It is somewhat curious and at the same time disappointing that each release of Android alienates power users more and more while getting better and more secure. Such is the case of rooting, which is becoming more complex, in particular thanks to Android adopting the rather robust SELinux security framework. But unlike Chainfire, who is rather optimistic about the chances of rooting in the future, Xposed Framework developer Rovo89 isn’t as confident. Long story short, fans might have to wait a while for it to come to Android 5.0, if it will ever at all.
The are three layers to Xposed’s problems with Android 5.0 Lollipop. The first is the easiest to overcome, as it only requires waiting. It is also the first door that must be opened. Android Lollipop, while announced, still isn’t in its final form, as Google is still doing some last minute tweaking to the platform. It will be considered done once the first batch of Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 devices start shipping. Until then, it is still too fast a moving target for developers like Rovo to hit, and it’s wiser to wait for things to settle down and solidify.
The second problem is technical and actually more difficult to address. As Xposed requires root access, it faces the same problems as Chainfire and root developers do, but to to a greater extent in some areas. Rovo hasn’t decided yet what path to take to make Xposed work in the new secure Android world, but hopefully Chainfire’s work will show him the way. But it isn’t the only problem either. Xposed also interacts with the Android Runtime, which in Android 5.0 has been switched to ART fulltime. Aside from still not being in its final form as mentioned above, there is no assurance that OEMs would make use of ART that is found in AOSP versus some other mix of their own. Add in the fact that ART in Android 4.4 is quite different from ART in Android 5.0. Again, everything hinges on the final Android 5.0 release that is still to take place in a few weeks.
The last problem, sadly, is one that isn’t too easy to solve from a technical standpoint. Rovo has been candid about his loss of personal motivation on working on this aspect of Xposed, and who can blame him given the messy and bleak state it’s in right now. When people are demotivated, they tend to also move quite slowly. That said, Rovo hasn’t entirely given up on getting Xposed to work on Android Lollipop. He just isn’t confident when that will all come together, if it’s actually possible to make it work at all.