Google Pixel’s Now Taking part in characteristic port

Most individuals will agree that the software program on Pixel smartphones showcase what Google believes Android ought to be, and as such, the software program is commonly well-received by fanatics. Nonetheless, because of the devoted modding group, you do not essentially must personal a Pixel system to reap the benefits of its software program options. The “Now Taking part in” performance, for instance, has remained unique to the Pixel lineup, however developer Kieron Quinn, often known as Quinny899 on our boards, managed to port it to different Android smartphones within the type of a hybrid Xposed-Magisk module named Ambient Music Mod. Now, Quinn has taken issues a step additional and fully overhauled the mod to make it a non-root resolution.

Meet Ambient Music Mod v2

Making the ambient music recognition characteristic of the Pixel smartphones hardware-agnostic with out root privilege wasn’t a simple job, however Quinny899 achieved the feat utilizing Shizuku. For the unaware, Shizuku makes use of a novel service that permits third-party apps entry to system-level APIs by way of the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) interface. For the reason that v2 launch, Ambient Music Mod can work with out root entry on units working Android 12 or greater.

One other large change is the elimination of Xposed-related dependencies. There is not any want to put in an Xposed distribution like EdXposed or LSPosed anymore, because the mod now comes as a standalone app. Remember that you possibly can nonetheless go for the root-only variant of Ambient Music Mod on older Android variations.

What are the options of Ambient Music Mod v2

Beneath you’ll find a rundown of the options supplied by Ambient Music Mod:

  • Full Now Taking part in assist, based mostly on the newest model from Pixel units and the newest music databases
  • Computerized Ambient Music recognition, with settings to regulate how usually recognition runs – discovering the appropriate stability between battery utilization and comfort
  • Now Taking part in Historical past and Favorites assist
  • Assist to set off recognitions manually, together with a homescreen widget
  • On Demand recognition on supported units, utilizing the Google Assistant-backed recognition engine for songs that aren’t within the native database (have to be triggered manually)
  • Present Now Taking part in songs on the lock display screen (accessibility service required)
  • View the total observe listing of recognizable songs, and alter the database location in case your style would not match your system’s locale

On the time of writing, the developer has already pushed two hotfixes after the v2 main launch. Now you can select an alternate encoding choice and fine-control the “achieve” values ​​to repair the distortion and / or crackling points.

The right way to obtain and set up Ambient Music Mod v2

Similar to the unique launch, Ambient Music Mod v2 is a free and open-source mod. Yow will discover the newest model of the APK on the challenge’s GitHub repo linked under.

Obtain Ambient Music Mod

To put in the downloaded APK, check out our information to sideload Android app packages. After set up, Ambient Music Mod will ask for Shizuku entry. Relying on the underlying Android model, you could proceed with root or non-root mode. Subsequent, the app will obtain a couple of further elements and immediate you to present the required permissions – that is all.

Evaluating Google’s Now Taking part in and Ambient Music Mod v2

Underneath the hood, Ambient Music Mod makes use of a modified model of a Google app referred to as Android System Intelligence. The on-device-recognition half is executed after querying the music database – precisely what Google’s Now Taking part in does. Because of this, the real-life efficiency of Ambient Music Mod on a non-Google system is kind of just like a Pixel smartphone – particularly after tuning the parameters. Nonetheless, there are a handful of dissimilarities between the Pixel-exclusive characteristic and the mod.

This is a fast hands-on to point out the variations between the official Google implementation and Quinny899’s mod. The check units are a Google Pixel 4a working Android 13 Beta 3.2 and an historical Redmi 5 working an unofficial construct of LineageOS 18.1 on high of Android 11.

1. UI

On Pixel smartphones, you possibly can entry the “Now Taking part in” choice beneath Settings => Sound & vibration. Nonetheless, Ambient Music Mod is a standalone app, therefore you’ll find its entry in your launcher’s app itemizing part. After tapping on the icon, you possibly can entry the Now Taking part in display screen and extra choices.

2. Recognizing the ambient music

As quickly because the music database is downloaded, it’s best to be capable to activate the choice named “Establish songs taking part in close by” for each. On a Google Pixel system, the songs taking part in round it’s best to mechanically be recognized and proven on the lock display screen.

Google Pixel Now Playing on lock screen

Ambient Music Mod, however, lets you toggle this selection. In case you do not wish to litter your lock display screen, you possibly can go for the handbook “Acknowledge” button to determine the music.

3. Now Taking part in Historical past and Music search

The Now Taking part in Historical past part is just about similar in each implementations. You may discover the historical past of acknowledged tunes, add them beneath the Favorites listing, and optionally place a shortcut of the part to your property display screen for fast entry.

The handbook looking out portion is totally different, although. On a Pixel cellphone, you possibly can merely activate the choice referred to as Present search button on lock display screen and seek for a music out of your lock display screen. This “On Demand” recognition mechanism may not work with Ambient Music Mod on all units out of the field. To know extra, kindly undergo the reason by the developer.

4. Miscellaneous

Attributable to the truth that Google’s Now Taking part in module is a built-in part of the Pixel firmware, there’s not a lot to tinker about. In an effort to generalize it, Quinny899 needed to put a couple of customized parameters within the Ambient Music Mod codebase.

Ambient Music Mod advanced options

You may tweak the music recognition interval and buffer, power the identification routine to run on the little CPU cores, regulate the achieve, and rather more. That is one thing that drastically improves compatibility. For instance, I had to decide on the alternate encoding (obtainable because the v2.0.2 launch) on the Redmi 5, in any other case, it could not detect the ambient music as a consequence of distortion. The mod additionally lets you backup your customized settings and restore them afterward.


The Now Taking part in characteristic was by no means pushed to AOSP, so Kieron needed to reverse engineer and undergo tons of challenges to make it obtainable for non-Google units. It’s detailed the method in his weblog. Give it a learn in case you are curious to find out about all the things behind the scenes.

Head to the GitHub hyperlink for the codebase and extra data on how the mod works. You can too take part within the dialogue, report a bug, or request a brand new characteristic by posting within the discussion board thread linked under.

Ambient Music Mod: GitHub Repo || XDA Dialogue Thread

Supply: Mishaal Rahman on Twitter

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