Over Xposed

Xposed Updates

I’ve written a fair bit on these forums about the Xposed Framework. Up until last week the consensus shared by me and some other Android modders—the Mobile Dynasty crew, for example—was that custom ROM development couldn’t keep up with the explosion of these disparate little modules that together give you the custom ROM experience without the custom ROM.

So what happened last Friday? I wiped my Nexus 5 and installed the latest CyanogenMod, without Xposed. My reasons for doing so can be seen in the screen grab above. Simply put, updating Xposed Modules—and the Framework itself—is a royal pain in the butt.

What made me switch to stock Android plus Xposed in the first place was that Omni, the only available KitKat ROM at the time, had no roadmap for stable releases. In their mission statement is something about nightly releases being more fun to fiddle about with; that’s all fine and well, but there comes a time when I just want to use my device without having to worry about the next update.

With stock KitKat I’ve had no such worry, but with Xposed it’s a different matter; every time I open it there’s a bunch of updates waiting for me, each and every one of them requiring a reboot. And if you wait too long you might find that the update to a specific module might break what you already have installed. So you have to uninstall that module first, then reboot, then install the newest version, then reboot again, then reconfigure it because you’ve lost all the settings you previously had. This isn’t hackery, it’s drudgery!

The proverbial straw that broke this camel’s back was when a module called Xposed GEL Settings stopped working. I had it installed on both my Nexus 5 and 7 for a single purpose: to get rid of the persistent Google Search bar on my home screens. I noticed last week that the search bar had returned to both my phone and tablet; according to reddit the module apparently broke with an update from Google. That sucks.

So for now my Nexus 5 is on a snapshot build of Cyanogenmod 11. I’ve noticed that the other big ROMs I’ve used in the past—AOKP, Paranoid Android—aren’t releasing stable builds and instead going the beta route, perhaps to keep expectations down. I might be more adventurous and put one of them on my tablet, but for my phone I need something reliable.

And sure, with root access there’s nothing stopping me from using Xposed and a custom ROM in tandem. But to be honest, I’m not really missing Xposed so far.