ART Submodule for AOSP 7.1.2 Adds Xposed Functionality to Nougat Custom ROMs
Xposed Framework is one of the most popular Android modifications available as it enables users to install modules that will add specific functionality to their current firmware. This requires a lot of work and is why it takes XDA Senior Recognized Developer rovo89 so long to develop after a new major update of Android is released.
The community has been clamoring for an update that adds compatibility to Android 7.0 Nougat and it now looks like there’s a method.
As it is right now, this is not your traditional install of Xposed Framework that needs to be flashed in a custom recovery, and that can be added to a variety of devices. Instead, there has been a unique ART submodule created for AOSP 7.1.2 that enables Xposed Framework functionality to a custom ROM right out of the box. This method has its advantages and disadvantages though, since it’s not something that can be installed on top of your current ROM and users or maintainers need to compile ROMs that support Xposed by adopting these changes.
A huge part of the work on the official Xposed framework is getting it to install correctly on all devices by modifying parts of the ROM it’s getting installed on (and if you recall, this is the only step that requires root). Simply put, this unofficial method does away with all of that by doing the required changes when the ROM is being built instead, which is done by adding the modified submodule to the build process of a custom ROM. Similarly to how Substratum can be used on custom ROMs without root, this will add Xposed functionality to the custom ROM itself. Meaning, you’ll need your current custom ROM maintainers to add support for this method by adding/placing the ART submodule in the AOSP source tree, then building the whole ROM from scratch.
Custom ROM maintainers will then need to replace original frameworks/base/cmds/app_process with the modified one, create a prebuilt module that copies XposedBridge.jar to system/framework, and then update build/target/product/base.mk to include libxposed_art and XposedBridge. So while this method won’t satisfy everyone because it cannot be installed directly onto your current ROM, it does add some benefits on top of what has been possible in the past. Early reports suggest a variety of modules could be compatible as well.
We just need to see if custom ROM maintainers will be adding this support into their current builds. For those who are looking for a more detailed explanation, be sure to go over the readme.md that is available on GitHub. Overall, this could be a nice workaround for Nougat users to experience and make use of Xposed, allowing newer phones to access a repertoire of modules.