Skip to content
A backport of the Android 4.2 GlowPadView that works on the SDK on API levels 4+
Branch: master
Clone or download
rock3r Update
Proper repo usage info, deprecation note and removal of Play Store links.
Latest commit e1c943b Nov 24, 2015

GlowPadBackport Download

A backport of the Android 4.2 GlowPadView that works on the SDK on API levels 4+.

It is heavily based upon Google's own internal implementation of the GlowPadView found in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, but ported to be able to run on the Android SDK up from version 1.6 (API level 4, codename Donut). It uses Reflection in a couple of method calls to access some hidden APIs, so it might break on some Android version, or in the future. I tried limiting the usage of Reflection as much as possible, but those three methods did not have any alternatives.

I'm releasing my own code under the same Apache 2.0 license the underlying Android code is licensed under. Android code is written by Google, and licensed under that same Apache 2.0 license.

GlowPadBackport relies on NineOldAndroids, an awesome backport of the Android 3+ Animation APIs made by Jake Wharton.

Important note

This library will NOT do anything that is not strictly needed for this to build/work. Since this class has since been removed from AOSP, this library should be considered DEPRECATED. No efforts will be put into it, including merging PRs, for anything but very critical issues.

What is a GlowPad?

The GlowPadView is the view that Google uses in Android 4.1 and 4.2 (and, in a slightly different flavour, on Android 4.0 as well) on both the insecure lockscreen and the Incoming call Activity. It's the circular grid of dots, with a central handle that the user can grab to various customizable targets.

Google decided to only provide a private implementation of that view in AOSP. It's not an SDK-facing view, it has lots of internal APIs references, and doesn't work in older versions of Android. What I have done is I have rewritten part of the code to work on Android SDK versions starting with Android 1.6 Donut, which is to mean it runs pretty much on any hardware out there.

Of course performance is not going to be buttery smooth on older OS versions if the hardware is not up to it. Still, it can work decently even on underpowered hardware such as the i'm Watch Android smartwatch (you have to decrease the points count multiplier to 3-4 from the default of 8 thou).

I also exposed a couple more functions that aren't available on the AOSP internal version, such as the ability to change the points count. This means you can use the GlowPadView in any of your apps, and create custom Holo-like lockscreens for older versions of Android.


In order to use the GlowPadView in your project, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure you have the proper repository configured in your build.gradle file, eg.:
repositories {
  maven {
    url "" 

This has to be in your app module's build.gradle or in the project's top-level build.gradle file. Android Studio puts it into the top-level file by default.

  1. Add the dependency to your app's module build.gradle file, eg.:
dependencies {
    // Your other dependencies...
    compile 'net.frakbot:glowpadbackport:2.1.1'
  1. Reference the GlowPadView in an XML layout (or initialise it from code)
<RelativeLayout xmlns:android=""



  1. ????
  2. Profit!

Sample app

You can find the GlowPadSample app in the Releases section of this repo.

The app used to be available on the Play Store but has not been updated and has since been pulled.

Building from source

Clone the repository on your computer. The old IntelliJ IDEA and Eclipse-style projects have been discontinued, and the library has been moved to the new Gradle-based build system, and Android Studio. You can of course continue to use this library in IntelliJ IDEA, but you'll have to build it using Gradle.

Before being able to build the project, you will need to rename the and files in the repo root, removing the .example suffix. Please note that you will need to provide valid values in both files, in place of the placeholders, before being able to complete a build.


Copyright 2015 Frakbot (Sebastiano Poggi and Francesco Pontillo)

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.
You can’t perform that action at this time.