Make Your Taskbar Faster and Smoother

taskbar

As of late, we at the XDA Portal have been trying to offer an expanded focus on tutorials and teaching materials rather than simply finished applications. There is simply no better way to learn about software development and overall hacking than by doing it yourself. This has fueled some of XDA’s latest moves such as the release of XDA-U as well as the upcoming live event, XDA-DevCon. If you are just getting your feet wet in the development world, you need to start somewhere, regardless of how basic it may seem to some. With this in mind, simple tweaks are a great (and normally safe) thing to try and get going on your device, and the following is no exception.

XDA Forum Member Mr.Nigma… has written up a very nice and easy to follow tutorial on how to speed up the taskbar pull down and up actions, making them smoother and faster. The first thing to know is where to look for such code. There is a wealth of information on AOSP’s main page as well as scattered throughout XDA forums for this, let alone the countless minds on the site that would be glad to help you find things like this. In this particular case, the target is located in SystemUI.apk. Because it is not a simple variable, the code needs to be modified and as such, the APK needs to be cracked wide open (decompiled) with apktool. Once the apk is decompiled, you will need to look for

\SystemUI\res\values. 

Once there, you will look for a .xml file called dimens.xml. These files need to be opened with a text editor such as the native Notepad program present in Windows. Having said that, most devs prefer to use richer apps such as Notepad++.

Once you have the .xml file open, you will need to look for a few lines of code, specifically self_expand_velocity and self_collapse_velocity. These are the lines that command how quickly your bar will go down and up when swiped. These lines have a “stock value” for speed. The higher the value, the faster the animation will be. Mr. Nigma suggests to use a value of over 2000, but your mileage may vary. You may need to play with these until you have it “just right.”

Finally, after you are done with your changes, simply save your changes and recompile it using apktool once again. Once SystemUI.apk is back in one piece, you can adb push it back to your device. You could also turn the APK into a flashable ZIP and flash it via recovery, but doing this takes away the fun of using adb.

As the dev suggests, there are other “fun” things you can do while having SystemUI.apk open. Much like the two lines above, there are various entries that are pretty much self explanatory. Feel free to mess around with it. The worst thing that can happen if you mess something up is that your device will go on a bootloop, in which case you can easily revert back if you have a “stock” copy of your SystemUI to push or a Nandroid backup.

All in all, your devices are open playgrounds for you to get dirty with the sands of code. You should definitely try it; it’s fun! You can find more information in the original thread.

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