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How to MetaMorph/Theme

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Thanks Meter: 413
By Stericson, Retired Senior Mod / Senior Recognized Developer - Godfather of Android Theming on 28th November 2009, 10:25 PM
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Credits for MetaMorph Go to Stericson and Kastro.
Credits for the MetaMorph Gui (The application) go to Stericson
Honorable mentions go to Riku, prash, and djengizz For continued support and testing metamorph!

MetaMorph is located in the Android Market in both a free version and a 2.99 donate version, with the donate version being a step ahead of the free version. (One version may be behind the other but they both will receive the same updates)

If youd like to support MetaMorph and keep development going on it please consider purchasing the 2.99 donate version

What MetaMorph is

MetaMorph is a project designed to allow us to patch files within .jar and .apk files on the phone.

Initially MetaMorph was designed for themers but it was discovered through use that we could also use it for applying customer dex files, resource files, images, and xml files. Pretty much anything inside of the apk and jar can be replaced with MetaMorph, which makes it very versatile and useful, in addition to this we can now copy files to places on the phone or sdcard, and we can implement the use of scripts now!

In this thread we will discuss how to theme using MetaMorph and any bugs that may be found with MetaMorph.

To use metamorph simply download an appropriate package for it to your sdcard and select it with MetaMorph.

Here is some basic info about MetaMorph:

Compatible themes can be found in various forms around the XDA forums, try looking by device. (eventually the donate version will get a theme repository, the free version wont get it)

I only recommend downloading what is in the first posts as those have been tested to work with your device and rom!

Please report any bugs.

Use at your own risk

Heres the link to videos showing metamorph in use:



Heres a quick video showing a metamorph theme being made from scratch using the old .thm control file! (which is not being supported anymore)

MetaMorph uses a fairly simple format to apply changes to apk or jar files, here you can find out how to create these templates: (Video 1/4) (Video 2/4) (Video 3/4) (Video 4/4)

To tell metamorph what to do you need to include a Theme Control File. The Theme control file is located in the root directory of the template and MUST have the EXACT same name as the template. Here is a video on how to make the Theme Control File:

(The old .thm control file is no longer supported. if you need to convert your old theme to use the new .xml toll check here for a tool that will convert it for you: )

Compression is not accepted on MetaMorph zip templates.

The latest version of MetaMorph (MetaMorph Pro V1.9.8) can be found in the Android Market!

================================================== ==============================
// MetaMorph, what it is and isn't
================================================== ==============================

MetaMorph, at heart, is simply a program that takes files from a directory and adds them to an already existing zip package.

In this case, our zip packages are apk and jar files.

What metamorph is used for, or what it accomplishes by moving files around is completely up to the designer of the package that is used.

For instance, if I make a package that tells metamorph to move a dex file into services.jar then I may be wanting to change the color of the clock which resides on the status bar. If this happens then MetaMorph has not done this, the creator of the package has done this and metamorph was simply the tool he/you used to accomplish this easily. In the same sense, if the desired change does not happen it is most likely not because of metamorph, but rather a fault in the package or instructions that metamorph was given.

here are some things using metamorph can cause:

1) As of right now MetaMorph cannot be used on market apps. If you do happen to use a package that modifies market apps, they will disappear from your phones launcher menu. This is because market apps are signed with Developer keys and by changing them we are changing the md5sum of the package. When this occurs the package takes notice of this change and starts rechecking its integrity. When the package discovers it has changed and has not been resigned with its approved key, thereby approving these changes in a sense, then it will basically error out and Android will remove it. Again MetaMorph can be faulted because it cannot handle this type of action but it cannot be faulted for this if you do it after reading or knowing of this limitation.

2) MetaMorph may also show you and error that some file doesnt exist or that some file that the theme control file is looking for doesnt exist. Again while these errors are thrown by MetaMorph, they are not caused by MetaMorph but by the package that you selected. When MetaMorph runs it checks for two things:

A) That the directory that the theme control file has specified where
the contents that we are to move to another zip package actually
exists in the theme.


B) That the target zip package that we will add files to actually
exists in the path that the theme control file has specified.

This protects the ap from Force closing, and the second check protects you from having unneeded files being created on your phone when it detects that the target apk doesn't exist.

If you have any issues with a theme/package not working please speak with the theme/package creator.

If you have issues, questions, or suggestion with/for MetaMorph please leave them here.

If you have questions about how MetaMorph can be used and how to create packages for it, please leave them here.

If you still have problems with a theme or package that cannot be resolved by the theme/package creator please let us know so that we can take a more in depth look into the issue.


Theme not applying

The issue here is that your phone probably doesnt have enough space in your /system partition, you can check the space using "df" in a shell. (terminal or another like program)

Depending on the device you have you may need a different SPL to be able to apply themes.

MetaMorph is a tool designed to change files within apks and jars. With this goal in mind MetaMorph succeeds very well.

However, MetaMorph cant predict what you will do with it. The packages you apply with it are are unknown to MetaMorph, and it cant be held responsible for what you decide to apply.

With this being said, it is your responsibility to make sure that the package you apply will work for your phone, and it is the themers responsibility to let you know what requirements are needed to use his package, this includes free space, specific hardware, and specific software needed.

The Following 38 Users Say Thank You to Stericson For This Useful Post: [ View ]
28th November 2009, 10:42 PM |#2  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 13
some idea. include a ceck for andexplorer in your app like the check for zip binary
28th November 2009, 10:44 PM |#3  
Stericson's Avatar
OP Retired Senior Mod / Senior Recognized Developer - Godfather of Android Theming
Thanks Meter: 413
Good Idea, I may actually do that.....
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28th November 2009, 10:46 PM |#4  
JackCrackerMan's Avatar
Junior Member
Flag Phoenix
Thanks Meter: 4
Sweet, I'm going to have to give this a try... I hope the guys that develop themes jump on board this.
28th November 2009, 11:02 PM |#5  
Daneshm90's Avatar
Retired Recognized Developer
Thanks Meter: 662
Hey, i cant get it to work. This is wht ive done

Installed the apk
Installed AndExplorer
Ran Metamorph, was asked to download zip. Said Yes, then said downloading for a minute then said "Somethings Wrong blah blah". FYI my wifi connection is FINE.

Nething im missing ?
28th November 2009, 11:07 PM |#6  
Stericson's Avatar
OP Retired Senior Mod / Senior Recognized Developer - Godfather of Android Theming
Thanks Meter: 413
try not using wifi connection...for some reason i've had this problem before... Not sure whats going on...can you browse websites with your wifi?

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28th November 2009, 11:12 PM |#7  
Daneshm90's Avatar
Retired Recognized Developer
Thanks Meter: 662
Hey, thanks for the tip. Turns out my torrents were hogging my bandwidth of my g router Installed fine, going to try a couple of things posted by djengizz.

Thanks Stericsson

Awesome, just applied a couple of things posted, worked flawlessly, really like the layout of the whole app. Awesome Job.
I guess its true....Android has NO limits
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28th November 2009, 11:25 PM |#8  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 10
nice..! i want to make my DarkDream compatible with MetaMorph
there is a tutotial how to make a theme for it or something..?

i have a problem.. when i start the program it said "what to do? ZIP was not found.." i click yes to search it then it said "Please wait downloading.." right after that it said "setting up zip" a second after that it takes me to the beginning "what to do?..." and continues this loop forever...
what ZIP it need?(i have a zip file in SDcard/Androidthemes/)
28th November 2009, 11:30 PM |#9  
Stericson's Avatar
OP Retired Senior Mod / Senior Recognized Developer - Godfather of Android Theming
Thanks Meter: 413
Yes, there will be a tutorial I just finished the video showing it working...

Will do the video in just a moment.

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28th November 2009, 11:33 PM |#10  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 5
Thanks, awesome application! It's working . Btw, since the lockscreen I'm using is yours (right?) what is ICE?
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28th November 2009, 11:36 PM |#11  
Ryanmo5's Avatar
Retired Senior Moderator
Flag Goodyear
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Thanks for this stericson, will play around with it in a few. Great work as usual!
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