Rooting on Android (and jailbreaking on iOS) is like playing a game of cat and mouse with platform and app developers. As soon as Google or app developers block rooting methods or rooted devices, rooting developers find a way to work around those sometimes arbitrary limitations. So it’s no surprise that when Pokemon GO was updated to kick out rooted devices from the fun party, methods like Magisk rose to prominence. But using Magisk wasn’t exactly convenient, which required users to enable and disable root every now and then. Hence, AutoMagisk was born.
Let’s back track a little. Although Magisk was in development a bit longer than this month’s root-hating Pokemon GO update, it recently became a hot topic because of exactly that. In a nutshell, Magisk worked by “fooling” SafetyNet into thinking that the device isn’t rooted even when it is. As it turns out, SafetyNet is the very same mechanism used by both Pokemon GO and Android Pay. Two for the price of one!
What AutoMagisk brings to the table is the ability to have that happen automatically based on certain conditions. Those conditions include launching a whitelisted app like Pokemon GO or Android Pay, in which case it “disables” root. Launching a different app, however, would re-enable it. AutoMagisk also has a setting to hide the root status when the smartphone’ screen is off, which is sometimes necessary to make Android Pay work straight from a locked device.
That said, installing Magisk itself isn’t for the faint of heart, and installing AutoMagisk is a bit involved as well. Still, if you are always running on a a rooted device, it might be the only working (for now) way to have access to apps like Pokemon GO and Android Pay, as other “root cloaking” apps have proven not to be sufficient.