Powerline: display power, memory and other indicators on your Android screen all the time

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 25, 2013
Updated • Jun 25, 2013
Apps, Google Android

The Android status bar is displayed most of the time. It highlights the remaining battery life of the device, if data gets transferred and other status information. Apps and especially games can however run in full screen so that the status bar is not displayed anymore. This in turn means that you cannot monitor your phone's or tablet's battery life anymore. While that may not be a problem if it is connected to a power source, it can sometimes be useful to keep taps on important signals.

That's where PowerLine comes into play. The free application for Android displays small lines on the phone's screen that reveal data even if you are running a full screen application or game at the time.

The app paints on the screen to display the selected indicators at all times. Available for selection are: battery, processor, memory, network signal strength, internal and external storage, SMS, missed calls and clock information.

The application displays battery information by default at the top of the screen. The line it displays indicates the charge percentage left. Note that the battery indicator is barely visible on the screenshot below as I have set the border offset to 0px. The visibility is better on the device itself though.

The free version allows you to add two status indicators to your phone, while the paid version comes without restrictions.

Each indicator can be configured to be displayed at the top, bottom or on either side of the screen. Additional configuration options include the border offset of the line and its thickness, transparency, as well as high and low colors that acts as direct indicators.

You have got quite a few options to make use of it. Maybe you want to display your phone's memory and cpu use while you are playing games or cutting edge applications. Or, you want the battery life displayed to you at all times, even when you are using full screen applications.

android display memory battery fullscreen

The border offset preference and the option to select a position for the information enable you to add the signal information exactly where you want them to appear. You can for instance add both lines at the very top of the device on top of the battery and time information by setting the border offset values to 0px and 1px respectively, and reducing the line thickness of both lines to 1px each.  All you need to do is make sure they display in different colors so that you can easily distinguish between the two.

You can disable the painting of lines in full screen mode in the options, and disable the auto start in the preferences as well.


PowerLine is not only useful to Android developers who want to access device information when they are testing their applications, but also for gamers and other users who want access to information about their device's performance. A basic example is a video camera app that is running in full screen. You can display storage indicators on the screen so that you know when you are running out of space.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments (https://www.ghacks.net/chatgpt-gets-schooled-by-princeton-university/#comments). Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If ghacks.net intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this Friend.tech as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/23/what-is-friend-tech/] and it appears there but as well here at [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/07/08/how-to-follow-everyone-on-threads/]

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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