It’s always fun to have a play around with new things, and if you’re confident enough to root your Android device, you get an almost infinite number of new things to play around with. In this tutorial we’re going to show you how you can add some pretty cool extra controls to your Chrome browser using an Xposed Framework module called ChromePIE. It’s pretty easy to do, but you will need to make sure of a few things before we get started.
First and foremost you’ll need a rooted device. We performed the hack on a Nexus 7 rooted using WugFresh (wugfresh.com). You’ll also need to have the Xposed Framework installed on that device. You can grab that by heading to this link right here (tinyurl.com/nm4eups). You’ll want to download it on to your device, and make sure your settings enable you to install apps from unknown sources. When you’ve done all of that it’s just a case of downloading and installing the ChromePIE module and setting everything up just the way you’d like it. We’ve added a few hints and tricks into the tutorial as well to make sure you’re getting the most out of your ChromePIE experience.
You’ll need a few minutes set aside to do this one, as there’s at least one reboot necessary, but when you’re ready head on over to the first step and we’ll get started.
For more in-depth tutorials, make sure to check out the new issue of Android Magazine.
Download the file
Head on over to this page (tinyurl.com/nqp42k6) on your smartphone or tablet and download the ChromePIE module. The download link is about halfway down the page. Tapping the link might give you the option to open it directly in Xposed Framework, so instead long press and save the file directly.
Install the pie
Next simply tap on the APK file that you just downloaded. Agree to any permissions that are suggested and it should begin to install on your device. Remember you’ll need to make sure you can install apps from unknown sources. When it’s installed head on over to the Xposed Installer.
Find your module
Now you need to find the module in the Installer. From the main menu look for the entry marked Modules. Now tap on that and you should be shown a list of all the Xposed Framework modules that you’ve got installed on your phone or tablet.
Check the relevant box
If you’ve only got the one module installed it should be pretty easy to find. You should see a check box next to the ChromePIE module. Tap on this and the module will activate. You’ll have to restart your device for the changes to take effect though.
After the reboot finishes
When you’ve rebooted your device head to your Apps list. The ChromePIE app has exactly the same logo as your Chrome browser, and it’s likely to be right next to it in the list. Find it, then tap on it to start setting up the controls you’re going to use.
Set your new buttons
The main menu of the application should be pretty sparse. This is where you can add new buttons to your pie. First choose where you want to be able to slide your pie in from. Both sides is probably best, depending on how you hold your device.
Add a new slice
Now you want to tap on the option that says Add new slice. Here we’re going to modify the controls that pop up when you slide a finger in from the left or right of your phone screen. It’s pretty straightforward, and you can add plenty. Experiment to find the right balance.
New controls please
There’s only one item in your pie at the moment, but we’re going to add a few more in a matter of seconds. Tap on it and you’ll bring up a list of options that you can add. Select one from the available list and then it should be added to the first slice.
Add more slices
Follow those steps for each new slice to add all the controls you need to your new pie. When you’re done you should have a list that looks a little bit like the screen above. You don’t want to make your pie too crowded, so keep the controls to a sensible amount.
Finally you’ll want to tap where it says Restart Chrome. This will add your changes to the ChromePIE. Slide a finger in from the left or the right of the screen and a ring of options should appear around it. Swipe through one of them to select it, simple as that.