We don't talk about rooting nearly as much these days. It's not that plenty of people aren't still doing it, but the popularity of modding has slowly dropped off as Android continues to mature. One of the leading deterrents to rooting is the hassle of manually staying current with updates, which can take more effort than it's worth–especially with Google adopting a monthly rollout schedule for Nexus security updates. Chainfire, developer of SuperSU, has updated his app FlashFire to take the pain out of keeping up-to-date by adding support for OTA packages and Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Read More
[Heads up: to use this application you'll need root permissions on your phone or tablet. If you don't have them, you can stop reading here. Now, we continue with our regularly scheduled blog post.] Yesterday we found out about a new Google Now card that can show you changes in the prices of airfare based on recent searches. At least one developer isn't interested in waiting for Google to rollout new Now cards, and found a way to switch them on manually - even the ones that aren't public just yet.
Meet UnleashTheGoogle, an app from developer Zhuowei Zhang. It gives root users a panel in the Google Search settings menu that unlocks all kinds of interesting API tests, not to mention experimental Now cards. Read More
It really is staggering how much customization you can do with the flexible Xposed Framework, even on a stock phone or tablet. The latest interesting Xposed module adds some much-needed options to Chrome for Android, at least if you're a root user who knows your way around the tool. ChromePIE is not a delicious browser-flavored snack cake, it's a module that adds swiping controls to Chrome, modeled after the popular LMT-PIE navigation bar replacement.
The old AOSP Android browser actually had a settings menu option for controls very similar to PIE, activated by swiping in to the page from the side of the screen. Read More
Over the years, Google has been shoring up security on Android in a bid to make the operating system more attractive to governments and businesses, and to reduce the threat of malware for regular users. Unfortunately, these changes often come at the expense of flexibility in our beloved platform. As we close in on the next major release of Android, due to be announced next month, SuperSU developer Chainfire has discovered a set of commits to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) that may seriously impact some of the functionality currently enjoyed by many root users. In a post on Google+, he describes how a set of recent changes to the SELinux implementation will completely cut off write access to system to anything but recovery. Read More
Another month has come and gone, which means a ton of app posts on Android Police to sift through. In point of fact, there were fewer notable apps released in March than in the last few months - that's why our primary picks are down to just six. But most of these should be useful to most users, with Per-App Modes and Pixl Preview applying only to root users and Photoshop owners, respectively.
Android Police coverage: [New App] Chris Lacy's Link Bubble Makes Browsing The Web On A Mobile Device Suck A Lot Less (Hands-On)
Every once in a while, an app comes along that fundamentally changes the way you use your phone. Read More
The Xposed Framework has become a go-to modification tool over the last year or so, bypassing the need for custom ROMs for some devices and introducing all kinds of interesting tricks and hacks for rooted users. The latest version of the framework adds some interesting features. Owners of LG, Sony, and Meizu hardware will be happy to know that version 2.5 better supports stock and custom ROMs for their phones and tablets.
Xposed modules have a tendency to blow up, either from errors in the module itself or (just as likely) being applied to the wrong device or ROM. Read More
Much of Android's development is done out in the open, which is how several Android developers noticed that a recent commit to the Android Open Source Project master tree would break many of your favorite root apps. This is the result of a newly implemented security feature, rather than an active effort to lock things down on Google's part. Nevertheless, it could result in some inconvenience, so developer Chainfire has taken to his Google+ page to detail what will happen if the change is not reverted before the release of a future version of Android.
Many apps extract files to directories located on the /data partition and execute them as root, but this recent commit prevents them from doing so. Read More
For a root user, there's nothing more frustrating than being denied access to an app simply because they've rooted their own phone or tablet. Of course, since it's rooted, there's probably a root app for that. RootCloak has been a reliable way to get around these content and functionality blocks, and now developer DevAdvance has posted a new version that should work with even more applications.
RootCloak Plus uses Cydia Substrate instead of the Xposed Framework that the original tool was based on. According to the developer, Cydia has access to deeper integration within Android via native calls, letting it successfully bypass root detection on even more apps. Read More
Have you ever refused to install an app because it wants too many permissions? Yeah, a lot of people have, and we don't blame them. A little too much trust can lead to stolen information, mysterious charges on your cellular bill, or worse. Thanks to developer M66B, we've got a simple way to lock down potentially misbehaving software. His new mod, XPrivacy, can block several types of activities and queries, despite the permissions granted at installation. It can even substitute GPS coordinates and your MAC address, with plans to add support for more types of data in the future. This is a lot like the upcoming Incognito Mode in CyanogenMod, but it can be used with almost any rooted ROM, including those from OEMs. Read More