The new Franco Kernel Manager & Updater

… well not exactly new — just rebranded from FKUpdater

Francisco Franco
Feb 9, 2017 · 6 min read


It’s time. It’s been my main “job” since 2012. It’s how I started with Android app development. It evolved from a simple automagical Kernel updater (which didn’t require the user to reboot to the bootloader or recovery to flash) to a sizeable, refined suite of features no other competitor has ever come close to in terms of differentiation & innovation.

With this new version there’s a clear path to reduce the big gap between the user experience of a novice and expert user.

There’s always an assumption that anyone who buys these type of apps is comfortable with changing settings with weird names, or understand the implications of undervolting, or some other tweaks. That’s where we’ve failed as a community. Not everyone has the same level of experience in understanding these things.

This is why the app has been rebranded into Franco Kernel Manager & Updater, which marks this improved vision of building an app for experts, that even “noobs” can use it.

Can’t innovate my ass

I call it Battery Life Labs. It’s a set of tips, inside cards. Simple. Each card has a long explanation of what it is, what it does and what happens when applied written in natural language for the average joe/jane. Things like “Underclocking the CPU” is selectable in percentages instead of the geeky list of frequencies, or choosing which cluster (in devices with more than 1 cluster) to change frequencies on. None of this is easy to understand if you’re not into this “geeky business”. So imagine you want to save power, instead of cycling through a big list of weird numbers in MegaHertz you simply choose the percentage you want to lower your CPU clocks. You set it, you click the “Apply” button and voilá!

Same goes for other options, such as to lower the maximum panel brightness:

It’s just the initial release of this new section - there’s more tips/actions planned for future versions to continue to close the gap to help novice users get the most of of the app without feeling left out or confused.

All these options are currently not available to be applied on reboots. I decided against it for this release in order to read users feedback and see how this plays out. If the reaction is good and users ask for it then I’ll add it.

These tips may seem easy to implement, but some were quite tricky, specially the CPU one. One has to consider the different max clocks during thermal throttling, or if the user has manually underlocked before, or if the device comes underclocked from factory and the maximum frequency is actually bigger than the one it comes clocked it by default. Also adding the “Disable auto-sync” option required two new permissions, one to read the state of the sync toggle, and the other to write to.

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.READ_SYNC_SETTINGS"/>
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WRITE_SYNC_SETTINGS"/>

Android Battery Saver automagically enabled with the Power-saving profile

This feature has been requested by a couple users and I think it’s super useful. Some of us have a very hardcore usage, and even with my super restrictive Power-saving profile things can still be taken to a whole new level. Together with the system Battery Saver you’re in for a treat of almost infinite battery life (or at least a big improvement compared to not having any of this active). Plugging-unplugging the USB cable properly re-enables the Battery Saver if the option is selected (by default the framework disable the system Battery Saver when the device is plugged in).

I also made a bunch of fixes and improvements on the “Turn on automatically” option following some user feedback.

System Monitor Lite update to its latest and greatest version

Courtesy of my awesome friend Christian Göllner, he’s been keeping me up to date with his System Monitor Lite portion of his paid app by kindly sharing his source code with me. You can now monitor all the cores on multi-clustered > 4 cpu devices, improved algorithms, slightly refined design etc.

If you enjoy this freebie check his paid version, System Monitor. It’s cheap for what it offers and it greatly supports his work.

Night Shift backend improvements & fixes

There’s a specific fix that’ll impact everyone, which is the ability to properly re-apply Night Shift on reboot if Night Shift was already active and enabled when the reboot was initiated. This was broken on the current production release and it took me a bit to figure it out. Other fixes are mostly for stability and code reliability. It’s a popular feature, it deserves its spotlight.

There’s been a wide range of fixes through out the app, I can’t thank the Beta testing channel enough for providing A LOT of useful reports about bugs, with reproducible steps, videos and all the constant nagging about what I broke. Without them these releases wouldn’t be possible and they help me maintain a very low rate of crashes (~99% crashless sessions on production).

Thank you.

What’s next?

Continuing the push to reduce the entry barrier for novice users, investing on new useful tips to help you have the best Android experience in the world.


You can follow me on Google+


And join the franco.Kernel community on Google+

And lastly, here are the links for my franco.Kernel XDA-Developer threads

Nexus 5

Nexus 5X

Nexus 6

Nexus 6P

Nexus 7 2013

One Plus One

One Plus 3:

One Plus 3T:

Google Pixel

Google Pixel XL

Thanks for reading through, can’t wait to see your feedback on this release!