Xposed: Best of XDA
Xposed Framework is exactly what its name says it is, and in software this means that it allows generic code to be overridden by user code to expand or modify functionality. In other words, this “exposes” the system’s code to the framework, which requires root privileges, and allows you to plug in different modules which bring in different or additional modifications.
Xposed lets you hook into software with less hassle, and apply instructions and changes before, after or instead of them. While custom ROMs remain solid and curated alternatives, the framework can truly open up regions of the operating system in ways that would otherwise require a lot of additional time. This ultimately means that you can tinker and access many things that would otherwise need time-consuming flashing of ROMs and other methods — and the best part is that the system is modular, meaning you can easily enable or disable whichever additions you install whenever you choose, allowing you to pick precisely what you want.
What can modules do?
There are many many modules, and as much as we wish we could feature all of them here, we will list the ones that we think represent just how extensive Xposed is. Gravity Box is perhaps one of the most popular modules out there, as it combines many of Xposed’s virtues in one pack. It allows you to tweak many nooks and crannies of your UI as well as obtain useful features like PIE controls. There are also many other customization modules such as Wanam for TouchWiz ROMs, and individual tweaks for extended power menus or different status bar icons are also prominent. If want a UI tweak, search for it — you can probably find it. But these packs offer many mods and functions in a single module.
For those of you looking to optimize your experience, you’ve got many tools at your disposal. Amplify, for example, can dramatically reduce the amount of wakelocks and net you massive battery gains with virtually no loss in functionality. BootManager lets you configure which apps run at system start, so that you don’t have to go hunting for useless processes nor have them load up until you really need them. Native Clip Board adds clipboard functionality to the text-selection menu, allowing you to store multiple copied elements to paste whenever you need them and in whichever order you want. Heads Up Hide allows you to swipe up, left or right on Lollipop’s Heads Up notification to hide them instead of dismiss them. Awesome Pop-up Video makes media experiences on Android much more seamless and productive by having easily-triggered floating YouTube or browser videos.
There are modules that also change the way the system or applications function at deeper levels that result very useful as well. For example, ActivityForceNewTask has apps launched by other apps be instanced away from the former, allowing you to go back and forth between them without the summoned app disappearing. AppSettings can change generic settings of applications such as their DPI, rotation behavior, whether they are immersive or not, and it also allows for insistent notifications (this is a personal favorite). There are also privacy-focused modules like XPrivacy, which can prevent apps from leaking sensitive data by feeding the app with fake or void information, and there are plenty of security-oriented modules as well.
Trying to summarize Xposed’s endless capabilities is a hard task, and there are many other modules worth checking out that we did not list. Many modules are also specific to certain phones or ROMs for certain OEMs, so be sure to look around in your device’s subforum for the exclusive bits. If you want to get an extensive list with short descriptions of many of them, head to the Xposed Modules Collection thread and take a look around or search for what you want. The Xposed forum is also a good place to start searching and learning about modules, and users can always help you out — just make sure you search for your question first, and then post in the appropriate thread. Whatever you do, the starting point for Xposed should be the Xposed Informational Thread, which we encourage you to read thoroughly to get better understanding of the platform and the basics of the installation process and functionality. We cannot overstate the importance of the site’s search functions, and whenever you have any doubts or will embark on a new XDA journey, it’s always wise to seek the Search Button’s advice first!
What do I need?
The first step towards installing Xposed is reading its informational thread in our forums. To start things off, it must be stated that, as with most things of this depth and reach, there are some inherent risks to the process. However, these can easily be minimized or downright eliminated through attention, planning and precise execution. If you do intend to install Xposed, make sure that you visit your device’s subforum or ROM’s thread and take a quick look around for incompatibilities or any issues that may arise, as the process might vary from device to device or ROM to ROM. Remember: the Search Button is your friend, so go to him first!
Installing the framework itself can be rather straightforward depending on your Android version and ROM. Lollipop users can find the needed files here. As detailed in the thread, you must flash the xposed-sdk21-arm-*.zip file in a custom recovery and install the XposedInstaller_3.0-alpha*.apk for the application that allows you to manage your modules. Older Android versions can find a list of installer APKs here. Keep in mind that some Lollipop ROMs (namely TouchWiz ROMs) are not supported by the official Lollipop Alpha release, but there are workarounds. First and foremost, check if your device and ROM are fully compatible with Xposed (either in Xposed forum threads/posts or your device subforum’s) before jumping in and read the few steps carefully.
As for the process of installing modules, most of them are easily accessible from the Xposed application which features an extensive repository of over 600 modules that you can download — yes, that many. While part of them overlap in functionality or do not offer global compatibility, some of them alone can completely revolutionize many aspects of your phone. And it’s as easy as installing a module, activating it by checking a box and rebooting. As with the installer itself, it is wise to make sure that the module is compatible before jumping in. But if things go wrong, you can disable the framework itself by pressing a hardware key during boot, waiting for a vibration prompt, then tapping the same key again four or more times (to be safe, you can just repeatedly tap the key).
- Xposed General Forum
- Xposed Informational Thread
- Xposed’s 101 Basics Video
- Xposed Module Repository
- Xposed Modules Subforum & Xposed Framework Development Subforum
- Xposed Module Collection Thread
- XDA TV Xposed Playlist
- The Search Button!
Talking about Xposed in a simplified light takes away the complexity behind the system, as injecting such an extensive framework for tweaks is extremely hard to achieve, especially in a safe and optimized way. This is why Senior Recognized Developer rovo89 is considered one of the brightest developers to ever lay code on XDA, and his commitment to the cause bested even the monumental obstacles that Lollipop’s Android Runtime brought to the table.
As a final round of advice, please keep in mind that many modules can see conflict with each other, so it’s always best to learn what they do and what they touch on to predict or understand any possible issues. As you get accustomed to the platform and learn more about it, you will see that you will be able to figure out the most optimal configurations for your use-case and avoid issues or mistakes. Always be open to reading, learning and understanding the works of the community’s developments. Experience is also important, so don’t be afraid to experiment — but always proceed with care and attention. Finally, please be sure to be kind and civil at all times, and remember to give credit where it’s due as none of this would be possible without the tireless dedication of our site’s developers.
We hope you enjoy Xposed and all of our community’s virtues, and we are here to help you out if you ever get lost!