Android 5.0 brought major changes to the platform, and that made it hard to get the Xposed system tweaking framework functional. The project's developer has finally announced that Xposed for Lollipop is ready after months of betas and unofficial builds. That doesn't mean it's completely without risks, but nothing should be obviously broken.
The open-source nature of Android means that you can run the mobile operating system on just about anything if you've got the know-how. Case in point: A YouTube user named Josh Max has managed to get it running on his Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX. If that name conjures up images of middle school algebra exams, it's because it's a graphing calculator. Check it out in action in the video below:
The Nspire CX is one of the more robust graphing calculators on the market.
Xposed is a fantastic tool for modders whose phones aren't as popular as mainstream models and don't get as much ROM support, or if they simply want a few Android tweaks without flashing completely custom firmware. Unfortunately, both the Xposed Framework and the module you're using need to be updated with each major release of Android for the functionality to reliably work. That's now true for GravityBox, a popular collection of tweaks and mods bundled into a single module, and Lollipop 5.1.
For those who like to mod their Android devices, the Xposed framework is a revelation. You don't need to flash a new ROM, but you get a ton of customization options and system UI tweaks with relatively limited risk. After months of waiting, Xposed may finally be coming to Lollipop.
The impending release of the Google Now Launcher (GNL) presents a bit of a dilemma. The cool Google Now integration isn't possible with third-party launchers, but GNL doesn't have many customization options. If you're rooted, there is at least one way to get around that – the new Xposed GEL Settings, which as you can tell from the name, requires the Xposed Framework.
The Xposed framework is a major boon to those of us who use an Android device that doesn't have a lot of support from the custom ROM community. It allows a lot of the things you want in custom ROMs - visual tweaks, interface changes, behavioral and button functions, fixes for annoying bugs, and a host of other things - via independent modules, with only root privileges. The latest beta release from developer "Rovo89" includes support for Android 4.4 and a bevy of performance improvements.
It's not terribly hard to unlock and root a Nexus device, but mucking around with ADB simply isn't for everyone. If you want a somewhat more automated rooting experience for your 2013 Nexus 7, there's the Root Toolkit from Mskip. It's available now for all your modding needs.
Mskip is a senior moderator and recognized developer at XDA. He makes it his business to build simple root toolkits for a ton of devices.
If you've got a Galaxy Note 10.1 handy and a hankering for root-enabled fun, noted modder mskip has just posted an initial version of his extensive Toolkit for the Samsung tablet to the XDA developers forum. We've seen these before for all kinds of hardware, most recently the Galaxy Note 8.0, and they're great as a one-stop shop for advanced user operations. The toolkit requires a Windows PC, but beyond that it's got everything you should need to start rooting and modding the Note 10.1.
A new CyanogenMod feature is currently under review, and it looks staggeringly cool. Developed by Nebojsa Cvetkovic, this addition would place a new camera tile in the Quick Settings panel. Tap it, and you get a live viewfinder capable of taking snapshots right from the notification shade.
Readers of a certain age will remember the way LCD screens looked back in the early 90s. We'd never heard of color LCDs – that would have been witchcraft plain and simple. LCDs were dingy little grayscale things that you saw on clocks and mediocre handheld games. Still, there's nothing like some nostalgia in this age of pocket-sized supercomputers, right? MyColorScreen user z3u5 posted a classic LCD theme for custom Android launchers recently, and it's a seriously cool effect.