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How to run Android apps in tablet mode on your phone

Get a better viewing experience by tweaking how apps display on your screen using an Xposed Module

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One thing that a lot of people count against Android is the almost limitless number of screen sizes that support the OS. It’s a by-product of the open source nature of Google’s operating system and means some apps look better on your tablet than they do on your phone.

However, if you’ve got a rooted device and you’re not averse to a little bit of tinkering, you can fool apps into thinking that they’re running on a tablet rather than a phone. It takes a bit of faffing around to actually get it to work, but if you’re willing to persevere, you can set any app you’d like to run in its native tablet version on your phone. You’ll need a rooted device and you will need to download and install the Xposed Framework Installer too.

Other than that, you’ll just need ten or so minutes to get things up and running, as there are a few reboots and other tweaks that you need to perform to set up the required module. Essentially, you’re playing around with the inner workings of the apps on your phone to tell them to run at a different DPI, conning them into revealing all the info they show on a tablet on your smaller screened device. It’s not too tricky and once you’ve figured it out, you’ll be able to alter apps in a few taps.

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Discover 30 essential Xposed Modules for easy hacking in Android Magazine issue 48, available in all good shops and for digital download now.


  1. Download the module

    First up, you will need to download the Apps Settings Xposed Framework Module. Open this link on your phone, then scroll to the bottom of the page to start downloading the APK file. It will work quickly and shouldn’t take more than a minute to fully download to your phone.


  2. Install the module

    Once the module is downloaded, tap on it in your notifications drawer and then press the button marked Install to add it to your phone. After a few seconds you will be given the option to open up the app. Don’t do that yet though, as you will need to add the module to the Xposed Framework app before continuing.


  3. Open Xposed Framework app

    Instead, head to your apps list and open up the Xposed Framework app. Once you are inside, tap on the Modules option. You should see the App Settings module in the list that will appear on the next screen. Tap the check box next to the module to begin installing it.

     


  4. Reboot your phone

    Next, you’ll need to hard reboot your phone to make sure the module and Xposed are talking to each other properly. Again, this shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. When it’s done, head back to your apps drawer and this time open up the newly installed App Settings app.


  5. Load the big list of apps

    When you first open up the app, you should find a long list of all the apps that you have got installed on your phone. It might take a few seconds to populate, depending on how many apps you have installed – the more you have the longer it will take – so be patient and let it run its course completely.


  6. Try it with Gmail first

    A really good place to start experimenting is with Gmail, as it definitely has a native tablet version and a native phone version. Tap on it in the list and you will be taken to this screen. Now you need to tap on the button next to the Word Settings that is currently marked as Off.


  7. Explore the list

    When you tap the button, a new list of options will appear on-screen. These are the things you can now play about with thanks to the App Settings module. The one that we are interested in for this tutorial is the one that’s marked DPI. It needs to be set higher to ensure the changes work.


  8. Check the numbers

    You’ll also need to change the resolution of the app. A good bet is usually to set the DPI at around 160 and the resolution at 600 x 1024. This should force the app to display in tablet mode, but it really depends on your screen and the resolution it already runs at.


  9. Keep playing

    Once you have moved all of the numbers around to how you want them, you need to tap on the Save icon located in the top-right corner. This will save the alterations that you’ve made and give you the option to kill the app if it’s running, in order to make the changes become permanent.


  10. Kill the changes

    If you ever want to set the app back to its default appearance, all you have to do is head back into the App Settings and toggle the Settings switch back to off. Remember though, that not all apps have both phone and tablet versions – you can’t add what isn’t already there.

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