The best apps to hack the status bar on your Android device
If you chose Android over iOS, one of the reasons for your decision may well have been the additional configuration and customization options you get with Google’s mobile operating system – and if you installed the correct applications, these options extend all the way to the status bar at the top of the screen.
Here, we’ll walk you through some of the best apps to hack the status bar on your Android device, and what they can do for you.
How to Hack Android Status Bar
It’s possible to turn the status bar into a volume controller, change the look and style of the icons, and even insert a gradient or an image of your choice, all with the help of a third-party software.
These apps need a few more accessibility permissions to get started, including a sufficient privilege level to be able to view overlays on top of other apps, but you’ll be guided through all of the setup steps you need to take when you get the apps themselves installed – and we’ve got a few to choose from.
great status bar is free or US$2 ($3) if you want to remove ads and access all its options. One of its smartest features is the ability to display your notifications in a ticker style on the status bar, appearing and then disappearing without a large pop-up obscuring your screen. From the opening screen, tap Ticker Text, then flip the toggles for both. Status bar ticker text and Disable warning notifications. You can customize the style of the ticker below.
You can also turn the status bar into a brightness and volume control: go to main slider from the app’s opening screen, and you’ll see the various settings that can be controlled with a swipe along the status bar. These can be automatically adjusted depending on what’s happening on your phone (so a swipe while an alarm is ringing will change the alarm volume level, for example).
Many other customizations are also available here. You can change the style of the status bar icons by going to Status Bar from the home screen: there are options covering colors, the order of items, the height of the status bar, and the appearance of the icons themselves — you can, for example, have only shape outlines for GPS access, Bluetooth connections, upcoming alarms, etc.
Then there’s the rather odd title Status bar and notch Custom colors and backgrounds. This application is capable of truly transformative effects and will replace your status bar with an image strip if you wish – so rather than a boring blank color behind the icons and the time at the top of the screen, you can have a picturesque sunset or a rolling landscape of hills.
In the welcome screen that appears after launching the app, choose Original to start choosing your personalization. You can select a blank color from a palette or choose one of the gradients or images that come with the app (including nature scenes and abstract patterns). You might be surprised how different you can make your phone look just by changing the status bar design.
Back on the main screen, choose Your picture to select one of your own images, or Prime to access a set of more advanced designs (you will need to answer a survey question to access them). You can use the custom status bar and notch colors and backgrounds for free, but you can also pay US$4 ($6) to remove in-app scatter ads and get all the colors and all frames available.
Finally, we have PowerLine: Status bar counters, which is free for one or two indicators and US$2 ($3) for the pro version if you need more than that. This applies a very specific hack to the Android status bar, giving you access to a number of real-time progress bars at the very top of the screen: you can call up information about the battery level, the CPU and memory usage, cellular signal and wifi strength. and telephone use.
This is all very customizable using the tools that appear inside the app. Press the + (more) down in the lower right corner to add new indicators, then tap the indicators to access the wealth of options available. Everything from line color and thickness to indicator bar alignment and width can be changed, so you can get everything exactly the way you want (bars can be placed at the bottom of the screen as well as at the top).
There are a few fun indicators to play with, including ones that show how far away you are from the current day or week, and one that works as a barometer. The app also integrates seamlessly with Tasker for even more possibilities. The app is very easy to use and there are bound to be at least one or two of the progress bar indicators that you find useful in your day to day use of your mobile phone.
This article has been updated since it was first published.