB

Price: Free

Download on Google Play

3.b Paid Version [$5.33]

The paid version incorporates several new features that are helpful for most users. If you are willing to shell out $5.33 it may be worth it.

These are the features that are available only to paid users:

  • Unlimited gestures
  • Can hide the status bar

Notable Feature: User-defined gestures

Downloads: 10,000 – 50,000

Android Version: 3.1 and up

Size: 1.8 MB

Price: $5.33

Download on Google Play


4. Tasker – Paid [$3.87]

Tasker Android

Automate your device

Although all apps included in this list have unique functionalities, automation app Tasker plays in a league of its own. With Tasker you can teach your Android device to perform a certain action when an event is detected. For instance, you can teach your device to open your media player app when you insert the headphone jack, or you can teach our device to go into silent mode when you enter your office building.

These are the features presented by Tasker:

  • Detects events and launches tasks
  • Create custom tasks or choose from templates

Notable Feature: Create automation apps that you can sell on Google Play

Downloads: 100,000 – 500,000

Android Version: Varies with device

Size: Varies with device

Price: $3.87

 

Download on Google Play


5. ROM Manager – Free and Paid [$5.99]

ROM Manager

Centralized ROM manager hub

5.a Free Version

If you’re the type of Android user that constantly switches between ROMs, then ROM manager is likely the most important app in this list.

These are the features available in the free version of ROM Manger:

  • Flashes ClockWorkMod Recovery (mandatory)
  • Browse for ROMs
  • Backup/Restore system

Notable Feature: Install ROMs from SD card or Internet

Downloads: 10,000,000 – 50,000,000

Android Version: 2.2 and up

Size: 3.6M

Price: Free

Download on Google Play

5.b Paid Version [$5.99]

The paid version of ROM Manager brings a number of improvements over the paid version.

New features include:

  • Updated ROM notifications
  • Automatic backups
  • Can transfer backups as flashable zip

Notable Feature: Premium ROMs

Downloads: 100,000 – 500,000

Android Version: 2.2 and up

Size: 42k

Price: $5.99
Download on Google Play


6. SuperSU – Free

Super SU

Grant SU permissions

If you have a rooted phone, you’re obviously looking forward towards installing apps that require root access. With Superuser, you can grant root access only to the apps of your choosing.

Although there are multiple Superuser apps to choose from in the Play Store, SuperSU comes with a number of advantages such as:

  • Per-app configuration
  • Temporary/complete unroot

Notable Feature: Deep process detection

Downloads: 10,000,000 – 50,000,000

Android Version: 2.1 and up

Size: 2.1M

Price: Free

Download on Google Play


7. DiskDigger – Free and Paid [$2.99]

Disk Digger

Recover deleted files

7.a Free version

If you ever format your SD card before backing up your files, DiskDigger is an Android app that can help you retrieve the lost files.

The free version comes with the following features:

  • Can only recover JPG and PNG images
  • Retrieves other files such as video and documents

Notable Feature: Can restore the images or send them via email

Downloads: 500,000 – 1,000,000

Android Version: 2.2 and up

Size: 631k

Price: Free

Download on Google Play

7.b Paid Version [$2.99]

The paid app is pretty similar to the free one, except it incorporates FTP and restores a wide selection of files.

The paid version unlocks the full functionality of this app by offering the following features:

  • Can upload files via FTP

Notable Feature: Restores music, documents, apk files, etc

Downloads: 1,000 – 5,000

Android Version: 2.2 and up

Size: 631k

Price: $2.99

Download on Google Play


8. DataSync – Free and Paid [$2.58]

Data Sync

Sync app data between devices

8.a Free Version

If you own and use multiple Android devices, chances are you might want to sync data (and files) between your devices. For instance, you might want to be able to continue your Angry Birds game on your tablet from the exact same place that you left off on your smartphone. DataSync is an app that can sync multiple devices over Wi-Fi.

These are the features available with the free version of DataSync:

  • Two-way syncing

Notable Feature: Can sync to the cloud (via Drive, Dropbox, Box and FTP)

Downloads: 10,000 – 50,000

Android Version: 2.3 and up

Size: 2.0M

Price: Free

Download on Google Play

8.b Paid Version [$2.58]

If you’re serious about syncing your devices, you might want to pay for the full version of DataSync.

These are the features you’ll get in return for your money:

  • Can sync over Bluetooth + NFC
  • Scheduled syncs

Notable Feature: Syncs apps as you close them (real-time)

Downloads: 5,000 – 10,000

Android Version: 2.2 and up

Size: 76k

Price: $2.58

Download on Google Play


9. Root Call Blocker – Free and Paid [$3.48]

Root Call Blocker

Block unwanted calls and messages

9.a Free Version

If you want to block spammy phone numbers from calling you or texting you, or you want to block unknown/restricted callers, then Root Call Blocker is the app you need.

The free version of Root Call Blocker comes with the following features:

  • Blocks incoming calls at a system level
  • Block calls by countries or area code

Notable Feature: Can reject all private numbers

Downloads: 100,000 – 500,000

Android Version: 2.3 and up

Size: 4.1M

Price: Free

Download on Google Play

9.b Paid Version [$3.48]

The Pro version of Root Call Blocker will remove the restrictions that are applied to the free version, namely the lack of scheduling options (with the pro version you can set schedules during which certain phone numbers will be blocked) and the 5 items per list limitation.

Downloads: 10,000 – 50,000

Android Version: 2.3 and up

Size: 4.1M

Price: $3.48

Download on Google Play


10. DroidWall Android Firewall – Free

DroidWall

Restrict data transfer access

If you’re on a tight data plan, chances are you might want to restrict certain apps from transferring information over your 3G/4G connection. Additionally, you might want to block some apps altogether from downloading or uploading information from the internet. To manage this issue, we advise that you download and use DroidWall a free Android firewall that works only on rooted devices.

These are the notable features of DroidWall:

  • Black List (block connections on a per-app basis)
  • White List (allow connections on a per-app basis)
  • Log section shows all data transfers

Notable Feature: Restricts app access to the Internet connection

Downloads: 1,000,000 – 5,000,000

Android Version: 1.5 and up

Size: 311k

Price: Free

Download on Google Play


11. Android Tuner – Free and Paid [$7.75]

Android Tuner

Manage system resources

11.a Free Version

One of the perks of rooting your Android device is that you can use various apps that tweak your device’s parameters. If you’re serious (and knowledgeable) about tweaking your RAM, CPU and other system resources, Android Tuner is a must-have app. As the author notes, this app brings together features from 20+ popular system tuning apps in a centralized interface.

These are the features offered by Android Tuner in its free version:

  • File explorer
  • App manager
  • Network manager
  • Task manager
  • System monitoring

Notable Feature: Device manager (tweak CPU, RAM, etc)

Downloads: 100,000 – 500,000

Android Version: 2.1 and up

Size: 8.7M

Price: Free

Download on Google Play

11.b Paid Version [$7.75]

The paid version of Android Tuner is used more for developer-supporting purposes, as all it really does when compared to the free version is remove the ads and bring a few configurable widgets. If you appreciate this developer’s work and can afford to support him, pay for the pro version.

Downloads: 10,000 – 50,000

Android Version: 2.1 and up

Size: 8.7M

Price: $7.75

Download on Google Play


12. WiFi Tethering – Free

WiFi Tethering

Share your data connection over WiFi

For situations when you might want to share the data connection (3G/4G) of one device with other devices (Windows PCs, Macs, or even other Android devices) over WiFi, you’ll need to install a WiFi tethering app. There are plenty of apps available in the Play Store that can achieve this task, but if you have a rooted device, we recommend that you choose WiFi Tethering, a free but versatile app.

These are the features that WiFi Tethering comes with:

  • WiFi Tethering with WiFi encryption
  • Adjustable WiFi bands

Notable Feature: Adjustable WiFi signal power

Downloads: 1,000,000 – 5,000,000

Android Version: 2.0 and up

Size: 1.0M

Price: Free

Download on Google Play


13. NoBloat – Free and Paid [$1.93]

NoBloat

Remove bloatware from your device

13.a Free Version

If you’re bothered that the manufacturer of your (rooted) Android device has included too many apps that you don’t need or use (bloatware), you might want to install NoBloat, a small app that can disable or delete all the apps embedded in your Android version.

These are the features that the free version of NoBloat has to offer:

  • Can delete system apps
  • Can back up and restore system apps

Notable Feature: Disables or enables system apps

Downloads: 100,000 – 500,000

Android Version: 1.6 and up

Size: 157k

Price: Free

Download on Google Play

13.b Paid Version [$1.93]

If you find NoBloat useful but are looking for a bit more functionality, you might want to purchase the paid version of the app, one that brings the following extra features:

  • Search functionality
  • Export settings and blacklists to SD card

Notable Feature: Batch operations

Downloads: 1,000 – 5,000

Android Version: 1.6 and up

Size: 168k

Price: $1.93

Download on Google Play


14. RoundR – Free

RoundR

Round up the corners of the UI

Although most apps in this list cater to functional elements, RoundR is a free app for rooted Android devices that focuses on the visual side of things. In essence, all RoundR rounds the corners of the Android UI. It’s much better suited for tablets than smartphones in our opinion, but it’s up to you to decide how you want to use the app.

These are the features that RoundR brings to the table:

  • Custom corner radius and transparency
  • App blacklist

Notable Feature: Rounded UI corners

Downloads: 100,000 – 500,000

Android Version: 2.1 and up

Size: 927k

Price: Free

Download on Google Play


15. Cerberus – Paid [$4.10] (Free Trial Available)

Cerberus

Complete anti-theft solution

If you store sensitive information on your Android device, chances are that you’ll want to protect that data in case of device theft/loss. In our eyes, Cerberus is the best anti-theft app available in the Google Play Store, especially since it can be hidden from the app drawer (this way the thief does not know that the app is installed and will not uninstall it).

Below are some Cerberus features:

  • Remote wipe
  • Can retrieve a list of the most recent calls
  • Can record audio from the microphone
  • Password protection

Notable Feature: Can locate and track your device

Downloads: 1,000,000 – 5,000,000

Android Version: 2.2 and up

Size: 1.1M

Price: $4.10

Download on Google Play


16. SD Maid – Free and Paid [$2.27]

SD Maid

Clean up your SD card

16.a Free Version

One of the problems with Android is that although most apps uninstall well, some apps leave data behind that is not needed anymore. The purpose of SD Maid is to delete any data that is not needed anymore or left there by apps with buggy uninstall sequences. Unfortunately the free version does not scan and find the files that are not needed anymore.

These are the features of SD Maid:

  • Cannot delete files in free version
  • Can freeze or remove system apps
  • Full-fledged file explorer

Notable Feature: Searches for data that is not needed anymore

Downloads: 1,000,000 – 5,000,000

Android Version: Varies with device

Size: Varies with device

Price: Free

Download on Google Play16.b Paid Version [$2.27]

The paid version of SD Maid unlocks the full potential of the app by allowing users to delete unnecessary files, not just find duplicates and “App Corpses”.

Downloads: 1,000,000 – 5,000,000

Android Version: Varies with device

Size: Varies with device

Price: $2.27

Download on Google Play


17. ES File Explorer – Free

ES File Explorer

Complete file explorer

Out of the numerous root file explorers out there, ES File Explorer stands out the most as being the most feature-rich file explorer in general. There’s no sense in having to use one file explorer for regular folders and another for root exploring, so go ahead and install ES File Explorer as your primary file explorer for Android.

These are the most notable features that ES File Explorer has to offer:

  • File manager
  • App manager
  • Remote explorer
  • Cloud file exploring

Notable Feature: Root explorer (can also change permissions)

Downloads: 10,000,000 – 50,000,000

Android Version: Varies with device

Size: Varies with device

Price: Free

Download on Google Play


Conclusion

As you’ve probably figured out after learning what root-only apps can do, rooting your Android device unlocks very useful features that would otherwise be out of reach. From backing up your data with Titanium Backup to tweaking your CPU clock with Android Tuner, the possibilities are virtually endless and ultimately depend on the developer’s skills and willingness.

As the Android – developers duo continues to progress, it is very likely that root-only apps will continue to populate the Play Store with more and better features. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or suggestions on this list.

 

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