27
Apr
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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

This is the third iteration in our 'Top Android Apps Every Rooted User Should Know About' series. Click here for part one or here for part two.

It's that time again - we've spent the last few months scouring the Android Market, and now we're ready to report back with nine more great root apps. There are a lot of good ones in this edition - read on for some of the best reasons to root your Android handset!

marketenablerMarketEnabler

One of the most frequent excuses for piracy has to be "The app isn't available in my country" or "Google doesn't allow paid apps where I live." No longer!

ss-0-320-480-160-1-ed95977950e02274c58e1e1614c7005fd497bb18 ss-1-320-480-160-1-51aba69824b41a9654739c433b2134f70a6d335a

MarketEnabler makes your Android phone believe it's on another carrier - perhaps even one in another country. For example, a Swede could use this app to access Google Books, which is, by official terms, available exclusively in the US. Neato, right? If it's up your alley, you can grab it using the QR code or the Market/AppBrain links below.

sambaSamba Filesharing

Hate wires? Who doesn't? This is 2011, after all.

Well if you answered the affirmative to that question, funkyFresh might just have the app for you: it's called "Samba Filesharing," and it allows users to access their Android device(s) over WiFi as a Windows shared folder.

ss-0-320-480-160-0-5103526683c39a1dc8383b3b6a276786433e9105 ss-1-320-480-160-0-6b0a6a632843bd1f9f2e7a50f66411e4ca1edb68

With this free app, you can wirelessly copy files to/from your Android device via the same drag-and-drop interface you use when your handset is plugged into your computer with a standard USB cable. Even security freaks have a reason to celebrate - Samba offers customizable username and password options in addition to letting users choose a Windows workgroup name and a device network (NETBIOS) name. It's free, so be sure to give it a download - you know where to find the QR code and Market/AppBrain links.       

hi-256-1-c8c36fbd452c23e26d4b64052a7244afe473118cSD Maid

It's bound to happen sooner or later - the puny SD card your phone came with has run out of space. What can you do? "Delete the unnecessary files on it" would likely be the most ubiquitous answer, but with SD Maid, you'll be able to free up space on that sucker without having to get rid of your digital belongings.

ss-0-320-480-160-1-0f2744ce85171dbbdbe47eb20da2a2a883299938 ss-1-320-480-160-1-87972b624a69f1a1c966e471124d4ee81e28fbb9 ss-2-320-480-160-0-cf87d7b631db99435bba5feb6bbf503036c4548d

SD Maid frees up space on your phone's SD card by cleansing it of "corpses in the basement," or unnecessary data left behind by apps no longer installed on your device. It works with all Androids currently on the market, though the process is a bit different for Samsung handsets, hence the "Samsung" tab. Read our thorough write-up to get the full scoop or proceed to download it using the means provided below. 

autokillerAutoKiller Memory Optimizer

Slow performance can be enough to cause even the most patient of Google fanboys to throw their handset against the wall, but as any self-respecting Android nerd will tell you, most task killers have serious issues of their own.

autokiller 1 autokiller 2 ss-2-320-480-160-1-98efb94f99971742215105583e77d7bbd66d2b93

Enter AutoKiller Memory Optimizer, a task killer unique in its ability to tweak Android's inner memory manager. With it, users can allocate custom amounts of RAM to different app states (i.e. foreground, visible, hidden, etc.). In addition to this and the ability to kill processes, AutoKiller offers the same functionality buried deep in Google's own Settings app: annihilating services. 

Donators are also able to choose alternate presets, enter Chuck Norris mode, and enjoy an ad-free experience.

Have at it via the QR code or the Market/AppBrain links below.

zmoothzMooth root

In the same vein as Button Savior, zMooth aims to reduce your dependence on your Android device's hardware buttons (home, menu, back, and search). Unlike Kiumiu.CA's offering, however, zMooth relies on webOS-like gestures rather than clunky virtual buttons.

zmooth 1 zmooth 2 zmooth 3

To access zMooth, users can start by simply pulling up a blue (by default) bar from the bottom of the screen. To go back, they can swipe left; swiping right is equivalent to pressing the Menu button; and drawing an "up-arrow" (see the last screenshot) will return them to the homescreen.

The $1.19 pro version adds the ability to change the gesture area's width and colors as well as a "lightning strike" gesture for powering the device on/off.

But why would you bother learning these gestures when you could simply give one of the aforementioned hard keys a tap? SimpleMobDev, zMooth's developer, makes an argument we've heard before: physical buttons wear out over time (though the jury is still out on the veracity of this claim), and on devices with backlit keys, this app might even improve battery life, as the circuits and lights won't constantly be turning on and off. Test it out for yourself by scanning one of the two QR codes below (or simply clicking one of the links).

lcddensityLCDDensity

Changing the LCD density of an Android device used to entail digging around in hidden directories and changing properties in secret files. Today, however, downloading the free LCDDensity app is all that's necessary.

snap20110425_125907 lcddensity 1 lcddensity 2

Using the app is child's play - simply adjust the slider or click on one of the big rectangular buttons to alter the density, then click 'Apply' to restart your device and see the changes in effect. Of course, the smaller the font, the harder it is to press onscreen objects; the larger the font, the more screen space goes to waste. The choice begins with the QR code and the Market/AppBrain links below.

keyboard managerKeyboard Manager

When it comes to landscape keyboards, it'd be hard to top what HTC has going with Sense UI. If it's portrait input you're after, however, Swype is the cream of the crop. So how can you decide? Should you manually change your input method each and every time you switch orientations, or type exclusively in one position? As it turns out, you won't have to partake in either of those practices; downloading Keyboard Manager will suffice.

kb manager kb manager 2

The app's premise is simple: allow consumers to use one keyboard in portrait mode and another when they turn their phone on its side. Execution is good too, as evidenced by all the positive feedback in the Market.

Indeed, just about the only caveat is that several users have reported installation issues on the ATRIX - follow these instructions should you experience such problems.

As always, the QR code and the Market/AppBrain links follow.

dmesgLive dmesg boot ani and live logcat boot ani

While this pair of shenanigans aren't about to win any awards for practicality, they're fun apps to have nonetheless - what Linux nerd could say no to being shown the real dmesg (kernel debug) or logcat (Android debug) log every time his/her device boots up?

Even at the "price of one beer" (developer's words), the duo manages to stand out from the crowd - they're no pre-recorded BIOS simulation; rather, they're live representations of the code that makes your handset tick. Better yet, the two apps integrate with each other quite well - if you have both installed, you can choose to run either one or the other at boot, or even run them side-by-side in split-screen mode. "Ubergeeky"? You bet - for evidence of that, look no further than the QR codes and Market/AppBrain links below.

What About You?

When all is said and done, Android developers have given us countless reasons to root our devices. Needless to say, the apps listed above are just a few of them, and we can't wait to be enlightened with more - you know where to find the comments.

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.

  • Harold Goldner

    One of the most important apps for me to use has been Not Enough Space which allows me to move memory hogging apps out of the \data\data partition, which is limited to 150 megabytes, and which, when only 10% is still free, produces a crippling "low application memory" message on the HTC Incredible when running a Sense ROM.

    Has singlehandedly fixed the one thing that ultimately required that I root my Incredible.

    • E Dubbz

      Where can I find this app "Not Enough Space" I've looked around to no avail. I know it can be done manually but it would be nice to have an app that could do it. Thanks!

      • L boogie

        check appbrain or the android market, it's there, I got it and to Harold's comment, I agree with you infinitely on that ever- annoying bug.

  • http://www.skippyweb.nl skippengs

    hey, i cannot get this MarketEnabler to work.

    i live in holland, and i have tryed both US ones and with both amazon says "no go".

    whatdo? i want them free apps

    • danijel

      You must longpress on a carrier and then apply it and grant root access. Afterwards simply open Market and you will see apps you can buy.

      • http://www.skippyweb.nl skippengs

        i did, i did both US.
        none of them works. got any for the amazon appstore to make it work?

  • Edwin

    Ah, where is Titanium Backup?

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

      In part 1...

  • Flavor88

    Man... i was rooted with my MT3g Slide, since froyo came out i thought to go back (since i liked Htc sense and what comes with it). Now just for Market Enabler i think i will root again.
    Well thnx again for putting this up (looking for best/worst apps my fav post)

  • jim

    Alt to Samba Filesharing app is AndSMB. AndSMB is a SMB (Samba/CIFS) client for Android devices. Root isn't needed. Use this almost as much as i use AndFTP

    • Cyklone

      Dumbass, AndSMB is client only. Samba Filesharing is server running on device so it's accessible over the network like a windows share.

  • Joel

    Possible stupid question. Would I be able to get the Amazon app of the day using MarketEnabler on my UK based droid?

  • idan

    can someone leave without setcpu?!?!?!

    read all three posts, and didn't saw it.

    i love it, and it saves batary. a lot of it.

  • Joe

    It doesn't work for the Amazon Appstore. For that, you need an amazon account that uses a US billing address.

  • Jordan

    Love these posts thanks!

    You recommend AutoKiller Memory Optimizer in this post. But in another older post "Rooting Explained + Top 5 Benefits" you guys recommend Auto Memory Manager by Mad Squirrel.

    What have you guys found to be the best app out there for auto-killer apps?

  • http://www.aaandroid.com/ Avi

    Where's CacheMate for Root Users? I'm partial because I developed it but it's been a top root app on the Market for over a year and a half.

    • Trunk Slash

      Yeah...you marketed your app in the first part of this series. I'll give you points for not being a full on shill and admitting it's your app. But I still find it slimy to peddle one's wares in a comment section.

  • RAB

    Awesome and comprehensive rationale for why to root and great tutorial on how to do so. Thanks for the "what do I do once I've rooted" guide to all the applications! As a firs time rooter/non-developer, this guide was everything I needed!

  • vijay

    All types of android apps available in following blog spot http://androidapplications2011.blogspot.com/

  • Tee

    Unless there will be Part IV coming, at least apps like Voodoo Control, AppList Backup, Battery Calibration, Darky Rom App and Total Commander are still missing...

  • Robert Htc Evo3D

    Hey I have a Rooted Htc Evo 3D... Where can I find an app that lets me personalize my home sceen and all my phone... And one tha lets.me get.any app for free... Like for example Cydia and installous in an Iphone... Pliiisss Help...

  • hen918

    Try Blackmart much like Cydia!

  • http://www. viji

    All types New and Updated All Version Android Applications Are available In Following site http://androidapplications2011.blogspot.com/ Hurry up.

  • Curster

    Nothing much new here but love the info on obtaining new apps from places like blackmail. Try Androvation over 3000 hacked and banned apps. As an appaholic I'm constantly looking for the coolest apps like the banned text bomber which I found two of. Good luck on your app search.

  • fonseca898

    Nice list of apps, I'll be trying SD Maid as it's new to me, and I go through lots of apps.

    KB Manager is one of my favorites. Swype in portriat and Thumb KB in split landscape mode is a winning combo.