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 fans. Nonetheless, due to the devoted modding neighborhood, you do not essentially must personal a Pixel system to benefit from 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 utterly 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 via the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) interface. Because the v2 launch, Ambient Music Mod can work with out root entry on units operating Android 12 or increased.

One other massive change is the removing of Xposed-related dependencies. There is no want to put in an Xposed distribution like EdXposed or LSPosed anymore, because the mod now comes as a standalone app. Needless to say 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, primarily based on the newest model from Pixel units and the newest music databases
  • Automated Ambient Music recognition, with settings to manage how typically recognition runs – discovering the proper stability between battery utilization and comfort
  • Now Taking part in Historical past and Favorites assist
  • Help to set off recognitions manually, together with a house display widget
  • On Demand recognition on supported units, utilizing the Google Assistant-backed recognition engine for songs that aren’t within the native database (should be triggered manually)
  • Present Now Taking part in songs on the lock display (accessibility service required)
  • View the total observe listing of recognizable songs, and alter the database location in case your button doesn’t 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 another encoding possibility and fine-control the “acquire” values ​​to repair the distortion and/or crackling points.

The way to obtain and set up Ambient Music Mod v2

Identical to the unique launch, Ambient Music Mod v2 is a free and open-source mod. You could find 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, chances are you’ll proceed with root or non-root mode. Subsequent, the app will obtain a number of further parts and immediate you to provide 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. In consequence, 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 unique characteristic and the mod.

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

1. UI

On Pixel smartphones, you possibly can entry the “Now Taking part in” possibility underneath Settings => sounds & vibes. 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 and extra choices.

2. Recognizing the ambient music

As quickly because the music database is downloaded, it is 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 is best to robotically be recognized and proven on the lock display.

Google Pixel Now Playing on lock screen

Ambient Music Mod, alternatively, lets you toggle this feature. In case you do not wish to muddle your lock display, you possibly can go for the handbook “Acknowledge” button to establish the music.

3. Now Taking part in Historical past and Music search

the Now Taking part in Historical past part is nearly equivalent in each implementations. You may discover the historical past of acknowledged tunes, add them underneath the favourites listing, and optionally place a shortcut of the part to your house display for fast entry.

The handbook looking out portion is completely different, although. On a Pixel cellphone, you possibly can merely activate the choice referred to as Present search button on lock display and seek for a track out of your lock display. 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

As a result of 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. To be able to generalize it, Quinny899 needed to put a number 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, alter the acquire, and far more. That is one thing that tremendously improves compatibility. For instance, I had to decide on the alternate encoding (accessible because the v2.0.2 launch) on the Redmi 5, in any other case, it could not detect the ambient music resulting from distortion. The mod additionally lets you backup your customized settings and restore them later.


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 accessible for non-Google units. hey detailed the method in his weblog. Give it a learn in case you are curious to learn about every part behind the scenes.

Head to the GitHub hyperlink for the codebase and extra info on how the mod works. It’s also possible to 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

sources: Mishaal Rahman on Twitter

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