What is Xposed Framework & How to Install and Use It
What is the Xposed Framework?
The Xposed framework allows Android users to play around with the device by applying add-ons (also known as modules) to the device’s Read-Only Memory (ROM). Usually, a ROM should be flashed in order to add new features; however, this framework allows one to add any feature to any type of ROM without the requirement of flashing.
In other words, the Xposed framework provides necessary APIs which allow other applications to hook with Android Run-Time (ART) method calls. The Android Run-Time allows the Xposed framework to execute all the installed methods prior to executing the original methods.
A typical scenario is when an application is called and executed in ART, Xposed framework module interrupts the method call and replace it with a new method. In order to execute the Xposed modules, a user must install the Xposed framework to their Android device.
Installing the Xposed framework requires the devices to be rooted and installed under recovery mode. Also, a custom recovery tool installed is recommended as there are chances that the data might be lost in case of installation issues. It should be noted that rooting a device is against the manufacturer’s terms & conditions.
Xposed framework is available from Android 5.0 to Android 8.1 (Android 9 has the unofficial version of the framework). Xposed modules can do a variety of works in the device such as changing the name of the device (HTC to a custom name), increase & decrease the resolution, changing 3rd party application behaviors and so on, plus more importantly, these modules are called only when the device boots.
The Xposed framework has issues with supporting some versions of certain operating systems. It refuses to work with some devices such as Samsung, and working with Android Nougat has shown a variety of issues in the past.
How to Install the Xposed Framework?
Before installing the Xposed framework, the following essential tips & tricks are recommended. First, it is important to root your device, or else the framework cannot be installed. Second, we suggest to backup all the data of the device using a recovery tool. Furthermore, you should know how the hard-key combination buttons are used to reboot the device – sometimes, you might have to reboot the device manually. Finally, make sure to enable downloading and installing from unknown sources (usually found under security options in settings) as all the devices disallow this feature due to security reasons. You can install the framework in two ways.
Method 1: Direct Install
The Xposed framework can be directly installed by downloading the installation file without using any mediator application such as Magisk. When the direct install is done, the framework modifies the system, unlike Magisk, does.
1. Download Xposed Installer & install it in the device
2. Open the application and navigate to Framework section
3. Tap the install button & install
Method 2: Install as Magisk Module
Instead of direct install, Magisk framework is used here due to it’s ‘systemless’ approach during the modification of system files. Magisk uses the boot partition instead of changing the system files leaving the system untouched or unmodified.
1. Download Xposed installer for Magisk & install it
2. Open Magisk Manager and navigate to the Download section
3. Search ‘Xposed Framework’
4. Download & Install
5. Reboot the device, and it should be installed
Working with Xposed Framework
Xposed framework is just a cover of the book. The pages are the Xposed modules, which do the real work. The framework acts as a bridge in order to install different modules to the device and manages how multiple modules work together. This framework allows modules to work simultaneously, as well.
Any changes made by modules is an individual piece of coding which will not affect the framework at all. In case of any issues, only the module can be removed, just like uninstalling an application enabling convenience to the user.
How to install Modules?
Once you have installed the Xposed framework, then the next step is to install the modules you wish. Installing modules is quite as easy as installing an application from Google PlayStore. Xposed modules can be downloaded from the Xposed Module Repository, or else you can get it from other websites as well. After you download the relevant module,
1. Install the module (example – XBlast Tools)
2. Select Modules in Xposed Installer App and activate the module
As the above image displays, few modules have been installed using the Xposed framework. For example, the XBlast Tools module, which has been installed, allows us to change the color of the Wi-Fi symbol, the color of the clock, change notification position and speed, change keyboard style, position, color and more & more.
Similarly, there are plenty of other modules (apk files) available on the internet, which can be downloaded and installed for various purposes.
Functions of Xposed Framework
There are plenty of other methods to modify an Android system, such as Java coding, Cygwin, and so on. The Xposed framework has the upper hand compared to other solutions, as mentioned below.
- Cross-Platform – Xposed framework is compatible with any kind of hardware and Android OS running.
- User Interface – Xposed framework allows users to customize to whatever the UI he intends to within a few minutes of prebuilt functionalities.
- Timeliness – Xposed framework adapts to any type of hardware that allows us to run faster and provide efficient operation.
- Stock ROM – Xposed framework runs perfectly on stock ROM.
Best Xposed Modules to be considered
After the framework is installed, then by adding several modules, a user can achieve his goals in customizing the Android OS. Below listed are the most commonly used modules among internet users.
- YouTube AdAway – a module that is used to make sure the advertisements are not played when using the YouTube application.
- Snapperfs – Saves images & videos received in Snapchat application automatically.
- CrappaLinks – When opening external YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc. links from a browser, it makes sure the relevant application is opened, instead of opening in another browser.
- XBlast Tools – Allows customizing the UI in hundreds of ways.
- FakeMyGPS – When an application requests for user location, this module replaces the real location with a fake one.
- Deep Sleep (DS) Battery Saver – Provides more control over managing applications that consumes more battery power.
- Instagram Downloader – Enables the option to download images & videos from Instagram, which is disabled by default.
- MinMinGuard – Blocks unnecessary ads displays by individual applications.
- WhatsApp Extension – Provides additional features such as reminding chat, individual custom wallpaper, hiding camera button, and so on.
- PinNotif – Allows pinning the notification until required. If not required, it can be unpinned.
The Xposed framework provides satisfaction to geeks who aren’t happy with the official versions of Android by allowing them to customize it. However, rooting your device voids the manufacturer’s warranty, in addition, installing modules involves risks as well. Therefore, it is recommended to consider the pros & cons before installing and using this framework. If the pros are higher, depending on your requirements, yes! Use it.