Most Xposed modules add a simple change or tweak one or two settings. The Xposed GEL Settings module, colloquially known as XGELS, is a bit more ambitious. This tool for customizing the default Google Experience Launcher keeps adding new features every few months, and the latest actually adds something that isn't available in erstwhile competitors like Nova or Apex. You can download it on the Play Store now, though you'll need root and the Xposed Framework to run it.
First of all, XGELS has been given a Material Design makeover, though at the moment this is mostly apparent in the settings itself (your primary interaction with the module).
Xposed GEL Settings, or XGELS, is an Xposed Framework module that aims to make the default Google Now launcher (AKA the Google Experience Launcher) just as customizable as alternatives like Nova. The latest update adds a handful of new options for customization nuts, including tweaks to the icon display on the homescreen and app drawer. You can download XGELS via the Play Store, but you'll need a rooted device and the Xposed Framework (sideload) to make it work.
Version 2.1 adds the ability to display icon labels on those apps placed in the dock on the homepage, which isn't exactly my cup of tea, but apparently someone wanted it.
It never ceases to amaze me how much rooted users can get done with the Xposed Framework customization engine. The latest add-on module lets you expand the somewhat basic canned responses available on Android Wear-enabled text messaging apps. With WearResponses, you can add in just about any custom message to the list that appears on your watch, which should be handy for specific work replies that are too unique for voice detection. Like "GB419 is ready to ship," or "Horiguchi wants the meeting changed," or "SOON BACKANSWER!"
After installing the Xposed module and restarting your phone to activate it, WearResponses guides you through creating, editing, and deleting canned responses.
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.
I don't think the developer behind the Xposed Google Experience Launcher Settings (XGELS) module will be satisfied until he's made the stock Google Search launcher every bit as flexible as Nova and Apex. The latest update to the popular module adds even more customization options. Premium users can now assign custom icons to a single app or the app drawer icon, with or without a full icon theme applied, like most of the more advanced launchers allow.
All users also get "Smart folders," which is a bit of a misnomer - basically it's swipe actions. You can enable this to swipe up on a homescreen folder and launch the first item inside.
Last year we told you about GravityBox, easily one of the most complete and far-reaching Xposed modules for rooted Nexus and AOSP ROMs. The creator is still expanding the module, and has quickly incorporated the Heads Up notifications recently featured in CyanogenMod nightly builds. Heads Up notifications pop up for easy viewing and action while in full screen mode. The feature is hidden deep in Android 4.4 code, and easily enabled here.
The GravityBox implementation allows for deciding which notifications will appear as Heads Up windows and which will be ignored, and users can expand notifications (if supported) with a two-finger swipe.
As useful as the Google Experience Launcher (GEL) is, it's not exactly what you'd call "customizable." But intrepid modder Alexander Schulz has been working on that, making the GEL bend to his will through the magic of root and the Xposed Framework tool. The latest update to Xposed GEL Settings adds some really cool features. The most impressive is probably the dynamic home button: the home button on the virtual nav bar will switch to the app tray icon on the default home screen if that's the function you've selected. You can also change the Back button to a power button on the launcher.
Xposed has fast become the go-to modification tool for Android power users who are comfortable with root, but who won't (or can't) move to a completely custom ROM. The latest update to the non-Play Store app adds a few creature comforts in the form of user interface tweaks, plus the usual bug fixes under the hood.
The first thing you'll notice is a spiffy new logo for your launcher and shortcuts. After opening the app itself, users will find that the somewhat static menus of previous versions have been replaced with more fashionable "cards" where applicable in the UI. Xposed Framework remains a very utilitarian app - most of the flash comes from what the modules themselves can do to your phone or tablet - but the additional gloss on a sometimes rough visual experience is welcome.
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.
The Xposed Framework provides incredible, fine-grained control over the features and functionality of Android. You can do almost anything, but sometimes you just need an extra button – it's good for that too. ViewInPlay is a new module that handily creates links to the Play Store.
When activated, this module adds a button to the app info screen that links out to the app's Play Store page. Cool, but there's another module that does this. ViewInPlay goes a step further by placing a link in the recent apps list too. Simply long-press on the app preview and 'View in Play' will be in the pop up.