Magisk vs Xposed
Magisk and Xposed are two of the most popular Android modding tools. Xposed has been around for several years, but Magisk is a relative newcomer. Both of these tools aim to make it easy for users to mod their devices. They have a few similarities and a couple of big differences. Learn about both tools and you can decide which is best for you.
System vs Systemless
Magisk is very popular for its “systemless” approach to Android modification. Instead of modifying the system files, Magisk uses the boot partition and leaves the system untouched. When a system file is requested by the OS the “virtual” file is overlayed in its place. But the system file is still present and unharmed, which is important if you want to receive OTA updates and use apps that are protected by Google SafetyNet.
Xposed, on the other hand, modifies the system as soon as it’s installed. Altering the system files will break apps that hide behind Google’s SafetyNet system. You can’t use Google Pay, Netflix, or even Pokemon GO. Any app that is paranoid about root access can hide behind SafetyNet. Here’s where things get a little complicated. You can actually install Xposed as a Magisk module.
The core functionality of Xposed is to be a framework that allows the installation of “modules.” These are custom mods that can do a wide variety of really cool things. The great thing about Xposed is the huge library of modules to choose from. When you install the framework you’ll get an app with a repository full of modules. Installing a mod is as simple as installing an app, but it usually requires a reboot.
Magisk also includes modules, but the selection is not nearly as vast. The Manager app also allows you to install a variety of mods from the repository. One of the most popular mods is actually root access. Xposed is also available as a Magisk module and it can even be systemless. That means you can use Magisk and Xposed together to pass the SafetyNet test.
Root is obviously important when you’re talking about doing serious modding to Android. Magisk can be used to get systemless root access. Xposed requires root access before it can work. So Magisk is more of an all-in-one tool, while Xposed requires some extra work before you can get it up and running. The two have some similarities, but in the end, they are actually quite different. Magisk is installing things on top, while Xposed straight up changes things. Some people find that extra layer to be a hassle, but it’s necessary to get around SafetyNet. Both tools serve a valuable purpose.