June 15, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Just a few days ago, we talked about how recent changes to the Google Play Store permissions system potentially open the door to a world of new rogue applications. For those in need of a quick refresher, this all boils down to Android’s entire permission system being collapsed into 13 categories. Users running the latest versions of the Play Store are by default only shown the applicable categories, rather than individual permissions themselves. And to make matters worse, permissions changes are not even presented to the user when updating apps if they fall into existing permission categories.
Needless to say, the latest changes to the Google Play Store are pretty unfavorable from a security standpoint. And although the shift to permissions categorization may be good for novice users who have difficulty understanding more granular permissions, it helps no one when permission changes within any given category are not shown.
Luckily for security-conscious users, there is now a solution for the security issues introduced into the latest versions of the Google Play Store, and it comes in the form of an Xposed Module from XDA Forum Moderator GermainZ. With this module, the Play Store will now default to show you every single permissions that is requested. And more importantly, you will now have to manually allow application updates that ask for new permissions, regardless of parent category.
It’s unfortunate that in trying to make the Play Store more user friendly that Google has chosen to severely curtail user privacy and security. Luckily, however, the aftermarket development community has pulled through yet again to bring back what Google has taken away. You can get started by heading over to the module thread.
[Many thanks to Forum Moderator Whiskey103 for the tip!]
June 14, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
You may recall that not too long ago, CyanogenMod implemented per-app performance profiles in its recent builds. While many were quick to criticize the move because certain benchmarks were automatically included in the high performance whitelist, performance profiles can be legitimately useful when used wisely and given adequate user control and transparency. After all, you can probably stand to limit your maximum CPU speed or number of active cores when reading an eBook.
Obviously, not everyone runs CyanogenMod ROM. But luckily, there are certain tools available to bring performance profiles to users of all ROMs. Performance Profiles by XDA Recognized Developer h0rn3t is one such tool, and it uses the magic of Xposed Framework to do so.
Performance Profiles, as its name suggests, allows users to set per-app performance parameters. This includes being able to modify minimum and maximum CPU frequencies (including multicore control), governor, I/O scheduler, GPU frequency, NICE priority, and so on. You’re able to set profiles for these parameters for when your screen is off, when you’re in your lock screen, or when you’re in certain apps. Apps are detected through activities, so this works when an application has at least one visible activity on screen.
If you’ve been looking for a way to implement per-app performance profiles on your device, head over to the module thread to give this a shot.
June 10, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Who among us doesn’t occasionally get overwhelmed by the sheer number of notifications that pop up on our smartphones? Sometimes if we are not careful when clearing them, we may lose that important information that we wish to attend to.
In this episode of XDA Xposed Tuesday, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews an Xposed Module that lets you pin important notifications. XDA Forum Moderator GermainZ created the PinNotif module. TK shows off the modules and gives his thoughts, so check out this Xposed Tuesday video.
If you are an Xposed user and you own (or have owned) a Samsung or Nexus device, chances are that you’ve heard of XDA Recognized Developer wanam‘s fantastic Wanam Xposed modules. We first talked about wanam’s module for Samsung TouchWiz ROMs back in August of last year. Not too long after, a similar module popped up for Nexus devices. For those who don’t remember, these modules allow users to enjoy quite a few additional features and added customization without much effort.
Now, wanam is back with another customization-enabling Xposed module. As one would expect from its name, XSense is meant for HTC Sense devices. XSense brings quite a bit to the table for Sense users running Xposed. This includes call recording, additional app rows on the BlinkFeed launcher, a reboot menu with more options, the ability to skip music tracks with the hardware volume buttons, dual-pane preferences, tweaked status bar clock notifications, and much, much more.
Thanks to the power of Xposed Framework, XSense allows users to tweak their stock or near-stock ROMs without any permanent modifications. The only requirement is that you’re rooted, have Xposed Framework installed, and be running a stock or near-stock Sense-based firmware based on KitKat.
It’s nice to see wanam bring his bag of tricks over to Sense-based devices. You can learn more by heading over to the module thread.
Despite how many of us may wish to forget about Honeycomb, Android 3.x was notable in a number of ways. One of these is without a doubt Google’s unveiling of its nearly ubiquitous Holo UI. Since then, Holo has undergone substantial revision, and is now a major highlight of 4.x devices.
Thanks to Holo and third party developer participation, we now have an incredibly cohesive UI on our mobile devices. But as much as we like seeing Holo in its various iterations, it’s not always perfect. For example, sometimes we’d rather have an application that displays natively in Holo Light instead show up in Holo Dark or vice versa. Luckily, XDA Senior Member hamzahrmalik offers up a great Xposed module to do precisely that.
The aptly titled Holo Themer allows any user with Xposed Framework install to force between Holo Dark and Light on any application. In addition, it also allows users to enable Holo Light with a dark Action Bar. Naturally, this only works with applications that already use a Holo theme of some kind. However, that is pretty much almost any application nowadays.
If you’ve wanted to achieve a different look by switching between Holo themes, head over to the module thread and give Holo Themer a shot,
June 3, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
“Ok Google, write my article for me.” Well I guess it was worth a try. Users on the Google Experience Launcher have now gotten used to being able to say “OK Google” to launch Google Voice Search. Wouldn’t it be nice to have this functionality on third party launchers?
In this episode of XDA Xposed Tuesday, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews an Xposed Module that lets you launch Google Search with ‘Ok Google’ from your home screen on third party launchers. XDA Recognized Developer MohammadAG created the OK Google for Third Party Launchers module. TK shows off the modules and gives his thoughts, so check out this Xposed Tuesday video.
June 2, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
The Google Now Launcher, more commonly referred to as the Google Experience Launcher or simply GEL, is a popular choice among the XDA community. It’s simple and powerful, and it puts Search and Google Now at the forefront. While originally developed for release alongside the Google Nexus 5, it has now been made available for all devices running Jelly Bean or KitKat.
Despite its popularity, the Google Now Launcher is hardly customizable. To combat this, however, XDA Senior Member theknut created an Xposed module that added some goodies to GEL. After receiving a major update that revived the module following an incompatible Google Search update, Xposed GEL Settings has now been updated to version 1.7.
So what does Xposed GEL Settings 1.7 bring to the table? With this update, theknut added an option to use custom icon packs for your favorite applications. Version 1.7 now also offers close integration with Today Calendar, which can use different icons for certain days of the week. In addition, the update also brings a dynamic home button, whereby the center button on your on-screen navigation bar can switch to the app tray when you’re on your main home screen.
The latest version of Xposed GEL Settings can be found in its development thread, with all the details pertaining to the 1.7 update available in this post.If you are a Google Now Launcher user and constantly wish to bypass its limits, head over and give the module a try.
June 2, 2014 By: eagleeyetom
Sony rolled out Jelly Bean updates for its 2012 and 2013 devices a few months back. Since then, the OEM has managed to release KitKat for some of its top flyers from the last year. Nonetheless, majority of Sony’s devices still officially run Android 4.3.
One of Sony’s newest devices is the Xperia Z2, which was released back at MWC in Barcelona this past February. The Z2 has an unique conversation application that is used to send and receive SMS and MMS messages. It’s a great app, but even good things can be improved.
With the potential of the Xposed Framework, things can be made better without using APKTool and Smali edits. XDA Recognized Developer Jackos created an Xposed module that replaces all non-standard characters used in certain parts of the world. This trick allows to send a standard 160-character message instead of a 70-character one. Cost saving isn’t this modules only feature either. When you decide to use it, your incoming MMS messages will display a preview and message time stamps are corrected. The application should work on all ROMs using the Z2′s conversation app.
You can get started by visiting the module thread. If you are using the Z2 or a Z2-based ROM and want to enhance the functionality of your conversation app app, give this module a try.
June 1, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
The Android status and notification bars are a fantastic and truly innovative concepts. In their most recent iterations, they not only keep us apprised of what’s going on with our devices, but these bars allow us to interact with our devices and perform certain basic tasks without entering an application. But as useful as these tools are, they can often get quite cluttered and become somewhat of an eyesore.
In order to take back your status bar from rogue icons and excessive information, you have a few options. In recent versions of Android, users are able to disable any particular app from creating a notification that can be seen in the notification and status bars. However, disabling an app’s notifications disables them in both bars—something that may not be optimal if you wish to keep your apprised of important information in your applications but don’t want to be hounded by this information when your notification shade is closed. And unless you’re running a custom ROM, you likely don’t have an easy way of disabling your status bar clock, battery indicator, signal cluster.
These issues are now a thing of the past, thanks to XDA Senior Member hamzahrmalik‘s new Xposed module Statusbar Icon Hider. With this module, you are able to selectively enable or disable the status bar clock, battery indicator, signal cluster, and application notification icons. All of these can be enabled or disabled independently, and disabling app notification icons thankfully does not disable them from your notification bar.
You can get started by heading over to the module thread and giving this a whirl. Naturally since this is an Xposed module, you need to have Xposed Framework installed—but you already have that, don’t you?
Just a few hours ago, we talked about an Xposed module that lets users control their wake gestures when used in conjunction with a compatible kernel. This wake gesture functionality most resembles HTC’s Motion Launch, which lets users wake their devices and launch various apps using simple gestures.
What if instead of launching applications using gestures, you’d like to use gestures to secure your device? LG offers such functionality through the Knock Code security system found on their newer handsets. But thanks to XDA Recognized Developer MohammadAG and the magic of Xposed Framework, you can use it on your device as well.
There are a few caveats with this implementation. For starters, rather than being able to enter your knock code while the device is off, you first have to power on your screen, after which you can input the code. In addition, the module is currently only compatible with Android 4.4, but compatibility will be added for 4.2 and 4.3 very soon. Finally, while using a knock code is fairly convenient, this is not a very secure method of locking your device. This is because due to a limitation in Xposed, the file where the code is stored is world-readable. Furthermore, this essentially functions as a 2×2 PIN password, which itself isn’t very difficult to break.
If you wish to get Knock On-style functionality on your own device, head over to the module thread and give this a shot.
June 1, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
HTC’s Motion Launch and LG’s Knock On are useful time-saving features that allow users to unlock their devices and access certain applications by executing certain gestures. But of course, not everyone owns a modern HTC or LG device. Luckily, aftermarket kernel developers here on XDA have been implementing screen-off wake gestures for far longer than HTC and LG.
One multi-device kernel that is well known for its wake gesture functionality is ElementalX by XDA Recognized Developer flar2. The kernel, which is available for many devices, including the Google Nexus 5 and Google Nexus 7, offers native support for sweep2wake and doubletap2wake. Utilizing this functionality, XDA Recognized Contributor C3C076 created an Xposed module that allows you to define specific actions to various different wake gestures. Using the Wake Gestures Xposed module, you can assign actions to the following actions: sweep right, sweep left, sweep up, sweep down, and double tap.
Naturally, there are a few requirements before you can run the Wake Gestures Xposed module on your own device. For starters, you need a compatible kernel. So far, this module has only been tested on ElementalX by flar2, but it is possible that it will work on other kernels that support wake gesture functionality. Next, you need to have the latest version of Xposed installer installed. Once these requirements are met, using the app is as simple as picking gestures and assigning actions.
Head over to the module thread to get started.
Some things in life are more important than the others. The same thing applies to Android where certain notifications like SMS messages, Emails, and other forms of communication are more important than alerts from games and news applications.
When we want something to be seen first, we generally pin it. You can find many stickies in almost every forum here on XDA, and they generally contain quite a bit of helpful information. If you ever wanted to pin a certain notification, you can now do so.
XDA Forum Moderator GermainZ wrote an Xposed module that allows you to pin or unpin notifications. You can do this by long-pressing a notification. When pinned, your notifications will remain even when the rest are cleared. It’s a simple, yet useful module that prevents you from accidentally missing important messages when getting rid of the useless ones. Unfortunately, it must be noted that this module can’t be combined with XhaloFloatingWindow by XDA Recognized Developer zst123, as it will likely crash.
To keep your important notifications pinned, visit the module thread and give this a whirl. There, you will find important information, the module’s source code, and download instructions.
May 29, 2014 By: Samantha
Not too long ago, we featured a great tutorial written by XDA Themer, Developer, and Contributor Rizal Lovins that teaches Sony Xperia device owners how to tweak numerous settings of the camera app such as the audio and video bitrate, color format, and output resolution. It’s a nifty set of customization options for anyone looking for some more flexibility regarding their camera usage.
With this said, Rizal Lovins has come out with a new Xposed module to make customization of your camera app significantly easier. Known simply as the Cyber-Shot Camera Xposed Module, the module allows you to change the default resolution of the Superior Auto mode without having to decompile and recompile any APKs, as well as toggle a couple of other functions. These include:
This Xposed module is only compatible with Xperia devices running the official Android 4.2.2 firmware or newer. However, it is not only restricted to the default camera app on Xperia devices, as it is also compatible with Google Camera (although not all settings are customizable).
Paired with the tutorial, the Cyber-Shot Camera Xposed Module serves as a handy tool for customizing your Xperia device’s camera. If you would like to check it out, head over to the original thread for more information.