Android Guide: 3 Must Have Apps When Rooted

If someone asks me if they should root, I always give them the same answer. It doesn't matter how long you've had your phone, how many apps you may install or how "PC Literate" you are. My answer is always a resounding YES! Why you may ask? Well, there is simply no better way to ensure you have a clean and optimised android phone, than when you are rooted. I have compiled a small list of must have apps to help you achieve these results.


1: AutoKiller

This app allows you to tune android's inner memory manager to keep your device fast and to lower battery consumption. Android puts its apps into one of 6 states, beginning with Empty App all the way to Foreground App. An empty app is a dead process, basically it is doing nothing at all, where as a foreground app is currently runnign in the foreground (well duh!) . Now android has some pre-determined memory values set for each of these 6 states. When the memory level is reached on the system, android begins to kill off apps in that state.

e.g. By default the memory level for an empty app is 24mb. So when your memory remaining hits 24mb, android starts to kill apps that are currently in the state of empty.

Now, 24mb is a bit low for the top end phones, that may be running with ~200mb free at any one time. So this app allows us to increase the memory levels at which android will start automatically killing apps. It makes for a speedier phone as you always have a decent amount of memory free, and don't have to install a task killer (or as i like to call them, a virus).


The app kindly gives you some preset values for these settings, and I highly recommend you stick to these, and do not attempt to set your own unless you know exactly what you are doing. I recommend you use the Strict preset if you have a snapdragon phone or above, and optimum if you have a lower end phone (such as a HTC Hero, or HTC Legend)

2: Autostarts

There are many types of events in the android system, an example of an event may be a phone call, an sms being received, a change in volume, etc. Apps listen to events that may be of interest to them, and perform some action when an even they are interested in occurs. For example, handcent sms will listen for a new sms being sent to your phone, when it hears that event occuring it will performa an action, such as making a popup alert appear. However, poorly coded apps may also listen and react on events that they should have no interest in. This is where autostarts comes into play.

This app lets you see every type of event in the android ecosystem, and which apps will automatically start when those events happen. For instance, why would a music app start up when you receive an sms? The answer is because it's poorly coded. This app lets you block apps from opening when they shouldn't be.


Be careful though. Use your common sense as to why an app would react to a certain event. Stopping apps that should be listenting and reacting may cause that app to not function correctly. And please, do not block a system application, even if it looks out of place.

3: SetCPU

SetCPU allows you to change the CPU clock (capable of overclock, underclock, and tweaking) on various rooted devices to improve performance and/or save battery. The app is very powerful, and can dynamically underclock the cpu depending on the amount of processing power required to do a task at the time that task runs. For example, you don't need much cpu to send an sms, so this app will underclock when doing that. Less power == less battery.

You can also force it to mega underclock when the screen is off. What happens when screen is off? apps and widgets may update, when your not using the phone, they don't have to happen in an instant. Big battery saver again.


To set the dynamic underclocking, open the app and do the following:

  1. Change Scaling to ondemand
  2. Tick Set on boot

Yes it really is that easy! To go one step further and force the phone to underclock when the screen is off do:

  1. Click on the profiles tab
  2. Click add profile
  3. Use the following:
  4. Condition: Screen Off
  5. Max: Set to lowest value (If the phone is laggy as soon as you turn screen on, think about increasing this slightly)
  6. Min: The lowest possible
  7. Governor: ondemand
  8. Now also tick enable


And thats that, enjoy your new battery efficient, smooth and streamlined phone!