Sites like UOT Kitchen are very helpful when creating themes, because they cut out quite a bit of work that would otherwise have to be done manually, and as you'll learn if you follow along with the rest of this guide, manual theming is VERY
time-intensive. I can't say how UOT compares with other sites as I haven't used anything else so far, but once you start working with it, I've found the site to be pretty straight-forward. As such, this part of the guide isn't going to be very detailed; as a matter of fact, I only plan on covering the parts that confused me my first time using it, which were how to get started, and what to do when you're all finished.
Before you start:
Before we get going, we need to make sure we have a few things.
PART A: Getting Started
- A computer with internet access, and plenty of disk space, and (where necessary) permission to make, move, and delete files on said computer.
- The framework-res.apk and SystemUI.apk files from the ROM we're making the theme for. For Megatron 6.0.4, these are provided for us by the ROM creators Chevanlol360 and Mavrikmeercat as the "Stock" theme. For most everything else, the framework-res.apk should be in a "framework" or "system/framework" folder somewhere within the zip file, and an "app" or "system/app" folder for the Systemui.
- (If the theme is for Megatron 6.0.4) The android.policy.jar file included with the "Stock" theme (it should be in with the framework-res.apk); we don't need to actually do anything with this other than include it with our final product. I imagine this or a similar file are important for other ROMs as well, particularly if they add options to the power menu (such as CTMod), however, as of this writing, I haven't made a theme for any other ROM, so I can't say for sure what file or files (if any) need to be included with the theme for everything to work correctly (any clarification in this regard would be greatly appreciated).
- (Optional) The settings.uot file if you are updating or modifying an existing theme. MAKE SURE to get the original creator's permission first, and/or give them credit for the original.
Now that we have everything we need for this step, we can begin the work on our theme.
- First, open your preferred browser, and go to UOT Kitchen. You'll see the photo below if the kitchen is open and available.
If instead of the picture above, you get this page:
try back every few minutes. Eventually, the queue will work down enough to where you will be able to get in. I believe UOT Kitchen does this in order to keep people from having to wait HOURS for their files, and to try to prevent the site from crashing.
- Next, click on the "File Upload" tab shown in the picture above, and your screen will change to match below.
- (Optional) Click on the "Upload settings" radio button under the "Kitchen's Settings" header, then click the "Select File" button that appears (it may show up instead as a rectangle filled with random lines of random colors; I know it does for me most times )
Navigate to where the settings.uot file is saved in the window that pops up, and select it.
- Now click the "Upload system files" radio button below there, and the window will change to this:
Click the "Select File" button under the file requested, navigate to where that particular file is saved, and select it. Do this for each apk needed (which in our case is just the framework-res and SystemUI apks).
And now you're ready to start theming!
Each tab to the left of the "File Upload" tab helps you theme a particular part of the phone. On each tab, there's a "Generate Preview" button that will show you what those changes will look like in your theme. Play around with it until you get your theme the way you like.
Part B: Retrieving your theme
Alright, so you've got everything the way you want it; now what?
- Click the summary tab, and you should see the screen below. If any of the boxes to the left aren't green, return to that section and finish any work you were doing there (it's likely something got missed, or you may be trying to modify something in a way UOT doesn't like.
- Click the "Submit work to kitchen" button, and you will be taken to this page:
IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU KEEP THE ORDER NUMBER IN THE BOX IN THE UPPER LEFT! Should anything go wrong with the theme while the kitchen is "cooking" it, the creators of UOT kitchen will want that order number as a reference. Also, I'll show you in the next step or two how you can use the number to help give you a general idea of your wait time. Once your order number is in a safe place, click the link "Click here to go to the pickup page!"
This is the pickup page. Until the kitchen says that your theme is ready, you'll want to keep this window up. All the more there really is to do at this point is wait until your theme is ready to download, but I like to get an idea of how long my wait is going to be, because as it said on the page where we got our order number () it may take quite a while before we receive our theme.
- If you would also like to get a general feel for when your theme will be ready, click the "Show all pickup files" button, and you'll get this:
The closer the top order number is to yours (you still have it, right?), generally, the shorter your wait. And I say "generally" because if you look through that list, you'll see that the orders are not always released in order. And as for the other reason why we keep track of our order number, check out the order in the list that has "SHTF" in place of the file size. That person will have to head to the forum mentioned on the pickup page, and get the help of the Kitchen staff (unless they are able to read the error log and figure it out themselves). To ease the nervous folks out there, though, out of the ten-plus themes or theme versions I've worked on and/or released, I haven't had a single "SHTF". Just off the top of my head, I imagine the only way you would receive an error is if you mixed up the apks.
- And finally, when your wait is over, expect this screen :
Click the "download" link next to your order number, and your computer will download a (your order number).zip.
Well kiddies, that's about it for this part of the guide.
If that's it for you as well, make sure to drop the android.policy.jar into the "framework" folder (or any other needed file into its respective location), and rename the zip to something more meaningful than the string of alphabet soup UOT gives you.
Thanks for playing.