Modding Android is far from a new idea, and when it comes to bending the OS to your will, Xposed is one of the most powerful tools out there. While there are dozens of Xposed modules available, we’ve picked a handful of our favorites to help you step your Android game to the next level.
What Is Xposed?
In a nutshell, the Xposed Framework allows users to pick and choose what features they’d like and apply them to a stock ROM instead of constantly flashing new ROMs. It’s quick and easy, but there are a few things that we need to talk about before you start going crazy with this ultra-powerful tool.
To put it simply: Xposed doesn’t support Google’s latest stable release, Android Nougat (7.x). The plan is to eventually roll out Xposed support for the OS, but unfortunately there are a lot of hurdles to jump before that can happen. The developer of Xposed released a statement back in January of 2017 stating that support is coming, along with an explanation of why this is such a difficult task. If you’re into details, you can read more about that here.
Another thing worth noting is that Xposed can sometimes cause unintended side effects when used on manufacturer ROMs—like Samsung or LG. Basically, Xposed modules are generally designed with stock Android in mind, and Samsung or LG devices are running anything but stock Android.
While you can use Xposed on these devices, I’d tread carefully—you never know what sort of things can go wrong when you start trying to mix things that may not necessarily want to play nicely with each other.
If you’re running a pre-Nougat version of stock or near-stock Android, though, you’re good—we already have a couple of excellent primers on getting started with Xposed, so regardless of whether you want to use the “traditional” method or the systemless method (the latter of which is recommending on Marshmallow or newer)—we have you covered. Check out those guides to getting started, then come back here for ideas.
How to Install Xposed Modules
We detailed this in our Xposed guides, but just as a refresher: once Xposed is installed and ready to go, finding the below modules is a snap. Just open the Xposed Installer, open the menu, and select “Download.”
Simply tap the magnifying glass to search for the modules you’d like to install—they’ll be named below exactly as you’ll find them in the Installer.
Alternatively, we’ll link to each module we discuss in this guide, which will direct you to the Xposed Module Repository on the web. You can ready the developers’ descriptions of their modules, as well as download them directly from there.
Pick your poison—they’re two means to the same end. Here are the modules we think you should check out.
For Better Battery Life: Greenify and Amplify
If there was ever a reason to “need” to root your phone, it’s for better battery life. Android has gotten much better over the years on its own, but you can really supercharge your phone’s battery with a pair of excellent Xposed modules that easily work in tandem: Greenify and Amplify.
Greenify is available for all Android users, even non-rooted ones. Greenify naturally hibernates apps you aren’t using to save battery, and it’s pretty handy. We’ve talked about it extensively here, so we won’t go too in-depth on what Greenify is.
If you’re rooted, Greenify is even better. With its accompanying Xposed module, Greenify hibernates apps the same way Android does natively. It can work hand-in-hand with Doze Mode, even bringing some of the newer, Nougat-only features to older versions of the OS. The Xposed module adds even more, allowing you to hibernate messaging apps without giving up notifications.
Amplify, on the other hand, allows users to take more granular control of Android wakelocks. This basically means you can tell Android when and for how long it can leave its sleep state, which essentially prevents it any service or app from allowing it to wake up and not return to sleep. There are extensive customizations available in this module, though it’s configured rather nicely right out of the gate.
For a More Useful Power Menu: Advanced Power Menu+ (APM+)
APM+ is a simple way to customize Android’s power menu, not only bringing useful tweaks like an instant reboot button to the forefront, but also adding the ability to throw toggles—like Wi-Fi and flashlight—into the menu.
It’s super intuitive and easy to use—just tap the “+” button to add what you want, tweak the setting, and bam! that’s it.
For Tethering on Phones Where It’s Blocked: X Tether
If you’ve ever needed to tether your phone’s cellular connection to another device but can’t because it’s blocked by your carrier, X Tether is your tool. There’s no forward-facing interface here, as this is just a simple tool that unblocks Android’s native tethering feature.
We’ve spent more time with X Tether in the past, so for a full rundown, check out this post.
For Deeper Customization Of Just About Everything: GravityBox
Still unsatisfied? If you’re the kind of person that like to tweak every little thing—from looks to functionality—GravityBox is the Xposed module for you.
GravityBox is basically a massive all-in-one tool that offers a slew of additional tweaks (both aesthetic and functional) for everything from the lock screen to the status bar, and so much more. We can’t possibly cover everything GravityBox does in this post, but just know that if you’re using Xposed, this is a must-have app.
There is one thing to be aware of, however: there’s a different version of GravityBox for every version of Android, so you must install the correct one. The good news is it’s super easy to figure out which one is right for you—the letters following the name line up with version of Android they’re compatible with. For example, GravityBox [MM] is for Marshmallow ROMs, LP is for Lollipop, JB is for Jelly Bean, and so on.
Download it, install it, and start browsing the menus to see everything you can do.
While it still may not support Nougat for a while, Xposed is an excellent tool for those using older ROMs. In fact, many Xposed users are refusing to upgrade to anything newer than Marshmallow because they rely so heavily on the modules. Either way, if you’re not running Nougat and have a rooted handset, there’s no reason not to use Xposed. In fact, it may be worth considering rooting your handset if there’s a specific bit of functionality you’re looking for.