XposedLollipop2-300x187In an earlier article I explained how to customise versions of Android prior to KitKat using Xposed and the Gravity Box module. The process was relatively simple: all you needed was a rooted phone and two applications.

With the arrival of Lollipop, the process becomes a little more complicated. As well as rooting your phone, you now need to flash a ZIP file from a modified recovery image. This means you first need to change the stock recovery image for one which has been customised by the developer community. What’s more, if your bootloader is locked, you’ll need to unlock it.

In this article I’ll explain the whole process step by step, as well as which files you’ll need to install, depending on the version and model of your device.

First step: installation of the modified recovery image

To install the Framework ZIP file you need a modified recovery image. There are various recovery images created by the developer community, the article the recovery menu on BQ phones gives an overview of the best known.

I recommend TWRP which is a very complete recovery image.

If the bootloader on your device is locked, you’ll have to unlock it using “Fastboot mode”.

Files needed

Once you’ve installed the modified recovery, you’ll have to download the ZIP file using the Xposed Framework corresponding to your device and version of Android.

  • If you have version 5.0.x download this ZIP file (****sdk21-arm.zip for future versions of the file).
  • If you have version 5.1.x you’ll need to download this ZIP file (****sdk22-arm.zip for future versions of the file)..
  • For both versions, you’ll also need to download the following application.

This thread on the XDA Developers forum contains further information. What’s more, if the files are updated to new versions, you’ll be able to download them whenever you like.

Once you’ve downloaded the necessary files, copy the ZIP and the application to the device memory (either the internal memory or the microSD card). The next step is to install the application, but don’t run it just yet. In order to install it, make sure you activate the “Unknown sources” box in “Settings > Security”.

Install the app using a file explorer like Es File Explorer

Install the app using a file explorer like ES File Explorer

Switch off your phone and enter recovery mode. In this article you’ll see how to enter recovery mode on various devices. Go to the “Install” option, select the ZIP you downloaded and moved to the phone memory beforehand, and install it.

Installing the ZIP file stored on the phone memory

Installing the ZIP file stored on the phone memory

Once installed, reboot your phone. To do so, go back to the TWRP main screen and click “Reboot”. Then click “System”. Don’t be alarmed if your phone reboots multiple times.

Click “Reboot” then “System”

Click “Reboot” then “System”

Xposed Installer

Xposed Installer is the application tasked with managing everything. Below I will explain what each section is for.

Main window of the Xposed app with various options

Main window of the Xposed app with various options

Framework

If everything has turned out correctly, a message in green text will show that your version of Framework is activated. Here you can update your version of Framework or reboot (soft or hard) your devie after updating Framework or installing a module.

Framework window, where you can update or reboot your device.

Framework window, where you can update or reboot your device.

Modules

Here you can see the modules installed, and activate them if necessary once they have been installed. When you activate a module you’ll need to restart your device for it to take effect.

Modules installed. When you activate one you’ll be asked to restart your device.

Modules installed. When you activate one you’ll be asked to restart your device.

Download

In this section you can download various community-created modules. Some might not be in this section, but the most used ones will be.

Here you can also see if you have the latest version of Xposed Installer.

 Downloading Xposed modules. You will also find the GravityBox module here.


Downloading Xposed modules. You will also find the GravityBox module here.

Settings

From this menu you can change certain options in Xposed, check for updates, change the application interface, and so on.

Logs

Here you can see the app’s history, any errors, etc.

Gravity Box

An Xposed module which, for me at least, is one of the most complete modules available. The options are the same as those which exist for previous versions of Android.

Each option also contains customisations specific to the new version of Android, Lollipop.

GravityBox module options

GravityBox module options

As you’ve just seen, it is slightly more complicated to install Xposed Framework on Android Lollipop, but it’s worth doing so to access its community-developed customisation options.

Tomás V. (known as tvcastro at mibqyyo) is a smartphone MVP, MyBQ editor, beta tester and active member of the BQ forum. Tomás is passionate about Android and everything around him. He enjoys helping other users on the forum and learns something new every day.