How To: Get a colorful status bar in any rooted Android device

Tinted Status Bar

Status bars in stock Android devices have a static black color instead of replacing the color with whatever an app is using. If you are used to devices like the iPhone and newer Android ones like LG G3 and HTC One M8 then you will probably be very annoyed by this. Android L will definitely change things but what if you want to use this feature in older devices or you just cannot wait for it? Well, by using a rooted Android device, Xposed and a simple module, you can have colorful status bars in pretty much any device. If I have managed to pique your interest make sure you follow the steps in this guide carefully.

Set up Xposed

Xposed Installer

I already mentioned even in the title of this post that your Android device needs to be rooted in order to do this. If you are still unsure about this, go and check our simple Android rooting guide to get more information. After you do that, go ahead and download the Xposed Framework. This app will let you customize a huge variety of things in your device without having to install a whole new ROM. Before you try to install it, head on over to your Settings > Security and make sure that the option that allows you to install apps from “Unknown Sources” is turned on.

Getting the Tinted Status Bar module

Xposed Settings

By now you should have successfully installed Xposed in your device so go ahead and launch it. Go to the Settings immediately and change the “Versions to be shown” option to “Beta”. This way you tell Xposed that you want to see Stable and Beta versions of modules, a necessary step as the Tinted Status Bar is still in a beta phase.

Exposed Download

Now, get out of the settings and into the Download section. Swipe to the right till you are in the Versions tab and download the latest version you can see in there which should be the very top one. Once it is installed, go to the Modules section and check to see that the Tinted Status Bar is activated. Reboot your device and move on to the next step.

Change the color of the status bar

Tinted Status Bar Set Colors

Now we have finally reached the best but also most annoying part. Most apps will need to be configured manually as not all of them have a clearly defined status bar color in their code. Go to your app drawer, launch the Tinted Status Bar and move over to the Per app tints menu. Find an app you want to change the color for and tap on it. Turn on the slider at the top and select the option that reads “All activities, below settings override this”. You are also free to select among the other available options like linking the status and navigation bar colors (not available in all devices) and whether you want the status bar color to remain the same even if it goes away temporarily.

In a lot of cases, the app will automatically retrieve the correct colors. In other cases though you will have to manually tap on the titled squares in order to set the colors manually. You can use a color picker app or search the appropriate color codes in the Internet if you do not know them so things are not as hard as they sound at first. Any changes you make here are immediate with no restart needed so go ahead and check your new status bar colors right away.


Tinted Status Bar Settings

There are some bugs that occur with the color changes. In case you are using a custom launcher with transparent status and navigation bars, you may run into an annoying issue where the bars will turn black instead of transparent when you are in your home and lock screens. Thankfully, the fix here is very easy. Just head on to the Tinted Status Bar settings and turn on the setting that reads “Respect KitKat APIs”. Another bug is black text appearing instead of white and to fix it, change the “Max HS[V] for black icons” value to a higher one. More detailed troubleshooting about some of the rarer bugs can be found in the original XDA thread right here.

Closing words

Although it might take a while to force these changes into all of your apps, the results look amazing. The guide might be a bit more advanced than you are used to but if you follow the steps in the guide carefully, nothing can go wrong really. In a worst case scenario, uninstalling the module will fix everything. Also note that you can donate to the developer from the Tinted Status Bar Donation page but it is absolutely optional.