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.

4 (2) r

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.

2012-11-08 18.54.16 2012-11-08 18.59.06 2012-11-08 19.14.35

The project is alive here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/netspoof/

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.

1 2 (2)

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.

q e

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.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1503310639 Kree Terry

    While not directly related i have a question. im on mac and sometimes i like to completely wipe my gnex and n7 just for fun. i know about adb backup but im not sure how it works, and im not sure the easiest way to backup all the file in /sdcard. you guys know of a place to get info on this or feel like writing up an article? im sure others have wondered as well.

    • randomchars

      Your definition of fun is weird.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1503310639 Kree Terry

        yea, im kinda weird in general.

  • http://twitter.com/sampson_tony Tony Sampson

    Very Nice! I was looking for something so I could play youtube videos with the screen off.

  • IncCo

    nice list

  • mesmorino

    "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"

    Translation: The cops took away this fine piece of weaponry, but one of the great things about the system is "Fuck tha police"

    "Obviously, this app has malicious potential, so be good, folks"

    Translation: Now obviously you can rob a bank with this here gun, but pinky swear on your scout's honour as a gentleman that you won't do any such thing"

    Yeah, uh huh

    • http://www.afzaln.com/ CuriousCursor

      I'm just sad for you that you didn't get the Firefly reference.

      • mesmorino

        I'm even more sad for you that a)You assumed I missed the Firefly reference, and b) In your attempt to tell me what I missed, missed an OBVIOUS joke comment.

        Slow your roll Pablo, I'm in with the Browncoats

        • Mack

          Chill homeboy.

        • evulhotdog

          What hes saying is, hes black.

        • http://www.afzaln.com/ CuriousCursor

          Argument invalid, your joke wasn't funny or original enough. You just "translated" the sentences.

          • mesmorino

            The translations were supposed to be the funny part. Also, YOU didn't find it funny does not mean it wasn't funny but fortunately for the rest of us, you're not the humour police.

            And speaking of arguments, why are you switching yours? First I missed the Firefly reference, now it wasn't funny enough? What next? It was a joke you either didn't get, or didn't find funny, just leave it and move on already.

          • http://www.afzaln.com/ CuriousCursor

            Well that escalated quickly. I think you're taking your joke too seriously.

        • br

          >implying your joke is even funny

          • mesmorino

            I laugh at your attempt to troll me by posting in a 3 month old comment thread.

            Also, you are not the humour police so no, you don't get to decide what is and is not funny. Therefore, gtfo my face, bro

          • . H

            Eh, your joke sucked

          • mesmorino

            Thank you for that bit of scintillating insight on a two year old comment. No really, well done and good job.

            Please, continue to tell me all about how you're the humour police and how you get to decide what is or isn't funny.

    • randomchars

      The moment we start making some software illegal, we are on a dangerous territory.

      • thistimearound

        Easy champ. It's not actually illegal, it's just not available through the PlayStore. It shouldn't be. We don't need technologically retarded grandmas and children running around with this app.

  • John

    Screen Stanby is freakin sweet. I've also wondered if there was app to fix that issue.

  • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

    whoa, nice list! i found a couple that i wanted but didn't know existed! off to try datasync & screen standby... thanks guys, keep 'em coming!

  • HellG

    Damn i just knew that Cameron have a southern accent from that video review! i always thought he will have British accent for some reason xD
    Great Post guys keep 'em coming :)

  • Sublimefly

    Nice article! Are the first 5 parts not worth reading at this point? If they are could we get a link since they don't come up in a search of the site?

    • Kyle Way

      The links are already provided up top.

    • squiddy20

      There are some apps in the previous lists that are still around and are worth picking up (like Titanium Backup or Root Explorer), but then there are others where the functionality has been somewhat rolled into custom ROMs/Android itself, or is obsolete (such as Market Autoupdate Bulk Toggle, Quick Boot, and ShootMe).

    • Guest


  • http://pandu.poluan.info pepoluan

    Please, please, pretty please... go back to Parts 1 to 5 and retrospectively add the links to the successive parts...

    I just visited Part 1 from Pulse via FreeFox, and found to my dismay that I have to return to Pulse first before I can visit the following parts...

    • pokepal101

      Under the title, next to "Posted by Ryan Whitwam", click "Best Apps For Rooted Users Series" and that'll get you to a list of all the parts. :)

  • Luca Comellini

    InstaWifi is not working on my Galaxy Nexus with CM10...

  • Freak4Dell

    I'll definitely have to check out DataSync. Or, I need to figure out how to replicate that with Tasker so that it will do it automatically when I exit one of the apps that I sync data for. That way, even if I pick up another device just minutes later, the data will already be there.

    • Paul_Werner

      If you do work this out then I'd be interested in your Tasker App Factory app


      • Freak4Dell

        I'm trying to figure it out, but for some reason, Tasker pretends that there's nothing in my /data folder. It has root access, so I don't know why it's not seeing the folders in there.

        • Paul_Werner

          Do you think it has to do with setting Tasker as administrator on your device? (Just trying to suggest something)

          • Freak4Dell

            I set Tasker as an administrator, but no dice. It's still not showing anything in the /data folder. I've tried just manually typing in the path, too, and testing a basic copy action. That doesn't work, either.

          • Paul_Werner

            Not sure if this helps at all but I did a quick Google search for Tasked regarding the /data folder & found a discussion where someone else had a similar issue.... let me know:


          • Freak4Dell

            Okay, changed the permissions, and it's reading the files now. I'm getting closer. I don't think there's a context for an app being closed, so I think I'll have to do a workaround.

          • Paul_Werner

            Do you have a G+ profile so I can talk to you thru that?

  • JG

    Too lazy at the moment to go back & check pts 1-5... Has OTA Root Keeper been mentioned? It would have been nice to know about back when I still had root access to my phone, before I was tricked(*) into installing an OTA that did nothing but block root exploits & make the phone even buggier... (*apparently the "Not Now" button in landscape is the same place as the "Install Now" button in portrait & even though I tapped before the phone started to switched to portrait it waited until after the switch to register the press)....

    I believe there's also an OTA freeze/blocker that'll prevent the phone from automatically downloading updates so you can wait until there's a root method so you don't get FUBAR'ed like I did....

    • http://pandu.poluan.info pepoluan

      What phone?

      • JG

        Right now, a Droid X.... But my 2 years are up (plus like 2 weeks extra now)....

        Looking into the possibility of switching over to T-Mobile and a Nexus 4. Only $350 opposed to the $800 or so Verizon would probably want. And I could have unlimited voice, text, tether & data (even if it does get throttled at a certain point) for about what Verizon would charge for just 2GB on a shared plan.... Just not too sure about service around here... According to their site, Voice is "Satisfactory" and data is "good"... Was kind of hoping the Nexus 4 could use their wifi calling & treat the router as a mini cell tower, then there wouldn't be any issue, but...

  • mikeym0p

    Where did you get those awesome NFC tags? I love that they have Andy on them

  • kctimmy

    To everyone crying about not being able to find the other "5" parts to this article, click on the damn word tags below the article! That's why they're there!

    for the lazy

  • Ivan Myring

    When is part 7 coming?

  • Ivan Myring

    GMD is the best app I have ever heard of