This post lists interesting functionalities that require a rooted Android device to run, and apps that implement them
Unlocking the phone
This is maybe one of the main reasons to root an android phone. Operators offer phones for free ot at a low price, but these phones are locked to the operator and have to be unlocked to be used with other operators. The procedures to unlock an android phone are specific for each brand and model of device, but they all have in common that the phone has to be rooted previously. We have already written in this blog some posts on how to unlock specific models of Samsung devices:
Root File Explorers
A Root File Explorer gives the user the possibility to mount
/system/ read-write. This allows to remove apps pre-installed by the carrier that are not being used, freeing valuable space in the devices’s internal storage. Root File Explorers give also the opportunity to inspect other protected directories such as
/data/. Root File Explorers commonly used are:
- Root Explorer
- ES File Explorer
- Super Manager – this is a combo app with many features, including also a Root File Explorer
Use the phone to connect a computer to internet (Tethering).
Many devices, such as most models of Samsung Galaxy, already provide this functionality without having to root them first. But it could happen that the carrier charges for it. Apps to enable tethering:
The post in this same blog on How to use a Samsung Galaxy smartphone as an USB modem gives also the details on the procedure to follow.
Devices with Android versions earlier than 4.0-Ice Cream Sandwich, need to be rooted to be able to take a screenshot as an image file ( .jpg or .png) Apps to take screenshots:
- Titanium Backup – Makes a backup copy of all applications and data. It also permits to uninstall apps, integrate app updates in the ROM to save space, etc.
- ClockworkMod Recovery – With CWM Recovery a full backup (nandroid backup) of the device can be made. CMW is also tipically used to install alternative ROMs and other advanced tasks.
Application and Network Control
- AdFree – Removes ads from apps and from the browser, by editing the “hosts” file.
- Droid Wall – Firewall to forbid internet access to certain apps
- Orbot – Tor app
- Cache Mate – Clean the cache memory of all apps.
- Droid VNC Server – Connect a computer to the android device using VNC (Virtual Network Computing)
- LBE Privacy Guard – Deny specific permissions to apps.
- Bloatfreezer – Freeze or uninstall apps.
- Link2SD – Move apps from the internal storage to the SD card. (See in this blog the post about How to move apps to the SD card of an android device)
- Button Savior – Add on-screen buttons to replace non-functional physical buttons.
- ClockSync – Synchronize the device time with a set of predefined atomic clocks.
“USB On The Go”
- StickMount – Auto-mount USB flash drives, keyboard and mouse connected to the device with a USB OTG cable.
- SetCPU – Control the speed of the device’s processor. The processor clock speed can be reduced under certain conditions, for instance when the screen is switched off. This increases significatively battery life without affecting performance when the device is in use. It is also possible to improve the performance by overclocking (increasing the speed of the processor clock)
- Overclock Widget – Similar a SetCPU but less functional
ChevyNo1 provides a popular set of “low voltage” and “ultra-low voltage” android kernels.
Advanced and miscellanea
- ROM Manager – ROM Manager allows the installation of ClockworkMod Recovery that in turn allows the installation of alternative kernels, performing full (nandroid) backups of the device, and other advanced tasks.
You can also check “Where can I find stock or custom ROMs for my device” and the XDA forums to look for other alternative ROMs.