Google Pixel’s Now Taking part in function 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 lovers. Nonetheless, due to the devoted modding neighborhood, 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 utterly overhauled the mod to make it a non-root answer.

Meet Ambient Music Mod v2

Making the ambient music recognition function of the Pixel smartphones hardware-agnostic with out root privilege wasn’t a straightforward 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. For the reason that v2 launch, Ambient Music Mod can work with out root entry on units working Android 12 or larger.

One other huge change is the removing 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’ll be able to nonetheless go for the root-only variant of Ambient Music Mod on older Android variations.

What are the options of Ambient Music Mod v2

Under you could find a rundown of the options offered by Ambient Music Mod:

  • Full Now Taking part in assist, primarily based on the most recent model from Pixel units and the most recent music databases
  • Automated Ambient Music recognition, with settings to regulate how usually recognition runs – discovering the appropriate steadiness between battery utilization and comfort
  • Now Taking part in Historical past and Favorites assist
  • Help 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 (accessibility service required)
  • View the complete monitor record 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.

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 most recent 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 extra elements and immediate you to provide the required permissions – that is all.

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

Beneath 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. Consequently, the real-life efficiency of Ambient Music Mod on a non-Google system is kind of much like a Pixel smartphone – particularly after tuning the parameters. Nevertheless, there are a handful of dissimilarities between the Pixel-exclusive function and the mod.

Here is a fast hands-on to indicate the variations between the official Google implementation and Quinny899’s mod. The take a look at 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 prime of Android 11.

1. UI

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

2. Recognizing the ambient music

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

Google Pixel Now Playing on lock screen

Ambient Music Mod, then again, means that you can toggle this feature. In case you do not wish to muddle your lock display, you’ll be able to 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 just about equivalent in each implementations. You possibly can discover the historical past of acknowledged tunes, add them beneath the Favorites record, and optionally place a shortcut of the part to your property display for fast entry.

The handbook looking out portion is completely different, although. On a Pixel telephone, you’ll be able to merely activate the choice referred to as Present search button on lock display and seek for a tune 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 consequence of the truth that Google’s Now Taking part in module is a built-in element of the Pixel firmware, there’s not a lot to tinker about. With the intention to generalize it, Quinny899 needed to put a couple of customized parameters within the Ambient Music Mod codebase.

Ambient Music Mod advanced options

You possibly can tweak the music recognition interval and buffer, pressure the identification routine to run on the little CPU cores, modify the achieve, and way more. That is one thing that significantly improves compatibility. For instance, I had to decide on the alternate encoding (obtainable for the reason that v2.0.2 launch) on the Redmi 5, in any other case, it could not detect the ambient music attributable to distortion. The mod additionally means that you can backup your customized settings and restore them afterward.


The Now Taking part in function 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 if you’re curious to find out about every thing 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 function 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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