Last Updated: July 24th, 2011


About half a year ago, my friend and colleague David Ruddock posted an article showcasing his eight favorite root-only apps.

Many of you read it, enjoyed it, and found the information contained within quite helpful, so we've decided to make it an Android Police series.

Part deux begins right now.


Love the geeky freedom of connecting your computer to your Android device via ADB but wish it could all be done wirelessly? adbWireless does exactly what its name implies, all without the need for a USB cable.

adbWireless screen (4) ADBwireless screen 2

There really isn't much more to say here - as you can see from the screenshots above, the app is, quite literally, a big red button that you can push to enable/disable wireless ADB connection. There's also a widget for those times when you're too lazy to fire up the full application. Simple, but, without a doubt, really awesome (and 100% free). Go check it out using the QR code or the AppBrain link below.

Cost: FREE

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=siir.es.adbWireless

AppBrain Link

Move2SD EnablerMove2SD Enabler

Here's a Froyo feature that's off to an even slower start than Google TV: moving apps to the SD card. While it seemed very exciting when Vic Gundotra demoed it at I/O 2010, the truth of the matter is that it won't really be useful until it is widely adopted by developers, which has yet to happen.

Move2SD screen (4) Move2SD screen (2)

Enter Move2SD Enabler, which allows users to move any app to the SD card. Like adbWireless, it's as simple as pressing a button - simply download and install the app, select "External" instead of "Auto" (which is checked by default), and click "Apply." From this point on, any app you visit in the "Applications" section of "Settings" should have a "Move to SD" option - very handy indeed. If you're rocking Android 2.2 or above, there's really no reason not to download this app (especially since it's free), so hit up the AppBrain link or the barcode below to do so.

Cost: FREE

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.leinardi.setinstalllocation

AppBrain Link

Market Autoupdate Bulk ToggleMarket Autoupdate Bulk Toggle

Another simple yet incredibly useful root-only app: Market Autoupdate Bulk Toggle. This time around, we have an app that takes the Market's auto-update feature to a whole new level:

 snap20101228_202046 snap20101228_202059 

Pressing "Autoupdate On" does exactly what you'd expect: it turns on auto-update for all of your installed apps. That's it - you'll never have to confront that pesky "Allow automatic updating" option in the Market again. The only caveat is that the program only enables automatic updates for apps that are already installed and won't apply to those installed in the future - for those, you'll have to rerun Market Autoupdate Bulk Toggle and press "Autoupdate On" again. Unsurprisingly, you'll still have to push the "Update" button yourself when an app receives a manual update (which only happens when its permissions change - not a frequent occurrence). And one more thing: it's completely free. Check it out using the QR code or the AppBrain link below.

Cost: FREE

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.idlesoft.android.marketAutoupdateBulkToggle

AppBrain Link

LEDs HackLEDs Hack

Tired of having your bedroom turn into a planetarium each and every time you get an email? Wish you could disable your Android device's LED/trackball notification system?

LEDs Hack (screen 1) LEDs Hack (screen 2)

LEDs Hack will get the job done, and it'll do it well. Sure, it might be a tad simplistic - after all, its job description only covers disabling LEDs - but it's free, and who doesn't love simplicity?

Cost: FREE

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.geekherd.softbuttonshack

AppBrain Link

Theft AwareTheft Aware

Theft Aware, while considerably more complex than the other items on the list, is an Android security app unlike any other. With it, you can remotely track your phone if it gets lost or stolen, wipe it, call it and spy on the thief, and do so much more - all without the perp's knowledge.

For more information, hit up Artem's full review; both a QR code and an AppBrain link await you below if you are convinced that Theft Aware is worth £10 (it really is).

Cost: £10

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=at.itagents.ta_setup_mf

AppBrain Link

MyBackup RootMyBackup

If you love backing up your phone's data but wish you back all of it up at once, all for free, MyBackup might just be the perfect app for you.

MyBackup Root (screen 1) MyBackup Root (screen 2)

With it, you can not only back up your apps' data before transferring it between ROMs; you can also schedule backups, back up to your SD card, and back up things you never even thought possible, such as contact info, home screens, and SMS/MMS conversations.

Rerware, LLC offers two versions of the app: a free version with nearly all of the functionality, and a paid version for $4.99. The main difference between the two is that the free edition only allows you to save your backups on your SD card, while the premium version allows placing them on Rerware's servers, although I wouldn't recommend anybody who values their data to use a random online service.

Now if only it could back up to sftp/ftps/scp or anything equally as secure, we'd call it a winner.

Both are just a click (or a scan) away - be sure to check them out using the QR codes/AppBrain links below.

MyBackup Root

Cost: FREE

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rerware.android.MyBackupRoot

AppBrain Link

MyBackup Pro

Cost: $4.99

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rerware.android.MyBackupPro

AppBrain Link

DroidWallDroidWall - Android Firewall

Maybe you signed up for AT&T service after they transitioned away from unlimited data plans... or maybe T-Mobile lured you into their "unlimited" data plan that is throttled after 2 GB... whatever it is, you're now stuck with a limited data plan. Luckily for you, there are a few solutions out there - XDA-Developers member sino8r came up with a good one a couple weeks ago, but unfortunately, it was too complicated for mainstream users.

DroidWall (screen 2) DroidWall (screen 1) 

That's where DroidWall comes in - while it won't free you of your carrier's data throttling, it will make sure apps on your phone don't unnecessarily waste your limited data without your knowledge. The app's main feature is turning off 3G or WiFi access for any application, thus allowing you to restrict which apps can access the network. Of course, in addition to saving bandwidth, DroidWall can be used for security - just lock down a suspicious app to make sure it doesn't try to unnecessarily call home. As an added bonus, a log of what goes on is included, a feature I'm sure the programmers amongst you will appreciate.

Cost: FREE

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.googlecode.droidwall.free

AppBrain Link

Button SaviorButton Savior

If your Android phone doesn't have any hardware keys and forces you to rely on software counterparts, you might want to check out Button Savior.

Button Savior (screen 1) Button Savior (screen 2)

For one, it's probably a lot easier to use than the tiny and hard-to-press "Home"/"Menu" buttons your device's manufacturer has decided to insert into the notification bar. For another, it's actually got quite a few options - in addition to the keys seen in the first screenshot above and the numerous settings displayed in the second screenie, you now get a sixth button which acts as a shortcut to the dialer and the camera.

Button Savior might be worth a look even if your Android phone includes physical buttons - the dev claims they can wear out over time (though many devices now ship with capacitive buttons, and I haven't heard many reports of hardware keys like those on the Droid X wearing out), and several commenters have pointed out that the app is also convenient if you don't feel like reaching over for the hardware button every time you need to press it. Have at it via the QR code or the AppBrain link below.

Cost: FREE

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.smart.swkey

AppBrain Link

Final Words

With all that said, I'd love to hear your thoughts... did we omit your favorite app? Found another gem you'd like to tell us about? Let us know in the comments below.

Jaroslav Stekl
Jaroslav Stekl is a tech enthusiast whose favorite gadgets almost always happen to be the latest Android devices. When he's not writing for Android Police, he's probably hiking, camping, or canoeing. He is also an aspiring coffee aficionado and an avid moviegoer.

  • Yoshi

    Infinity SMS... It takes away the annoying limit of 100 texts per hour... Especially nice for those of us with text bombers

    • Yoshi

      Oh yeah and Keyboard Manager (not in market). It allows you to choose different keyboard for portrait and landscape

    • Matthew

      How do you get infinity sms

  • EDD

    Button Saviour is great for those of us running Android on the HD2 - those buttons were not built for such a hammering! :)

  • Carlos

    Superpower is great for when u turn your screen off it will disable your 3g/4g/wifi connection and any apps you would like dis able while the screen is off. It's in the market too. Super power xda.

  • http://www.arunalakmal.com/ Aruna@Singapore

    AdbWireless is great. That is cool.

  • Alan

    A couple more crackers..

    LCDDensity - Lets you set your screen density giving you more space to work, invaluable but you need good eyesight!

    ClockSync - Sync your clock to online atomic clocks, and have it happen in the background automatically.

    • Scott E

      ClockSync wants full access to your entire phone!! Really??!!

  • http://sebastianapps.com Sebastian

    Hi, I'm the developer of "Seal".
    Seal is another app which makes use of root. It's a security app which protects your apps with a password or pattern - with root it prevents the protected app from executing a single line of code :)


  • http://robert.aitchison.org Robert Aitchison

    404 Titanium Backup no found.

    Seriously, I'm a paid customer of MyBackup but Titanium Backup is an essential app for root users.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      TB is already in part 1.

  • akriverman

    After I rooted my Witstech Wits A81G tablet using z4root, I downloaded the Move2sd enabler app. It worked great. Thanks for the tip and review.

  • Chopper Joe

    MyBackup now comes in two versions, regular and for rooted Android devices (MyBackup Root, duh). Worked just fine on rooted nookColor.

  • http://www.humidorsandmore.com J Kane

    Thanks great list!

  • chris

    yeah that titanium backup app helped me alot...so did the anti theft one...

  • Colosh

    I think Market Enabler for Non-US users is important...

  • Colosh

    I think Market Enabler for Non-US users is important :)

  • http://www.theftaware.com Reinhard Holzner

    Theft Aware now runs a 70% price off promo - check out our website!!

  • Aarju

    Awesome Appsssssssssss.............
    indeed i was in search for a app like adb wireless

  • KevlarGibs

    Market Autoupdate Bulk Toggle is no longer listed on android market. Does anyone know of a similar software?

    • Erik

      You don't want to auto update. The new 3.0 version of Superuser unroots a lot of devices!

  • jon

    Samba file sharing is the bomb. It turns your phone into an smb server and puts your sd card on your desktop when you're on a wifi network.


  • dombo107

    Tasker is an amazing app that allows you to set up profiles and rules based on apps and events or states. It's very functional without root but there are several features unique to rooted devices.

  • VENOM1553

    well i'm new to the whole android scene im in a 3rd world country (jamaica) and customs costs are high way rrobbery so i decided to buy a cheaper model android the milestone a854 and all these tips and apps are proving to be a bit=g help cuz here we dont have have many unlimited data plans or wifi hot spots and alot of these app help me to save battery and money and i have to say I LOVE THIS BLOG!!!! ITS SO INFORMATIVE AND EYE OPENING. THANK YOU ALL INVOLVED IN THE MAKING OF THIS WEBSITE. WELL DONE

  • yore


  • MB

    Theft Aware no longer on Google Play. I scanned QR Code and URL was invalid when I visited it. Someone correct me if I am wrong though.

  • patrick