How to Make the Recent Apps in JellyBean and Kitkat look like Lollipop

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Today I have a slightly advanced tutorial for you guys. But those among you who like to tinker and theme their ROM will love this so they can use it hopefully and give their ROMs a Lollipop look and feel. Remember this though; this works best on stock ROMs so if you have a heavily modded stock ROM you may need to change the paddings a bit.


Pre Requisites

  • Your phone must be rooted for this to work. You can find rot methods for various phones described in our blog.
  • A basic idea of how XML editing works and a setup to decompile and recompile an apk.
  • USB cable and a PC.
  • ADB should be installed and running. You can refer to this guide here.


  • Root explorer. I personally prefer EFS File explorer you can download itfrom here.
  • A setup to decompile, edit and recompile apks. While the classic setup of APK tool for compiling and decompiling with Notepad++ for editing still holds good, I prefer this new tool called APK Studio. It is a pretty comprehensive solution for those wanting to edit apks and can be found at this link.

With our weapons armed and downloads installed, let’s jump right into the process!

Step 1

As is with most UI mods our target apk is the SystemUI.apk. Fire up your root explorer app of choice, and navigate to /system/priv-app/SystemUI.apk. We will be editing the XML files of this apk so grab a copy of this apk and head on over to your PC

Step 2

Let the reverse engineering begin! First things first, proceed to decompile the apk. Done? Now navigate to the decompiled folder, browse to res/layout folder.

Step 3

Then search for status_bar_recent_panel_item.xml. This is the file we’re going to edit first.

Step 4

Now in it’s line no. 2 add the following code.



Save it.

Step 5

Done with it? Next up, open Status_bar_recent_panel.xml
In line no. 2 add the following code.



Save and close the file.

Step 6

Recompile and push meta inf and androidmanifest.xml of your original apk to the modded one.

Step 7

Push it and set permissions to rw–r-r

And with that you’re done! Enjoy the Lollipop recent menu on your phone.


If You faced any deformations regarding thumbnail size change

Thumbnail_height and thumbnail_width to 250.0px


603877_794189133969539_6003365292013581738_n Screenshot_2015_03_07_21_01_19

And with those screenshots of the finished mod we leave you for the day. Do comment if you have any questions down below and we will be sure to dispel all your doubts.

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  1. SUNNY says

    make a video for How to Make the Recent Apps in JellyBean and Kitkat look like Lollipop… that will help me out very easily to make my mob look like lollipop style recent apps,… thnxxxx

    • Amartya says

      This is a bit more complicated as it will vary from mobile to mobile depending on the ROM and the screen dpi so a video is not possible, sorry about that

  2. Athar says

    Can you share the modded file so we can replace? or can you make an xposed mod? Or can you make an app of this?

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