Now that you’ve rooted your Galaxy S4, what apps should you install? I have my all-time Android root apps as I outlined them here earlier on but I feel they have been overtaken by events. While most are still relevant and continually updated, others (like Wireless Tether and Shoot Me) have been overtaken by events.
This post is primarily intended for Galaxy S4 owners and users but these apps will still work on just about any other Android device (only the Android version of your device will be your undoing).
1. Adblock Plus
It, alongside other ad blocking apps like Ad Away and Ad Free were kicked out of the Play Store not long ago by Google for infringing upon some guidelines. Understandable since Google makes some of its revenues off Android through advertising. It’s partners also do the same so apps such as Adblock Plus are widely regarded as evil. And the motto at Mountain View is ‘Do No Evil’.
Ad Block Plus, which I covered extensively sometime last year, does its work just as you would expect. Simple: install it from the Adblock website, turn it on and you’re good to go. It will automatically determine the best filtering option for you and start work right away.
As you set out to populate your S4’s app drawer with apps, many of those come with little annoyances like pop up ads on your notification dropdown. With ABP, they can only dare disturb you over a mobile data connection, never on Wi-Fi. That’s where the other two guys: Ad Free and Ad Away come in. Simply install them, update their binaries and you’re good to go. They’ll cover your ass when on a cellular connection.
2. Ad Free
3. Ad Away
4. Root Explorer
Probably you’ve just read my post on how to root the S4 and know that one of the reasons I went the root way is because I always like being in-charge, to be able to access the elusive data file, edit some of the files, introduce new code, run scripts… That is only possible through Root Explorer and the Android terminal. Besides being your file manager, it also aids you in your tinkering ventures. You’ll want to use it cautiously though since one mistake (like an accidental file deletion) and you’re screwed. Big time.
5. Android Firewall
I really mind the amount of data that my phone consumes more so when I’m on a cellular data connection. This is where Droid Wall comes in handy. However, Droid Wall, my all-time favourite app for invoking a firewall over Android apps has not been updated in eons and it still maintains that Gingerbread look that I really want to forget. Where do I go? Android Firewall. With AF, I’ve restricted apps like certain games that I don’t want to connect to the internet for no apparent reason.
After rooting, just install BusyBox. You may never know what it does at a personal level but most of the root apps you’ll install on your device surely will need it. After installation use the pre-configured settings. If you know what you’re doing then you can install the “smart settings”.
To boost the battery life and also make sure some apps that aren’t running but kept in memory don’t hog my RAM and generally slow down the device, Greenify allows me to pick apps that will be put into a hibernation phase to free up the system once they’re no longer in active use. Install the app and you’ll see instant effects.
8. Super Manager
This is a file manager, an app backup utility, a task manager, an app protector to keep your Twitter crush’s texts away from prying eyes, a toolbox, an FTP client and many other things rolled into one. Install it and there won’t be any need to populate your app drawer with 10 other apps you would’ve had to install to do exactly the same tasks that this one app will do.
9. Titanium Backup
This is my best. I can’t live without it on my devices. Allows you to back up an app and all its data and restore it at will. For those of us suffering from CFD (Chronic Flashing Disorder) this is a bosom friend. Backup app+data, flash new Rom, restore app+data and you’re good to go without incurring additional data costs or inconveniences of having to port all your app data separately. You only leave that for more fragile things like call logs and texts. And maybe Whatsapp.
10. Root App Remover
There’s no consensus as to whether the apps and additional features on the S4 are really that essential. For some users they term them as bloat and all they’re after is the hardware power of the S4 not the features. Not bad. At a personal level I’m a big fan of most of the features on the S4 and would never dream of doing away with them. If you’re one of those others then this app is one of the reasons you rooted your device. You can do away with any stock app you abhor by simply “freezing” it (with an option to “unfreeze”) and freeing the much needed RAM that stock aps on the S4 hoard. You’ll still be retaining the great stock experience.
I’ve maintained a legacy version of this app hence the name Root App Remover. The app has over the years (I’ve kept my legacy app for 2 years! Don’t give me that look. It is because the legacy app I have I got it straight from the developer and it is a rare limited edition one with extra capabilities. It has always worked on all devices regardless of the Android version something the ordinary app won’t do. It is infact aptly named “VIP”). It has since gone through serious changes and it is now referred to as Root App Delete. Find it on the Play Store using that name.
11. Hexamob Recovery
For simply recovering anything you may delete by accident. I do tinker with system apps a lot and at times I make mistakes like simply selecting for deletion an essential app. Whom do I turn to? Hexamob Recovery.
12. Android Tuner
This is another Super Manager in different casing. It has so many options that you can use to optimize your Android experience on the S4: a task manager, a network manager, a battery manager, a device manager, a CPU manager, a system manager… the list is way too long. Bottom-line is: it does its work.
13. ROM Toolbox
This app combines the functionality of almost all the apps listed here save for the ad blockers. All the tasks you’ve dreamt of accomplishing once you got super user access are made possible through this app. Find it on Play Store. I recommend the Pro version for the power users. Once you start using it to fine tune your Droid, the Lite version simply won’t be enough.
14. SG USB Mass Storage Enabler
Works as the name suggests. This is quite handy. Samsung Galaxy devices these days come with only two mounting options: media (MTP) and camera (PTP). While I have no issue with those mounting options, anyone who has used them and at the same time used the Android default USB mass storage option will agree with me that the plug n play capabilities offered via USB Mass Storage are far better than MTP. This app allows you to mount your external storage (sd card) for easy file transfer and exchange between your PC and your device. It is available for a number of high end Samsung galaxy devices and the S4 is the latest addition.
15. Multi-window Manager
The Galaxy S4 borrows a lot from the Galaxy Note II as far as the multi-tasking options are concerned. As such, the device supports multi-window. However, just like in the Note II, the apps that do support multi-window are limited. Just a few stock Google Android apps and a few others bundled by Samsung do support multi-window. In case you want to have any other app get the same multi-window capabilities then this app, Multi-window Manager is your friend. It does just that effortlessly.
All these apps are available on the Play Store (save for the first three) so go ahead and find them there. Some require you to shed a few $$ but they’re totally worth it. Quick links to the Play Store and other places where you can find them are available on my Facebook page.
You may realize I left out mention of CPU governing apps which usually must feature in any listing of root apps. It is deliberate, the S4 already has a good way of making sure I get the best of the processor, I can only tweak it with a few scripts using many of the above apps without tampering with the clocking mechanism.
There are very many Android root apps. The few I have listed here are simply my favourites. What other handy Android root app did I miss?