It's been quite a while since we've delved into the realm of root apps on Android, so let's get to it. If you're rooted and not taking advantage of it, why even bother? The Android development community is ready and waiting to help you master your device.

The apps on this list have been carefully selected as "must-have" apps for root users. Well, what are you waiting for? Read on for eight more great root apps.


InstaWifi enables you to connect and share WiFi networks instantly via an NFC tag, or a QR code. Unlike a lot of the apps on this list, InstaWiFi doesn't require root, but it does make the experience better. Just open the app, and choose the network you want to make a tag for. If you're rooted, the device will pull the network info (like SSID and password) automatically and prepare for the next step.

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NFC-enabled devices can write to any rewritable NFC tag, but you can also generate and print a QR code for your non-NFC friends. If you don't have root access, you have to fill in the network info manually. Tap a new device running InstaWiFi to the NFC tag, and you will magically log it onto the network. Really cool if you're having company over.

[Previous Android Police coverage]

Network Spoofer

Network Spoofer didn't last long in the Google Play Store, but that's one of the great things about Android; Google can't stop the signal. Network Spoofer still exists on Source Forge, and is supported on a number of devices. Root is required for this one, and that's not surprising - it allows you to mess with your friends by redirecting all network traffic via your device.

You can send every web page to a specific site, flip all images, or just pass all network traffic through your phone so you can... have a look. Obviously, this app has malicious potential, so be good, folks. There is also a hefty 99MB download associated with the app.

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The project is alive here:

GMD GestureControl Lite ★ root

GMD GestureControl adds an entirely new kind of device control to your rooted tablet or phone. With this app installed and properly configured, you can use multitouch gestures to control almost anything. Some of the actions you can trigger include:

  • Swipe 4 fingers right - open previous application
  • Swipe 4 fingers left - open next application
  • Expand 4 fingers - LaunchPad (similar to SwypePad, start any application, shortcut or custom action)
  • Pinch 4 fingers - Home gesture
  • Swipe 3 fingers down - Back gesture
  • Swipe 3 fingers up - Bottom recent applications bar
  • Swipe 4 fingers up - Hide/Show status bar (experimental)
  • Custom gestures - create your own gestures to start any application, shortcut or custom action




Setup can be a little tricky – not all devices will be detected properly. A little monkeying with the settings should get most touch sensors in line. The free version has most features included, but the paid app adds the option to hide the notification icon and the ability to create custom gestures.

[Previous Android Police coverage: 1, 2]


Google added data backup APIs to Android way back in Froyo, but most developers don't bother to use them. Even when they do, app data is only synced to new devices. If you're sick of losing all your app settings when moving to a different device, DataSync is what you need. As long as your device is rooted, DataSync lets you share application data with other Android devices.



The app gives you complete control over which apps have their data synced, and which don't. DataSync is intended to work primarily over WiFi, but you can also have your data backed up with Dropbox or Box when you're not on your home network. The pro version of DataSync adds NFC support, Bluetooth syncing, and automatic syncing.

[Previous Android Police coverage: 1, 2, 3]


ADB Toggle is a security tool to automatically disable USB debug mode when you don't need it. No more mucking around in the developer settings for you, rooted user. This app can be used to toggle ADB via a widget, or more interestingly, automatically when you plug your device in or wake it up.

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It also has some reboot features that get you directly into recovery, the bootloader, or just runs a fast reboot. You only need root access so the app can install itself as a system utility. It shouldn't ask for root after that.

[Previous Android Police coverage]


DiskDigger scans your device's memory card or internal storage (after receiving root access) for deleted photos, allowing you to salvage them. This app will work for recently deleted files or even files from a reformatted memory card. Recovered files can be restored to the device, or just emailed to you for safe keeping. Not only is this a pretty cool app, it perfectly illustrates why you should be careful about data security.

It does have limitations, though, mostly because your Android device won't keep deleted files in storage for as long as a desktop system might.

[Previous Android Police coverage]

Loggy by Koush

The Android logcat can be a real lifesaver when you can't figure out why something is crashing or otherwise misbehaving. It's of the most use to developers, but regular users can get some insight as well. Loggy makes it even easier to view and search through your logcat by piping it into your browser.


You'll need root to use Loggy on Jelly Bean devices. This is because the permissions for the logcat changed in 4.1. Now apps can only access their own logs by default. Also, no Internet Explorer support. Did you even need to ask?

[Previous Android Police coverage]

Screen Standby ♯ Root

Ever wish you could turn off your device's screen without putting it to sleep so that YouTube, Pandora, and other apps could continue playing?

What about using your device's video out functionality without leaving the screen on? What you need is Screen Standby for rooted devices. This could be a real battery saver if you don't have access to a power outlet while mirroring your device onto a larger display or streaming media.

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Screen Standby has a ton of settings, and it should work on all devices. There are home screen widgets that can be used to activate the screen-off mode, but you can also just shut off the backlight. If the screen is completely off, you can wake the phone back up by cycling the device through true sleep mode with the sleep/wake button. There are also experimental options for waking the screen with the accelerometer and proximity sensor. If you ever use your device as a desktop replacement, this app will be a lifesaver.


So there you have it – eight more root apps that deserve your attention. If you're not rooted, check out the links up top and consider your options. As always, let us know if you find a root app that strikes your fancy.