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.
Android 5.0 has a lot of smart features, and battery saver mode is one of them. When your phone reaches a user-defined low battery level, Lollipop will automatically reduce animations, turn off most background data, cut vibration from alerts, and lower the standard brightness on the screen. It's a smarter implementation of the feature than, say, the ultra power saving modes on recent Samsung or HTC phones, which disable all but a few apps.
As we've said before, Phonebloks' concept of a modular phone built using swappable, easily upgradeable parts is as awesome as it is unlikely. Yet that doesn't mean we can't sit here, watch the company's videos, and dream. We have our eyes on Project Ara, Google's take on the idea, and we can't wait to see what comes of it. But apparently Phonebloks already sees this as small potatoes. The company doesn't want just a world of modular phones.
Quick reminder: the modular smartphone is a real thing that's really happening. Motorola blew our minds with the announcement of a plan to create modular phones not totally unlike the Phonebloks concept, and now the manufacturer is one step closer to making some real hardware. 3D Systems, makers of the Cube 3D printer and similar equipment, is Motorola's first partner on the Project Ara.
So what does that mean? Motorola needs some way of adding flexibility to a traditionally rigid manufacturing process, and 3D printing would seem to be a natural solution.
The Xposed framework has opened up some interesting mods. Most of them do only a few things. Some of them do a lot more. GravityBox does a lot more than that. This module from XDA Developers member C3C076 (keep 'em comin, guys) seems to incorporate all the little tweaks that people generally flash a custom ROM for, but it's built for stock Nexus devices and "clean" AOSP ROMs.
Here are a few of the highlights for GravityBox: PIE controls that replace the on-screen navigation buttons.
Your phone is old and you need a new one. You'd be happy as a clam if you could upgrade only one part, but to get the RAM/storage/processor you want, you have to pay for everything. This is why people still build desktop PCs. A concept called Phonebloks takes that modular PC goodness and applies it to smartphones. It's an interesting idea that will probably never, ever come to fruition.
Here's the gist: you buy a phone base that includes the motherboard and enough connective hardware to string all the parts together on one side and mount the screen on the other.
Walking around CES Unveiled on the first day of CES 2011, I ran into a little company called Mavizon Tech, showcasing their product with a beautiful name Mavia. I you've never heard of Mavizon, don't feel bad - they don't have many consumer-facing products just yet, but it's all about to change when Mavia hits the market later this year.
What is Mavia? It's a little gizmo box that plugs into your car's diagnostics port and sits there, drawing the power from the aforementioned port.