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Control everything about your Android device with App Settings and the Xposed Framework

App Settings is a powerful Xposed module that enables you to override the settings on any of the apps on your Android phone. Here's how it works.

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App Settings will unlock the power of your apps. It might appear a little primitive but that’s it’s charm, because it takes you right to the core of all your apps’ settings and lets you override any of them, on a per app basis.

You can customise the display to hide or reveal more of what you want to see, so if you want to have more map on-screen when you’re using the turn-by-turn then you can hide your status bar and the app’s title bar.

You can disable large, distracting notifications from apps (such as Any.do, which slides an alarm panel up over a third of your screen), and if you want to give certain apps a priority status then you can give them insistent notifications with endlessly looping sounds.

Not only that, you can delve deep into your permissions and make hugely powerful settings that control the way your apps work.

You can see the entire permissions list for each app, read and then enable or disable them as you please, search and filter by app or permission through your entire directory and generally take absolute control of your device.

Uninstalled an app recently because you didn’t like the look of a permission it was asking for? Now you can just nip into App Settings and stop that tube map from accessing your microphone. Let’s get started.

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    Download the module

    First thing to do is open up Xposed Installer, head to the Download section and search for App Settings. There’s a lengthy but useful description on its page, and it’s worth checking out the Support (XDA) link too as it breaks down the features in more detail. Download the module.

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    Activate the module

    Once you’ve downloaded App Settings, use the drop-down to go to your Modules area and tick the new module on. Head to Framework and hit Reboot to load Android with App Settings activated. It’ll be in your app drawer, so drag it to a home screen and open it up.

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    Find an app

    App Settings will scan through all of your apps, including the OS and various utilities you have installed, and list them all alphabetically for you. The filter buttons and search bar are up top, and if you hit your Option key then you’ll find Import/Export options for saving settings.

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    Change display settings

    Once you’ve found an app, tap it to see its display options; you’ll need to switch the toggle on at the top. Here we’re looking at Play Movies & TV, and have ticked the option to Keep screen on. For the developer’s explanation of these options, read bit.ly/1kGkSbS.

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    Export and save

    When you try to back up, you’ll be warned that you haven’t saved. Make sure you’re happy with your settings and then tap the save icon at the top-right. If you’re worried about messing things up, hit Export before you do anything so you can import later if need be.

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    Filter through apps

    Back up to your main screen and you’ll see the app you just adjusted is highlighted in red text, to indicate a change. A quicker way to find out which apps you’ve adjusted is to hit the eye icon at the top-left and search for Overridden settings.

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    Search by permission

    Tap the padlock icon beside the eye to filter through your apps, one permission at a time. Keep an eye out for red text as this indicates the intrusive or potentially harmful permissions, and you may wish to disable them for apps that have no real need for them.

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    Read that text

    Next time you get a confirmations screen for an app update, don’t just tap Accept; scan through the permissions. If there are any you judge to be a risk, and which you don’t think will impact on the functionality of the app if denied, open the app in App Settings.

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    Deny app permissions

    Tap the Permissions button at the bottom of the display options screen. Switch the Revoke Permissions toggle on and you can then scroll through every single permission requested by the app in question. Check the descriptions and simply tap a permission to disable it (shown here in purple).

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    Control your apps

    As well as defend yourself against rogues and ensure your screen stays on, you can really boost the performance of your main apps. Here, for example, we’ve forced Maps to go full screen, scaled text to 90%, hidden the nav bars and disabled big notifications, to make a better satnav.

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