Good news for root users! Koush's ClockworkMod Superuser app has been uploaded to the Google Play Store and is now available to download. There are a couple of super user apps available, so what does Koush's latest app bring to the table?
Well, here are the apps main features. First of all, the app brings proper multiple user support for those of you who are running Android Jelly Bean 4.2 and up and it's also able to handle multiple incoming root requests at once. The app launch also brings a new tablet user interface. A cool new feature is the ability to set a PIN password that will be required to be entered in order to answer to a request. This goes hand in hand with the request timeout setting, which will deny the request if a pre-determined period of time has elapsed.
Another of its selling points, is that the app is an Open Source project, making this latest Superuser app a transparent affair which allows for independent security analysis and should hopefully allow it to enjoy a timely release cycle of maintenance and security updates.
If you're not familiar with the whole root thing, please let me give you a brief introduction. The term root comes from the Linux/Unix side of operating systems, and basically means the administrator account of the system. The same thing is sometimes referred using the term "su" (stands for super user), which is the command used to change to the root user at the command line. In some distributions of Linux (for example Ubuntu) the root account is not activated by default. When a user needs to have root privileges to do something, for example installing something using the "apt-get install" command, they use another command called "sudo" which gives root privileges to the user just for that command. This sudo command is similar to how Android's superuser apps act, giving the user root clearance while using an app that requires it. You might be asking yourself why would they implement this kind of measure (I know I did at first). Well, in short, the main reasons to do this are security and limiting users power over the system so to protect them from destroying it. Not only that but, if an outside force were to gain root privileges on your device they could a lot of damage, and access a lot of data.
Rooting enables you to tinker with your phone and make it just the way you like, but keep in mind you will void your device's warranty by doing so and if you're not careful, you could brick your phone. A lot of apps and utilities require root access to work properly. It goes without saying that to make use of this new Android app, you need to be rooted in the first place.