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[Idea] New way to theme Android phones...

Discussion in 'Android Hacks and Help' started by Tanknspank, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. Tanknspank
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    Tanknspank Beta Team Premium Member

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    Recently, themeing has become more of a hassle. Creating a theme in itself is a hard and time consuming, though rewarding, task. Add on to that those who have multiple versions, and it can take weeks to finish a theme. After that, you release it onto a certain rom, and MANY like your work. They want it on X rom or Y phone, and you try to please them. Quickly you are overwhelming with the task, and themeing becomes more of a hassle, and less of an enjoying experience. I am hopping that someone experienced with making computer programs can help me bring one or more of these ideas to life. Again, these are just ideas, and I don't know how to go about them, but if someone wants to take a crack at it, be my guest. :D

    The easiest way for themers to hit multiple roms was to use a program called metamorph. This program pushed the images and xmls (could xmls be done?) into the appropriate file, and the changes were immediately apparent. There were many pluses to a program like this. For one, the files were VERY small in comparison to the update.zip format we use today. Also the metamorph could theoretically be used for more than just one rom, as long as it didn't change something EXTREMELY important to the rom. In the end, it saved the themer a lot of time and made the downloads not make much of an impact. In the end though, the program began to experience problems. After the 2.1/Eclair update, metamorph files became difficult to apply. Certain things would just go wrong. The biggest thing was the framework, which usually ended up having to be applied by a program on a computer. This made it difficult for those who didn't have immediate access to a computer to apply a theme. Then the 2.2/Froyo update came along and using metamorph alone became IMPOSSIBLE. The framework would never apply, and lock up the phone, requiring a battery pull. The phone.apk would also go into a force close loop upon apply, also requiring a battery pull. This was immediate apparent with DarkEdge. Xeudoxus went through the trouble of making a separate app for applying the framework and phone. Because of this, I thought a new way of using the metamorph way of themeing would be appropriate.

    The first idea that came to mind was a computer program. The immediate problem of this was for those who don't have a computer. Though lets continue with this idea, as it might be one of the most immediate and easiest to implement. The idea was that you would reboot into recovery, make a backup (of course), and then hook the phone up to the computer. Then start the program. The program would mount the system on the phone, and then proceed to pull the files from the phone, push the images and xmls (maybe even edit the xmls for those roms or phones with special xml edits? not sure on how or if it even can be implemented), and then push the file back and continue onto the next one. This would be would allow for the metamorph idea to be continued, but would be hard for those who do NOT have a computer.. Still, someone could easily make this one happen, or I would at least think so :)

    The next idea that came to mind would be an option in the recovery itself. The problem with this is that it would require the developer of the recovery itself to implement something like this into it. Though it would follow along the lines of the above suggestion.

    The final idea that came to mind would be a total rework of metamorph. Now I am sure stirecson himself has thought of this, maybe a better way to do this could happen? Maybe it would make a copy of the file, make the changes, and then push it back? Maybe build a update.zip and then boot into recovery and apply it? I honestly don't know. But maybe there is a better way for it to work.

    This all came to mind when I started thinking of ways to get metamorph or an equivalent back on the scene. It would make the themers job a lot easier and allow users to get a theme onto there phone without asking for the themer to port it. If anyone else has any suggestions on how to implement these or another idea in itself, please post. I posted this to hear the response of the community.

    And the thread is yours...
  2. Corinacakes
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    Corinacakes Super Moderator Theme Developer

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    I'd love someone to work on this as well!
  3. foxdog
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    foxdog New Member

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    Lots of good ideas. I like it. Unfortunately Im not the person who could build such a thing lol. I have really been wanting to make some themes but always get stuck on stuff like... what rom should I make it for? I help a lot of people in root-ed shoutbox and just know thay will want it on every other rom (if theme is cool enuf) and really get stuck on trying to find a way to make the theme "universal" or at least a way to easily apply it to another rom, and thanks to your thread, now i know (now adays) its not something thats easily done... yet. Hopefully metamorph can get up to date (i always thought it was a cool app but hardly ever worked for me) and as far as i rember darkedge framework push app was only made for darkedge theme :( i thought that was another cool app but left darkedge behind on 2.1. Well I hope someone picks up an idea or two off this and runs with it
  4. DF Smod
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    DF Smod New Member

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    I have heard rumors [from a horses mouth] of a theming script that allows you to change out multiple.png's via recovery but it is still in the works, as far as Metamorph, I just made and successfully applied a metamorph for the framework of UD 8.0 lastnight and I was doing the same thing on SS4.7, of course it was only fifty or so images to the framework not by any means an entire theme but no issues at all

    Personally I find the update.zip method to be easier but I am looking at it from a standpoint of self, how can I get my theme the way I like it for me. When trying to go across multiple ROM's I can see how this would be labor intensive and "big up's" for those who not only accomplish this but keep up with the fast paced world of Android ROM's

    There should be an easier way
  5. kevdog
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    kevdog New Member

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    Wish in many cases possibly some of your ideas could be integrated with apktool (which yet does not run on the phone). This actually decompiles the appropriate apks, adds the changes, and then recompiles the apks. With apkmanager, the addition of zipaligning and png optimization, and installation are other options. Seems however to make the process more automatic, the script would have to be turned into an actual program to make everything happen.
  6. Mojo
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    Mojo New Member

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    Back in my blackberry days... I created themes with plazmic theme builder. I really wish android had an option like that.
  7. gtr
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    gtr New Member

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    hum:blackdroid::icon_ banana:
  8. TK40
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    TK40 New Member

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    This would be awesome because I really do not like being forced into certain roms to get a nice theme.
  9. Tanknspank
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    Tanknspank Beta Team Premium Member

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    Anyone able to make something like this happen??

    Sent from my Droid
  10. scrubbybubbles
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    scrubbybubbles New Member

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    Me too!

    I Got really Good at making Blackberry themes... I wish Android had that too! Closest thing i have found is the Panda home web interface thing... but, when i try to download it onto my Phone it says that its unable to download the File because it doesn't recognize it. Also, Does your phone need to be rooted in order for these themes to work?
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