Xposed Framework: what is it, how does it work and why is it so prevalent?


Some years ago, the term Xposed Framework was not present in the custom ROM and developer scene.
Now it seems to be everywhere.

Xposed is a framework for modules that are able to modify the
behaviour and looks of the Android operating system and apps. This
means, that you are able to install modules which add custom ROM like
features to the Android OS running on your device. These modules
include both visual- and performance improvements.

This description (quoted from trendblog.net) doesn’t really say anything, because with root priviliges (Xposed seems to require root), users could just as well alter the system in any way they like, so they wouldn’t need Xposed.

What is this Xposed Framework, how does it work, why would I want it and why is it so important nowadays?


For a short abstract, let me quote from my article Xposed: The mighty Android toolbox (available behind the link in German and English):

Xposed is a framework for modules that can change the behavior of the system and apps without touching any APKs. Instead, it reaches deep into the system, modifying the corresponding DEX or ART representations of the app. To be able to do so, Xposed must be deeply integrated with the Android system – which is done on installation of the framework, where it replaces some system components (after backing up the originals, so you can revert back anytime).

There are multiple advantages to this approach. Listing some of them:

  • you can modify parts of the system you otherwise could not

  • you can apply multiple modifications to the same app in a combination best fitting your intentions

  • changes are easy to undo: As all changes are done in the memory, you just need to deactivate the module and reboot to get your original system back.

For more details, also on installing the framework and on dealing with modules, please refer to the linked article. Though written almost 2 years ago, it still reflects how it works today; meanwhile, Xposed is also available for Android 7 (which was not released at the time the article was written).

PS: Your next question will probably be on Magisk – but that article is still on my todo list


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