Infamous developer topjohnwu has released Version 15 for Magisk on Christmas. This update is touted to be a significant update for existing Magisk users as well as anyone who is likely to tweak and make changes to their Android-based operating system in the near future.
Before we detail the changes in this new version and why it is significant, you must be thinking what is Magisk and why should you care. Well for the uninitiated, Magisk is a relatively new way to modify your Android-based smartphone. The key difference here is that this way allows the user to make changes to the system, without actually making any changes to the system partition of your Android device.
Now you may ask why would one need to modify their operating system. There is no real answer to that and the reason to modify may depend on your needs.
I personally make changes to put the device on instant deep sleep, stopping any app from preventing my device to go to sleep. I have also started using it to work with the Xposed framework with an easy switch to return to the original state to use Android Pay or Google Tez.
The reason this is a big deal and version 15 is significant is because the latest version is more modular in nature and embracing the path that Google is pushing for with its Google Pixel line-up and more recently, Project Treble.
One benefit that Magisk offers over other system modification methods is the fact that it does not break Google SafetyNet. Apart from this, Magisk is an all-in-one solution that takes care of the Superuser access, Magisk Hide and modules for other modifications.
Google introduced SafetyNet as a measure to ensure that apps on your Android system know about any modifications to the system partition. This lets apps that work with sensitive data, and need secure system conditions such as banking and password managers, warn the user about modifications to the system.
Some apps have started searching for Magisk Manager in the system to check for modifications. The new update improves the way in which Magisk can hide from such searches. Other updates include a new template for Magisk modules and a new server for submissions on the Magisk repository, a central directory for all the modification modules.
What is interesting is the fact that Magisk developer topjohnwu has worked to backport all the changes and features to ensure that they work both on the newer devices, with Treble and Pixel-like implementation, as well as older devices. Every configuration is managed by a single zip file instead of trying to download the right version for your device.
Improved hiding is important because some apps have started checking Android system for Magisk Manager’s package name to ensure that they don’t run on a modified system. But now Magisk can change its package name to hide from such detection. Last but not the least is the new server which will act as a moderator to ensure that all the existing and submitted modules are set up without any issue.