It’s no secret that rooting lets you do cool stuff with your phone. But even if you haven’t rooted your phone, you can still do some pretty awesome root-like things with Android.
Ready to dive deep into your phone’s capabilities without actually rooting it? Here are some of our favorite ways to customize a non-rooted Android:
Customize your Widgets
You’re probably familiar with your widgets menu. It contains pre-designed widgets from your phone’s manufacturer and app developers.
Fortunately, you can make your own widgets that let you break free of the constraints of your widgets menu. Download this cool app called Beautiful Widgets to create widgets that give your phone a bit of your own unique flavor and personality. That app also lets you setup shortcuts that prevent you from having to navigate the same familiar menus over and over again.
Use Game Killer to Unlock Levels and Enter Godmode in Android Games
One of the best parts about PC gaming is being able to mod and edit most games you play. Most Android gamers don’t enjoy that freedom.
Fortunately, with a little app called Game Killer, you can control your Android Games like never before. Game Killer is a relatively complex app and it doesn’t exactly get along with other Google apps and services. It’s not even listed on the Play Store, so you have to download it in the form of the Game Killer .apk file from the official site.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to enable installations from unknown sources from your settings menu. Then, you just tap the .apk file to install it automatically.
Once the app is installed, you’ll see a button that says Hack Android Games Without Root.
After tapping that button, you’ll see a list of supported games. Scroll to the game you want to modify. After you select the game, it will open and immediately display all cheats for that game.
The cheats vary widely between games, but they generally let you give your player loot, unlock levels, enter godmode and do all of the things that you would normally pay real-world money for.
It’s important to note that you should not use Game Killer if you play online multiplayer games like Clash of Clans. If the servers detect Game Killer on your storage, then you may be banned. Just a heads up.
Enable Edge Notifications Even If You Don’t Own an Edge Device
The new Samsung Galaxy S devices have “Edges” on the side. These Edges light up with different colors and notifications.
If you’re jealous of this sexy notifications system, then consider installing Edge Display on your non-Edge device. Yes, you can do that. In fact, it’s really easy. The free app is called Edge Color Notifications and it emulates the Galaxy S6 Edge and Edge Lightning features. Receive colored notifications from different apps and give your device a screen that wraps around its edges (or almost wraps around its edges).
Install an Emulator
Many people are surprised to learn how easy it is to install emulators on Android. Literally all it takes is a few minutes of your time and some careful searching online for the best free games.
You can easily download emulator apps from the Google Play Store. Many of these emulators even have their own databases filled with approved games. Sure, the legality is a bit hazy. But how could you not want to play Pokemon on your Android during your next plane trip?
My recommended emulators include:
–John GBC (GBC Emulator) ($3.49)
That last emulator, GBC Emulator, lets you play Game Boy and Game Boy Color games.
Record your Screen
For years, the only way to record your Android screen was to root your device first.
Now, things have changed. Starting in Android 5.0, Google let us record Android screens without rooting.
There are all sorts of apps you can use to record your Android screen. I recommend something like AZ Screen Recorder, which is free and easy for an idiot like me to use.
After recording your screen, that app lets you trim videos and prepare them for upload on sites like YouTube. It’s a one-stop shop for your Android screen recording needs.
Use Chrome to Remotely Control your Desktop
Google has a nifty app called Remote Desktop that lets you use your Android device to control your PC. With a brief 5 minute setup, you can basically control your PC from anywhere.
First, you need to install the Remote Desktop app on your PC (it’s a Chrome app and you’ll need the Chrome browser installed). Then, you need to install the Android Remote Desktop app on your Android device.
Open the app and follow the chain of prompts and you’ll be connected in under 5 minutes.
After you’ve connected your smartphone and PC, you’ll be able to control your PC from anywhere, including accessing files and launching programs.