iOS 7 already has this feature for many apps, and so do the custom skins on the LG G3 and HTC One M8. Wherever you turn, it seems that colorful status bars are the way of the future — even Android L is supposed to bring more colorful status barsalong with it. But if you’re impatient for the awesome new look, you’ll want to try out this method.
Before And After
On the left is what most Android status bars look like. Along the top of your screen is a black bar that is always there no matter what app you open. But on the right, you can see what the status bar looks like when the Facebook app is open with this mod. It’s amazing how such a small change can make such a huge visual difference.
You can also add a gradient to more easily distinguish the status bar, and if you’re using software buttons, you can even set up the navigation bar (the black bar along the bottom with Back, Home, and Recents buttons) to change color as well. Stick around till the end to find out how.
Setting Up XposedThe first step in this process is to download the Xposed Framework. This amazing Android app allows you to tweak your device as much as you want without having to flash a custom ROM. Keep in mind, though, that you do need to be rooted. If you have no idea what I mean by this, check out our simple Android rooting guide.
We’ve covered Xposed in depth before, as it really is worth your time, but let’s cover briefly how to set it up before getting started. First, go into your settings and under Security, check the box for “Unknown Sources”, which allows you to install apps from outside the Google Play Store.
Next, download the installer from the Xposed website and run it, as shown above. However, Xposed by itself is just a framework for all of the awesome modules that can run on top of it. To change the color of your status bar, you’ll need a module called Tinted Status Bar.
Installing Tinted Status BarNow that Xposed is installed, open it up from your app drawer like a regular app and navigate to the Settings. Because Tinted Status Bar is technically still in Beta, you need to tell Xposed to show Beta modules as well as Stable modules. If you’re feeling particularly curious, you can even choose to go for Experimental builds.
With that done, navigate to the Download tab and search for Tinted Status Bar. Once you find it, swipe to the right to the tab called Versions and download the latest version of the app.
Once installed, you need to make sure that Tinted Status Bar is activated under the Modules section — then reboot your device.
Changing The Color Of The Status BarWith Tinted Status Bar up and running, you can now find it in your app drawer like any other app. Best of all, you can make any changes you want and they don’t require a restart.
Some apps, like Google+, already have a defined “Action Bar” color and will change the color automatically — but most will not. To manually adjust them, find your app under Per App Tints, make sure the slider at the top is set to On, and select “All activities, below settings override this”.
From here, you can choose if you want to link the status bar and nav bar colors (if you have a nav bar on your device) and if you want the status bar to stay the same color even if the action bar goes away temporarily within the app.
You can then tap on one of the four colored squares to adjust their color and their opacity. If you’re having issues, make sure the opacity slider is all the way to the right. You can then adjust the value or type it in to reach your desired color.
But what if you don’t know the color code for Facebook blue? No problem. That’s where Color Picker comes in.
Once you download this app from the Play Store, you can take a screenshot of the app you want to know the color of (in this example it is Play Music) and then open Color Picker and select the screenshot. Simply tap on the screen anywhere on the colored portion of the action bar, and it will tell you the color code.
TroubleshootingIf you’re using a custom launcher that allows for a transparent status bar and/or navigation bar, you may run into an issue where the bars turn black instead of transparent on your homescreen or lockscreen. If this happens, the fix is surprisingly easy.
Navigate into the settings and uncheck the Respect KitKat APIs box, then go find your Launcher and set its opacity to zero.
If some of your apps get black text in the status bar when you want white text, change the “Max HS[V] for black icons” value to a higher setting, and that should take care of it.
If you want to have certain parts of an app display a different color than other parts, use the “Toast activity titles” button to display toast notifications of each activity as it starts. You can than go into each app and set custom colors based on the activity within the app.
Head on over to the original XDA thread and do a quick search there if you run into any other issues. Chances are that someone else has already asked the question. If not, feel free to ask it yourself.
What Do You Think?
I absolutely love the new colors of my status bar and nav bar, and I could never go back to just plain black now. If you appreciate this mod as much as I do, head on over to the Google Play Store and buy the Tinted Status Bar Donation for $2.02. It doesn’t provide any additional functionality (the app is completely free and ad-free!) but it does support the developer.