One of my favourite things about the Nexus 6 is Ambient Display. This is where notifications are displayed on a black background after you turn the device on (or lift it up in the case of the Nexus 6). Unfortunately, Google has left this out of the Nexus 5 Lollipop code, most likely due to the battery hit it may take using this. For those who simple must have this feature on their Nexus 5 no matter what there is some good news. The clever folks over at XDA have found a way to enable it on the Nexus 5.
The process to enable involved a lot of hacking and decompiling of the Android system. For those interested in the steps to do this from scratch you can follow them over at the XDA Developers thread but for those who prefer something already cooked for them it is a lot simpler.
- Your Nexus 5 must already be running 5.0.1 and be rooted
- Download the zip file from here
- Boot into your custom recovery
- Backup your ROM before doing anything just in case
- Install the zip file you downloaded earlier
- Reboot system
- Enjoy Ambient Display (it will be turned on by default)
There are apps around to make this even more useful by turning the screen to it when you lift the phone. Gravity Screen is one such app that can help make this function just as it does on a Nexus 6 (except even better thanks to a fully functional, multi-coloured LED).