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6 Must-Have Android Apps for Rooted Devices

Posted on Feb 13, 2011 in Featured Content, Tools, Top Rated Apps | 2 comments

If you have a rooted Android phone or tablet, these 5 apps are essential for protecting and enhancing your experience. If your Android device is not rooted (and you’re not interested in rooting), you can ignore the app list below since they require root access.

Note: If you’re interested in rooting and want more information, check out the XDA-Developers forums (Android app).

1.  Superuser

  • Version:
  • Size: 192KB
  • Category: Tools
  • Price: Free

Superuser requires that you have already rooted your Android device before it can be used. It is essential for granting and managing Superuser rights for your phone (allowing other apps to gain root access so that they can function properly).

2.  Titanium Backup

  • Version: 3.6.8
  • Size: 1.73MB (apps2SD enabled)
  • Category: Tools
  • Price: Free (~$5.81 Pro version)

Simply put, Titanium Backup enables you to quickly and safely backup your current apps, settings, and other data before trying new ROMs, themes, etc. Now you can easily revert back to the stable configuration you had setup previously. Additionally, this app makes re-installing and re-configuring all of your applications a breeze. No need to search the market all over again after you install a new ROM. Another feature includes the ability to schedule regular backups to take place at defined intervals.

3.  Root Explorer (File Manager)

  • Version: 2.13.4
  • Size: 205KB (apps2SD enabled)
  • Category: Productivity
  • Price: $3.95

Root Explorer allows you to access the entire file system of your Android device, even the data folder. By enabling the read/write option you can actively edit files in the Android system. This app is extremely powerful and easy to use, and should definitely be included in your app repertoire.

4.  Rom Manager

  • Version:
  • Size: 1.52 (apps2SD enabled)
  • Category: Tools
  • Price: Free ($4.99 Premium version)

Rom Manager lets you flash the latest and greatest ClockworkMod recovery. You can easily manager various ROMs, organize and perform system backups, and install ROMs from your SD card or even over-the-air. One-click option to reboot into recovery is essential for manual management of your rooted device.

5.  ShootMe (Screen Grabber)

  • Version: 0.8.0
  • Size: 0.90MB (apps2SD enabled)
  • Category: Tools
  • Price: Free

ShootMe allows you to take screenshots of your Android device’s screen without the need for the Android SDK and a USB connection to a computer (screenshot tutorial for non-root users). After you open this app, just give your phone a sustained shake or shout to activate the screenshot. The sound of a camera lens shutter lets you know when a screenshot has been taken. All screenshots will be saved to the ShootMe folder on your SD card and will show up in your gallery.

6.  CacheMate for Root Users

  • Version: 2.3.2
  • Size: 144KB (no apps2SD)
  • Category: Tools
  • Price: Free

CacheMate lets you free up internal memory by clearing the system cache from all installed Android apps with one-click. There is a convenient feature to schedule auto-clearing of the cache at set time-intervals as well. Additionally, in the settings you can select which apps’ caches you’d like cleared or not.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Android

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 in Featured Content, Tutorials | 10 comments

So you’ve picked up your new Android phone and you’re ready to dive right in! But like with any new gadget, you have unanswered questions about the features of Android and that powerful new device you’ve just booted up. And of course there are always unknown tips, tricks, and tutorials that you wish you’d known about beforehand. Luckily, we’ve got all the info that will put you on the fast track to becoming an Android expert!

First, some Frequently Asked Questions:

What should I know about the Android Market?

  • First off, the Android Market offers a 15 minute full refund window for paid apps. If you don’t like it, get your money back!
  • Certain apps may only be available to specific version of Android, e.g. Android 2.1+. This means if you’re still running Android 1.6, these apps won’t be available to you and won’t show up in searches.

What are those black/white box-shaped images?

  • They are called QR codes, and are similar to normal barcodes. They can be scanned by specific apps (see question below) and are a way for transferring all sorts of information, especially URLs. They are most often used as direct links to apps in the Android Market.

What are some essential Android Apps?

What is the best Facebook and Twitter App?

What is a Widget and how do I use it?

  • Widgets are items that are placed on your homescreen that provide you with information, without actually opening them like a normal app. To place a widget, long-press the homescreen and select it from the menu.
  • Check out our Top Rated Widgets category.

How do Android and Gmail integrate/sync?

  • In order to use your Android phone, you will have to have a Gmail account. Similarly, your contacts will be stored and synced from Gmail (So you’ll never lose contact information when switching phones). However, make sure to store old phone numbers and information on your SIM card so before making the transition to your Android phone.
  • Your Android phone also syncs with Google Calendar. If your work uses Outlook, you can sync this with Google Calendar to check meetings/appointments from your phone.

How do I get music, movies, photos, etc. onto my Android phone?

  • First, connect your phone to your computer by using the USB cable provided with your phone. Then, pull down the notification bar and “Mount” your SD card. This recognizes your SD card as another drive. There are various apps and other software programs that will help manage your files (However, if you’re not loaded with music and media, you may not have to worry about this).
  • Check out our tutorial on creating personalized ringtones, notifications, and alarms.

Are there other options for on-screen keyboards?

  • Swype – allows you to enter text by sliding your finger from letter to letter.
  • Thick Buttons – adjusts keyboard letter size based on predictive algorithm.
  • SwiftKey – advanced predictive capabilities and user interface.

How can I save battery life?

  • By managing how often your apps try to sync and controlling your settings like GPS and WiFi, you will be able to prolong the time between charges. See our battery saving tutorial for helpful apps.

Is the built-in browser my only option?

What is “rooting”?

  • Don’t worry about this for now.
  • (If you must know, it’s the process for gaining full control over your phone and its internal processes/system. Wait until you understand Android a little better before looking into this optional, advanced capability).
  • Refer to the XDA Developers Forums for more information and support.

Is there a way to take screenshots of my phone?

General tips:

  • Hold down the “Home” button for quick switching between apps. Multi-tasking is powerful!
  • Long-press is your friend. Many apps make use of this functionality, so when in doubt, try it out. (One example, long-press text in order to copy/paste)
  • If the on-screen keyboard pops up when you don’t need it, press the “back” button to get rid of it.

If you have more questions, leave a comment below or look for future posts in our Tutorials section!

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