Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Alternatives to popular Xposed modules | Prepare for Android Lollipop / ART


Android 5.0 Lollipop's public release is imminent. People with Nexus devices and possibly other flagship devices are going to start receiving the OTA updates soon. Lollipop brings a huge amount of visual and backend changes with it; switch from Dalvik to ART runtime being one of the biggest of them. This particular change has left many Android enthusiasts in a limbo - whether to upgrade to Lollipop or not; because their beloved Xposed framework doesn't support ART and supposedly won't for a long time. I myself am on that boat. I love xposed and several of its modules. Upgrading to Lollipop will mean we won't be able to use those anymore. Still, Lollipop is so tempting that I won't be able to stop myself from flashing it the minute the factory images drop. Hence, I'm trying to find out replacements for the several xposed modules I and countless others use. Here are the alternatives that I've found.

If you don't know what Xposed frameowrk is and what it does, you can read about it here or watch this video.


AlarmClockPlus

This module tells you the time and date, every time you snooze your alarm; so that you don't have to look at your phone to determine if you can snooze one more time.

This can be done with Tasker. Trigger can be - Event -> Date/Time -> "Alarm Done" and the task can be a variation of "Talking Clock" task as created here.


Amplify, Wakelock Terminator

Put simply, with these two modules, you can prevent any particular app from waking up your device when you are not using it and thus prevent draining the battery unnecessarily. Very handy if some rough app is wrecking havoc.

Alternative for these two modules are - Greenify, Wakelock Detector, Better Battery Stats; to some extent. Greenify prevents your chosen apps from starting up on their own, after you've closed them. The other two apps don't provide any automatic ways to prevent wakelocks but they do show you which apps kept your device awake while you weren't using it. You can then either Greenify those apps or uninstall them.


AppOpsXposed, XPrivacy
These modules allow you to deny certain permissions to certain apps. For example, if you don't want Facebook to have access to your SMS, you can deny that permission here.

Alternatives - App Ops, if it works or a much better LBE Security Master. This is in Chinese. English translated version available at XDA.



BootManager
With this module, you could prevent selected apps from running on system startup. Run only the apps you want at system start. Thus you can have faster boot and less load on RAM / Battery / CPU.




The aforementioned LBE Security Master also has a boot manager. Otherwise, Battery Doctor also has a Autostart Management feature.


Complete Action Plus, CustomShare
Do you want to have one-click "Complete action using" dialog? Do you want to change layout to List or Grid? Do you want to hide Apps in list or put your favorite at the top? These modules can do all of that and more.

Alternative - Better Open With is a great option. Otherwise, there's Andmade Share.


CrappaLinks
Tapping short links in Twitter clients, Facebook, Google Plus, and Reddit first opens a web browser. The browser then immediately redirects you to your selected default native application. CrappaLinks saves you from this ordeal by expanding short URLs and opening the proper native application directly.

Alternative for this is - Unshorten. It does exact same thing as the xposed module. (Thanks /u/alphabet0 for the tip).



MinMinGuard
This is an Ad Blocker which prevents ads from showing up inside apps and websites on your phone.





Alternative - AdAway


Native Clip Board
This module adds clip-board functionality to the text selection menu.

There are several clipboard manager apps in Android. The best I've found is Clipper. And if you need something much more fancy with lots of bells n whistles, there's Type Machine.




Statusbar Gestures
This Xposed module allows you to add various gestures to your statusbar. You can either launch an app or a shortcut.


Even though there are no direct / exact alternatives to this module, there are several apps that somewhat can mimic the functionality. Most of the custom launchers like Nova / Apex etc provide gesture settings, which can be used to launch an app or a shortcut; difference being, instead of the statusbar, these gestures will work only from the homescreen of those launchers. Alternatively, there's GMD Gesture Control, which allows you to control your device with gestures, system wide.


Statusbar Scroll to Top
This module allows you to tap the status bar to scroll to the top of any lists / page. No more scrolling / flicking endlessly to reach the top of the page.

Found this alternative - OneClick Scroll - in the Play Store.



Tinted Status Bar
This module tints your status bar according to the currently shown activity of the app you are currently using. Thankfully, there's no alternative needed. Lollipop has this baked in. Woo hoo. Of course, app developers have to support it. Those who don't - WHY...!!!??


Xposed Macro Expand
This module enables Macro / Text expansion. i.e. short key sequences to be transformed into other, usually more time-consuming, sequences of keystrokes. This means that frequently used or repetitive sequences of keystrokes can easily be automated. It works with all factory and third party keyboards.



If you are going to use the stock Android keyboard, that already has text expansion built in. Go to keyboard settings > Text correction > Personal Dictionary. Add any word / sentence and its shortcut there. But if you use any thirdparty keyboard like Swype or SwiftKey, this won't work there. In that case, you can use EverClip, which enables text expansion, system wide. And this app also acts as Clipboard monitor; so it's killing two birds with one stone.


Instagram Downloader / Vine Downloader
As the names suggest, these modules add an option to download the photos / videos from the Instagram / Vine app. InstaGetter and vDownloader are the non-xposed alternatives, respectively.



WhatsApp Mods
Allows you to remove the voice and/or camera buttons from the conversation view and gives the ability to keep the contact list in your history, so when you launch a conversation using it and then press the back button, it doesn't skip straight back to the main conversations list.

Even though not the same functionality, if you are looking for customization in WhatsApp, there's WhatsApp Plus.


Wow. So, quite a few xposed modules have non-xposed alternatives. Now, here are some modules whose alternatives I couldn't find.

Do you know any apps which can act as alternative to these modules? Do you use any other module whose alternative you've found or not found? Leave a comment.
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