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7 Things You Can Do With The Xposed Framework on a Rooted Android Phone or Tablet

android-xposed-framework-gravitybox-system-tweaks

The Xposed Framework is a way to make system-level changes to your Android operating system without installing a custom ROM. All you need is root access. Here’s a look at what you can actually do with the Xposed Framework.

You’ll find all of these modules listed in the Xposed Framework itself. Install the Xposed Framework, open it, and use the Modules search to browse, search, and install modules.

Remap Hardware Buttons

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The Xposed Additions module allows you to remap your Android device’s hardware buttons. You can turn a volume button into a dedicated camera button to more easily take photos on devices without a dedicated camera button. Or, you can make something different when you long-press a button, or when you press a button while the device’s screen is off. Xposed Additions is packed full of these options.

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Manage App Permissions

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AppOpsXposed restores the App Ops feature that Google removed access to in Android 4.4.2. With the module installed, the App Ops option appears in Android’s settings interface. This interface allows you to manage application permissions like you would on Apple’s iOS. It just restores access to a configuration pane Google removed access to.

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Enable Side-by-Side Multitasking

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Android doesn’t have the ability to run two apps side-by-side, but some third-party custom ROMs do. Rather than hunting down a third-party ROM, you can use the xMultiWindow module to run two apps side-by-side and get Galaxy Note-style multitasking on any device. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great proof of concept. Watching YouTube videos while browsing the web on a tablet just feels right.

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Add Options to the Power Menu

Custom ROMs often add options to the power menu that appears when you long-press your device’s power button. Xposed framework modules like Advanced Power Menu can do the same thing, offering Reboot, Screenshot, even even Flashlight options on the power menu for quick access. As on custom ROMs, you can configure the options that appear here.

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Disable the Unsafe Volume Warning

Android displays a “Raise volume above safe level?” warning whenever you raise the volume above a specific point. This may help some people to not damage their hearing, but it’s a silly warning because different types of headphones will require different device volume levels to output the same loudness of sound.

This isn’t just a one-time message either — it appears over and over. If you’re trying to increase the volume level when your device is in your pocket, you’ll have to pull it out, unlock it, and agree to the warning before you can continue.

The NoSafeVolumeWarning tweak disables the volume warning permanently.

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Enable OK Google For Third-Party Launchers

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With the Google Now Launcher, you can say OK Google on your home screen to open the Google Now dialog and use voice actions. You can’t normally do this in third-party launchers, but the “OK Google for 3rd party launchers / apps (4.4+)” module allows you to use OK Google in any other launcher of your choice.

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Get Many, Many More Options

Modules like GravityBox and XBlast add a huge amount of additional options to your Android device. The goal of GravityBox is to provide an all-in-one tweaking application with the huge number of features you’d find in a custom ROM, allowing you to change many options in one place without hunting down individual modules or rebooting.

If you find the idea of a custom ROM packed with options appealing but don’t want to install one, give GravityBox or XBlast a try.

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This is just a snapshot of the many modules available in the Xposed Framework. There are many modules that fix problems with specific phones. On the Moto X, you can hide the carrier text in the status bar. On the Samsung Galaxy S5, you can make the “Hi Galaxy” voice shortcut open Google Now instead of Samsung’s S Voice.

If you have an issue with Android or just your phone, there’s a good chance someone has fixed it with an Xposed Module. Install the app and search the available modules to find out.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 09/1/14