Basiclly this is for market app but can be also used for other apps.
If you like my work you can buy me a drink; cheers
For start you need:
- - Apktool 1.3.1 version (don't use 1.3.2 version) or
- - Apk manager (I use apktool and prefere)
- - Gimp or Photoshop
- - Something for 9.png's (I use gimp for that and will explain later how and what)
- - orginal file (watch that file isn't themed orr modded already)
- - 7zip
- - Notepad (for editing xml files; some use other text programs like Notepad++ but I use palin windows Notepad)
Now when you have everything you need we can start. If you have orginal file is also to have modded one so you can compare what was changed. Market had changes from 2.2x version till now so you can't just copy and paste files from one to another file or drag them from another apk to another. Basiclly few folders can be copyed into app which your modding. Rest you can see what is same and what isn't by comparing how many xml files are in each folder. (you might say it takes long time but that's the best way and only one way for start to do it; when you get hangoff it you want do it and when you see which are basic things and commen to all Market apps.)
Now let's start with de-compiling your file/files:
If you use apktool use version 1.3.1 since newer ones 1.3.2 has some bug in de-compiling and compiling.
Copy somewhere your downloaded apktool (some folder) and also copy in there apps your modding.
Open CMD (Command prompt) in Windows and go to folder where your apktool is (I think I don't have to write command how to get there.... ; but here is little trick if you don't know for windows 7 which will open cmd in folder you are >> Open apktools in your Windows Explorer next hold Shift on keyboard and while holding it click your right mouse button and when menu opens just select Open command window here; and now your in cmd where your apktool is).
So now we need to de-compile file to see what we have in there since when you open apk file in 7zip not all folder are shown!
Run command to de-compile apk
apktool d -d Vending.apk
Now you wait till de-compiling is finished. When finished in your apktool folder you'll see folder called Vending (that is de-compiled apk file).
In Vending folder you have this:
- - res folder
- - smali folder
- - AndroidManifest.xml
- - apktool.yml
From list we are more interested in res folder since it has what we needed rest of files/folders we don't touch.
Ok now we open res folder and we have quite number of folder in there and each folder has quite number of png files or xml files.
In res folder these folders are interesting for us:
- - color (xml files)
- - drawable (xml files; few png's)
- - drawable-da-hdpi-v4 (png file)
- - drawable-da-mdpi-v4 (png file; it for mdpi devices; some edited some not it's on you will you edit it or not)
- - drawable-hdpi-v4 (png files)
- - drawable-mdpi-v4 (png fiels; I didn't see anybody editing it)
- - layout (xml files)
- - values (xml files)
Now were going to start with xml folders.. Lets start with color folder. When you edit xml file with notepad for example just click on Save option in notepad menu and not Save As and file will be saved and later will won't be any problems when compiling back app. In there you have 4 xml files which you can edit colors in them for some texts. I only edit xml called header_text.xml.
In header_txt.xml file you see this line
<item android:color="@android:color/black" />
When done with color folder were moving to drawable folder and in there we only need 1 xml file called bottom_light_gradient.xml. In there you need to edit this line
<gradient android:startColor="#ff96d21e" android:endColor="#ffffffff" android:angle="90.0" android:type="linear" />
As far as I know (didn't search and look rest of xml files in drawable folder) nothing else can be changed in other xml files in drawable folder since rest xml files contain pictures names which to use for what.
Moving on to next folder which has xml files which we need to edit; folder called layout.
In layout there is quite number of xml files you can edit colors in hex format but basiclly you need only few files to edit so you don't have trouble like white text on white background.
So for here I edit only 3 files (2 files are for widget and one is for writting review for some app.)
Files your editing are:
- - widget_app.xml
- - widget_no_content.xml
- - write_review.xml
Last file write_review.xml is one I had problems with it when using Neon or Black version while writting review (comment) for some app. Thanks to MikeyMike01 it's resolved. If your using normal background as main to be white (like in stock version) then you don't need to touch any of files from layout folder; or you can play with them (your decision).
Here is orginal line from write_review.xml file
<EditText android:textColor="?android:textColorPrimary" android:gravity="top" android:id="@id/comment_box" android:layout_width="fill_parent" android:layout_height="fill_parent" android:maxLines="4" android:minLines="4" android:maxLength="150" android:freezesText="true" android:inputType="textLongMessage|textCapSentences|textMultiLine" />
<EditText android:textColor="#ff000000" android:gravity="top" android:id="@id/comment_box" android:layout_width="fill_parent" android:layout_height="fill_parent" android:maxLines="4" android:minLines="4" android:maxLength="150" android:freezesText="true" android:inputType="textLongMessage|textCapSentences|textMultiLine" />
- - colors.xml
- - styles.xml
In colors.xml you can change anything you want but as long as it's in hex color code and needs to start with #ff and ends with you 6-digit hex color code like this for steel blue #ff00aeff. Not sure if I need to explain which color is which since it has quite lines in there but you can play with them to see which line is what. My advice is to set different colors to see what is changed when you run your themed app and then you'll see result of your various colors and fix them one by one in file on your computer.
Final xml file which we need to edit is styles.xml and there are only 3 lines you change. First 2 lines are colors (1st is text name of color and like written before can only be black or white and 2nd line is hex color code). Last line in file your changing is look of your app aka "theme" to be with transparent background, black or white.
This is line your looking for and this one is for white background
<style name="TallTitleBarTheme" parent="@android:style/Theme.Light.NoTitleBar">
<style name="TallTitleBarTheme" parent="@android:style/Theme.Black.NoTitleBar">
<style name="TallTitleBarTheme" parent="@android:style/Theme.Translucent.NoTitleBar">
<style name="TallTitleBarTheme" parent="@android:style/Theme.Wallpaper.NoTitleBar">
Well that's it for xml files and were moving on pictures in png format. All png's can be edited with gimp or photoshop like written before without any problem. Problematic files are called 9.png which aren't that easy to edit.
Problem with 9.png files is that they have black "dots" or lines around sides which indicate to android how will image be streched and sized to fit and look right.
Here is guide you look and read closely how and what to do on 9.png files.
Myself I edit them with gimp using colorize function and after that I look closely how do black dots and lines look and is there any change in there color. If there is any change in color when compresing file you'll get error. So before going into editing 9png files read guide from link and if you want try my method which isn't in some way most efficent since you have to zoom and look closely every pixel in image to see if looks like orginal one!
Png files are listed in folder I wrote before on start of guide. Most of us who mod markets don't mod mdpi folders since most users use hdpi devices. But if you want you can edit.
Also one notice in market folder drawable-hdpi-v4 don't touch these 2 files since when edited on compiling you always get an error. Not sure why; tried every method to edit them but didn't work?!
- - title_bar_light_shadow.9.png
- - title_bar_shadow.9.png
After your done with editing and changing png files your ready to compile you new app (market).
Like written before you need again CMD (Command prompt) and run these command to compile file:
apktool b -d Vending
Little about errors little "bug" in apktool is that it doesn't create any log file so you can see which error your getting and you can't scroll windows much since it has quite lines written on screen and neither one is problematic xml or png file. So to see which error are you getting run command again to compile and when it starts to write errors hit Pause/Break key on your keyboard and YOU HAVE TO BE FAST!!!!! If you were fast enough just scroll with mouse and look for line after command where it says ERROR and there will be name of you "wrong" file and problematic part in it.
If your file is compiled and new apk is created it is in folder Vending in subfolder called dist. Now you can notice that there are 2 new subfolders created build folder and dist folder.
In build folder is your new app but not in apk format and if looking in it you can see only few folders in res folder and not all folders are listed like in res fodler where it's de-compiled. Now second folder called dist folder is folder where is created your apk file ready to be installed.
You thought it's done. Right? Well almost just a little thing and it's finished and this is where you need 7zip program. Most of apps need to be signed in order to android system can recognize them and if not signed apk file won't run if pushed with root explorer or installed if running it from zip file in CWM.
You need to open your orginal file called Vending.apk in 7zip and also open second 7zip and in it open new created Vending.apk located in Vending subfolder dist which we wrote few rows before.
When 2 apk files are opend each in it's own 7zip you can notice that your orginal file has META-INF folder and new one doesn't have it. Right?
Now in orginal apk file in 7zip select folder META-INF and file AndroidManifest.xml and drag it to 2nd 7zip with your new created apk file. In new 7zip you'll be asked if you want to copy or replace files and you just click on Yes button. (Thanks to pendo who told me about this)
Also your new apk file is smaller in size compered to orginal one and don't bother with that since it's normal. You'll see with each color edited in xml files apk will be different size.
Now your done and your file is ready to use and also signed. There are few methods about signing apk files but this for me presonally is easiest and quickest one. I know that apk manger can sign zips since I don't use it don't really know how it works and also apk manger uses most parts of apktools
but it has interface for users and creates log file for errors.
Before releasing apk file in public try it on your phone and see who it looks like; minor bugs you didn't notice you can fix later.
Your decision is do you want to use apktool or apk manager.
Hope this will help. In basic this is it and for most of apps can help but once you start it modding you'll learn few tricks. Most of us here will help if any problem like few users here helped me to get started with some basics
Guide about theming in general
If I find any other interesting guide I'll post it and if any problem or suggestions please feel free to post or pm me.
One thing in the end. DO NOT POST OR LINK GUIDE OUTSIDE FORUM PRIOR CONTACTING ME!!!