I had earlier notified the readers that I will be disclosing the 2nd most important Android configuration soon. This post deals with the same.
Almost all Android users except the Vanilla Stock Android users hate the looks and few tweaks crafted in their smartphones by the manufactures. And the popular solution: flashing a custom ROM.
But there’s something special which isn’t as popular as the above method. It’s called Xposed Framework, by rovo89. This framework allows you to modify your ROM without changing apks or flashing. ROOT is required.
Advantages: No need to modify any APKs. This means:
1) No need to decompile, change things in smali, compile, sign.
2) It will work for odexed and deodexed ROMs.
3) Your mod is not bound to a specific version of the ROM. Unless there is a major change in the methods called for a certain functionality, your mod will continue to work even when you upgrade your ROM. Hell, it will probably even work with different ROMs.
4) Multiple mods can be installed at the same time, even if they change the same package. So you can use these battery icons and those quick toggles. Even hooking the same method twice is possible. Of course, this only works properly if the mods are not trying to do incompatible things.
5) It does its magic at runtime. That means you can implement options to let the user decide if they prefer the bikeshed to be painted in red or blue. Or you can have some extra logic for certain ROMs without building different mod versions.
6) It can be disabled easily without having to reflash.
7) It’s open source.
First step for everything you do:
Create a nandroid backup and make sure you know how to restore it!
There is also the risk to soft-brick your device. In such a case, restoring a backup is the easiest way to get rid of it (other possibilities mentioned below).
For the framework:
1) Download XposedInstaller.apk and install it
2) Launch the Xposed Installer and click on “Install/Update”
For any modifications/modules you want to install:
1) Download .apk and install it
2) Launch the Xposed Installer and go to the “Modules” tab (you will also get there if you click on the notification warning you that the module is not enabled yet)
3) Enable the module by checking the checkbox
In case you get into a boot loop:
You can flash the attached Xposed-Disabler-CWM.zip by Tungstwenty. It will be copied to your (external) SD card when you install Xposed as well. The only thing it does is copying /system/bin/app_process.orig back to /system/bin/app_process, which you can also do yourself (e.g. with adb shell in recovery mode).
You could also create a file /data/xposed/disabled, which causes Xposed to be bypassed as well.
I use following modules extensively:
1)Modaco: A set of all tweaks designed by Modaco together.
2) Icon Themer: Let’s you change the icons of apps through out your system.
3) Tweakbox: A collection of awesome tweaks.
4) Multiwindow Manager: Grants and manages Multiwindow on all Samsung Phones.
5) Theme Manager: Theme your phone the way you want!
I have been using this for a while and my rooted phone just feels awesome. I have all the good parts of default ROM, eliminated the bad parts and added a few good ones on the same ROM.
Final Conclusion: Just go for it.