What are themes? I'm missing the boat...


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  1. ItsHip2BSquare

    ItsHip2BSquare Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hi everyone...

    So I know Android phones are suppose to be insanely customizable but I seem to be missing some of the aspects here...

    What exactly are themes? I am a recent Blackberry convert but still can't seem to understand Droid themes and where to download them...

    If someone could explain or at least point me in the right direction, I would really appreciate it!

    Thanks,

    Your Favorite 4 Sided Shape
     

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  2. bryston

    bryston Active Member

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    I'm not certain what they are but I saw that you can download them from the marketplace.
     
  3. GrandMasterB

    GrandMasterB Go Go Gadget Flow! VIP Member

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    Hello my square friend. :D In order to use themes on our Droids you need to be using one of the home replacements like OpenHome, GDE , or the like. Then you can download the themes from the market and install though the home replacement menu. The default home doesnt have themes like we were used to with our BlackBerrys.
     
  4. DR0ID

    DR0ID Well-Known Member

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    great first post, I'm sure you were of great help.

    but yeah, home replacements are what are going to give you the themes
    search the forums there are tons of different replacements...home++ is becoming the most popular replacement...its not very different from the stock look but it allows animated widgets and up to 7 screens
     
  5. iPhone2Droid

    iPhone2Droid Well-Known Member

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    I think the best way to wrap your head around the whole themes deal would be to take a look at the http://androidforums.com/motorola-droid/26470-post-your-droid-screens.html thread, comprised of 400+ postings. It's a long thread, but very educational on many levels. For instance, when you see something you like, reading on invariably leads you to the "what did you use to get xyz" answer.

    You'll find that it's a combo of themes (overall look), home replacements (extra screens, screenshot ability re home screen, more) and/or widgets (yields a special effect per widget, like seeing your messages + gmail snippets within a 4x2 space {Pure Messenger Widget}, the weather {on screen and/or within notifications bar-- Weather Bug, Pure Weather, etc}.

    Suggestion: have a pen and paper handy so you can keep notes, so you'll have your list when you hit the Market. Took me over a week to work my way through that thread, but boy, it's like a fun crash course in Droid 101.
     
  6. Soultics

    Soultics Well-Known Member

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    TLDR; while the droid is customizable in many ways, inherit support for themes without using another "app" doesn't exist, you'll have to listen to the guys above.
     
  7. CRPercodani

    CRPercodani OFWGKTA VIP Member

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    Once someone bothers to truly theme the DROID you won't need to use any home replacement apps. Anyone here who had a rooted G1 knows what I'm talking about. If you want to see what can be done then check out www.forum.xda-developers.com and goto the Android Theme section, you will see some cool stuff. Also if you have rooted your DROID and have busybox you can download MetaMorph off the market and apply different parts of themes already out on said forum.
     
  8. Fadelight

    Fadelight Well-Known Member

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    "Themes" are visual changes to your GUI (Graphic User Interface). That is the most straight forward answer to your question.

    When you look at your phone, you will see many things. The background on your phone. The status bar across the top. All of the little notifications inside the status bar. The sliders and buttons for your lock screen. The clocks. The list goes on. Each one of these items you see are actually a PNG file... a picture file. Themes will change these pictures so they have a completely different look. There are three ways I know of to achieve this... Ranging from being very user friendly to risking damage to your phone.

    The first, as stated above, is using a home replacement app. A great deal of things can be changed by doing it this way. There are a few drawbacks, though. For starters, it won't be able to change the look of your status bar or notification icons. As far as I know, you also can't change the look of things like your dialer by going this route. Most importantly to those users who want it to be 100% theirs and no one elses... your themes are limited to those themes that other users have created and can be downloaded.

    The next two methods require root... or Super User access. There are a ton of threads on what that is and how it works, so I won't get into it here.

    As CRPercodani said, one of the next methods is by using a program called "Metamorph". Since it requires root access, this means that you now have the ability to change things like the statusbar and icons, your dialer, your contacts list, or any other part of your phone as well... you are no longer limited to just the home screen. The obvious downside to this is that, like the home replacement app, you are limited to themes others create for you. You do, however, have the ability to mix and match themes. For example, you can use a statusbar from one theme, the icons from another, a dialer from a third, etc.

    If you wanted the absolute most customized phone, then you could just create your own theme and icons for Metamorph, but a lot of people (myself included) would, at this point, just change the PNGs and just manually add them on your system where it needs to be. The obvious drawback to doing this is that this is where things start to get dangerous for your phone. As a few users have found out by now, all you would have to do is compress the folder the wrong way, type something wrong, or save a single picture as the wrong format, and your phone will not come back on when you reboot. You will have to use a recovery image to get it to work again.



    And just in case I hadn't made things clear enough, I'll throw in some pictures so you can hopefully see what I am talking about more clearly.

    http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/1424/92679823.jpg

    (Linked picture so I didn't have to resize.)

    This is a picture of my framework-res folder for the theme I've been working on for my phone. You will notice that the statusbar icons have been changed on a great deal of them. Compare your phone and your icons to the ones you see here.

    Now, here are a couple of pictures of my home screen. This is where you can see the new icons... or "Theme"... in action.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]



    If there was something I missed, feel free to ask more questions. I will answer them the best I can. ;)
     
  9. messenger13

    messenger13 Well-Known Member

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    Yikes. Harsh. ... Funny. ... but harsh.


    But then things get REALLY funny ... and too ironic. Just after give the new guy the smackdown, you blurt out some crap about home++ giving you themes. Hello! Home++ doesn't have any downloadable themes! Sure, you can customize Home++ a bit ... but there are NO themes for it. What a valuable resource you are! :rolleyes:

    Had you mentioned GDE, or OpenHome, or dxTop as Home replacement apps that have downloadable themes ... you might've provided an answer that was "a great help".
     
  10. DR0ID

    DR0ID Well-Known Member

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    well, judging by the 7 posts and not knowing what a theme was i took the assumption that he just wanted home replacements and widgets (even though i didn't say it, it was 3:30 and i was half conscious) but thanks for calling me out on that i deserved it :(
     
  11. messenger13

    messenger13 Well-Known Member

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    It's all good. I've done worse, much worse. :eek: Just didn't want us scaring off the new guy (bryston). He was just trying to help the best he could. :) I am, by no means, an expert in here. I marvel at the knowledge some of these guys have. It's great that we can all come here and learn together.
     
  12. CRPercodani

    CRPercodani OFWGKTA VIP Member

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    Awwww thanks for marveling at me, I'm glad my massive knowledge has helped you learn :D. And yes you have done much worse, like that boot animation! Bahaha.
     

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