Recently my family signed up for an offer from Google called Screenwise Select. As a part of the deal we got a smartphone used to connect to our TV and monitor TV shows that we watch. The phone is a Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0. However, evidently the Screenwise app is more than an app; it's taken over the phone. When I turn it on, the "swipe to unlock" appears for a split-second, then it flips over to this app. I can't get out if it. I suspect the system has been somehow modified so that the phone can only be used with the app.

So, my question is - is there a way to "root" but "not root" the phone - that is, to get the system back to normal with the app running like a regular app?

I think the app is in the AppStore so the other option is to factory reset the device and then install the app, but I don't want to do that without confirmation from the Screenwise people.

Any ideas?

  • Do you have ADB installed on your pc along with device drivers? If so what do you get with adb devices?
    – user13391
    May 17, 2012 at 18:46

2 Answers 2


You can't do it....don't do it unless you want to get booted from the Screenwise panel and also be billed for the device (currently over $200 retail).

It's running a skin over the top of the device, similar to how Samsung runs their own TouchWiz interface over the top of Android OS. It's not just an app that's running on top (although there is a separate and completely different Screenwise app on the Android Market that is used with this panel, it's not the same thing).

  • I'd say it's a custom launcher, not a skin... May 17, 2012 at 7:42
  • It's definitely a launcher and not a skin. They'd need Samsung's source for that.
    – user13391
    May 17, 2012 at 18:44

I recently got 3 of these devices and discovered that they are already rooted (superuser is installed) and all you have to do is install a launcher. Since you can't access anything other than the Screenwise app (yes, its just an app), you will need to sideload it via adb.

What I did was connect to my computer, let windows get all the drivers installed, and downloaded a gingerbread launcher apk file. Then I used the adb command 'adb install launcher.apk' where launcher.apk was the file I downloaded and put into the root of the adb folder.

Hope this helps!

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