If you live right on the bleeding edge of the Android modding world, but you just can't press the button on using beta software, you're in luck! Xposed 2.4 is now out of beta just one week after KitKat support was first announced. As with the previous release, this one comes with the new log viewer and some pretty serious performance improvements. Now that it has lost the beta tag, it should also be fairly stable, or at least as stable as you can expect for a super-charged modding 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.
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.
If you've got a late-model Samsung device and a desire to tinker, Wanam Xposed is for you. It's a module for the increasingly popular Xposed Framework (which means that those without root need not apply). If you have a stock Samsung device that runs Android 4.2 or later, Wanam Xposed opens up an incredible amount of customization options for TouchWiz and other settings.
Visual and audio tweaks include colors or transparency in the notification bar, customizations for the battery, clock, and date displays, transparent quick settings, 180-degree rotation support, disabling Samsung's dingy boot sound, and a dark theme for the multi-window view.
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.
Cydia by developer Saurik has been around the block a few times, beginning in 2008 as a means of installing and modifying software on jailbroken iDevices. A diverse ecosystem has sprung up around the platform, expanding what iOS fans can do on their usually restricted devices. Saurik's Cydia Substrate, a platform for modifying devices without flashing new ROMs, has now made its way over to Android.
Cydia Substrate does not do anything interesting on its own, but developers can use the platform to distribute extensions that modify software without requiring access to source code.
Multi-user support is one of the most interesting additions in Jelly Bean 4.2, but you can only get it if you're using a tablet. It makes sense - phones are rarely shared between more than one person, while tablets are naturally shareable. Even so, it would be nice if Google gave users the option. But thanks to modder extraordinaire Paul "Modaco" O'Brien, there's a relatively easy way to enable multi-user mode on smartphones.