Update: An alpha version is now available.
The developer of the popular Xposed Framework hacking tool for Android phones and tablets has said that Xposed is unlikely to be launched for Android 5.0 for potentially months, and possibly not at all.
The Android 5.0 update, which is expected to start rolling out to Nexus devices within the next couple of weeks, introduces a whole new app runtime, ART, with which Xposed is not currently compatible.
The developer, posting online under the username robvo89, cites technical complexities as well as time and motivation as the main factors that will delay the further development of Xposed.
Writing in a post on the xda-developers forum, rovo89 said, “I think I mentioned before that I had an early proof of concept for ART working in December . As I expected, many things had to be changed for the first L preview, and even then it didn’t work. ART != ART.
“You may also have noticed that I haven’t been here and didn’t work on Xposd for the past three months for various reasons. I still don’t have time and motivation to work on Xposed as I used to, but I’m slowly starting again (no promises though).”
Furthermore, his work on the project won’t begin until the final version of ART is released: “Chance are pretty low that [Xposed for Lollipop will become available] within a month after Lollipop release, and will get higher once I start thinking about flashing a Lollipop ROM myself (which would probably be CM12, and I think these guys won’t give us a timeline either, for good reasons).”
Rovo89 also stated that technical changes in Android 5.0, including to the SELinux security module, are likely to make Xposed far harder to install, with users needing to flash a custom kernel and boot image. One of Xposed’s biggest strengths—compatibility with virtually all common devices and ROMs (both stock and custom)—may also be lost.
“I’m still not 100% sure Xposed for Lollipop will work”, he says. “But I hope that in some way it will, even if it might not be as compatible with most ROMs and as easy to install as it is for Android 4.x.”
Xposed has established itself as one of the best tools for Android tinkerers. Its wide range of modules enabled users to implement a huge number of hacks that would previously only have been accessible by flashing a custom ROM.
The ability to use Xposed on rooted stock ROMs made hacking an Android phone easier and safer than before.
With changes in the Android OS and software built by handset manufacturers making devices harder to root and hacks, as well as the maturing of the operating system to make mods less essential than before, could soon lead to questions about whether the era Android hacking is coming to a close.