[EXCLUSIVE] Samsung Galaxy S10 / One UI custom theme support available via 'Custom OneUI Theme Installer'
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New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….
Another day, another 90’s kids reference!
Windows XP and its mesmerizing blue ‘Luna’ theme encouraged me to take a look at the domain of theming. Life was different then – very much limited internet connectivity and scarce resources, but I quickly learned that Microsoft did not like third part themers.
Yes, that was the first time I heard the phrase ‘digital signature’. The theming engine in Windows XP (and future versions as well) only accepted Microsoft-signed themes. Luckily the community found a way to break the restriction – the (in)famous uxtheme.dll patching.
With time, more and more vendors started to ship new gadgets as well as operating systems, but very few of them support extensive level of theming outside the limited offerings from the makers. The practice eventually led to monetization, i.e. you need to pay to use custom themes.
Fortunately, the urge of customization is a natural characteristic of human being. Third party developers are constantly breaking such idiotic restrictions, and bringing rich modding support to the user communities. From gaming consoles to smartphones – the same saga continues.
With the release of One UI (based on Android 9.0 Pie), Samsung blocked the installation of unsigned overlays/themes. The modding community stumbled on another stone, when older devices like Galaxy S8/S9 got the same treatment besides 2019’s Galaxy S10.
In our exclusive interview with Tim Wilkens (the lead developer of the Wings Font [Samsung] project), we talked about how the community found a way to bypass the restrictions imposed by Samsung and eventually achieved custom fonts support in Galaxy S10 (as well as other Samsung phones).
It was also highlighted that the method used in this project could be extended to the custom themes as well.
In fact, another group of developers actually did it! sathishtony, the author of the popular theme Galaxy app, is now actively working on Custom Themes Installer for OneUI Pie – a true successor to the former.
XDA recognized themer Reinemar Saplagio, who goes by the alias envy~, has shared various behind-the-scene info regarding sathishtony’s work as well as his own creations which can be installed via the new installer.
envy~’s new Galaxy S10 compatible themes can be found in this thread. Themes like Bodhisattva and ayos_ are truly magnificent and fully compatible with Custom OneUI Theme Installer.
According to Reinemar, the themes can be installed in various ways. The first method using this app (taken down now) is dependent on Samsung Knox EDU ELM keys and relies on trial breaking.
Although no root access is necessary, the method is soon going to be deprecated due to Samsung’s decision to close down ELM key generation. There’s still hope though.
Ive heard that those depreciation happens every year and then will comback again the next year but I’m not sure, the tool we created for non rooted is the most reliable one, but we always looking for alternatives like the new tool we released called custom one ui installer. It doesn’t need keys and works for everyone non rooted/rooted
The second method using this app needs root access, which is obviously not feasible for everyone. Trial breaking is automated in this case.
The root method tool was only released to support devices who are blocked the installation of apks, (S8,N8,S10) since we got a new method now.. that tool will be not updated in think but still a great alternative for someone who want lots of custom themes installed at the same time.
The third, and currently the most recommended method is to use the Custom Themes Installer for OneUI Pie app. Reinemar/envy~ has described the workflow of the new app as follows:
-Download a theme apk from below, only one theme at a time.
-Download the tool and follow all requirements, Read carefully what the app tells you to do.
-If S10/+ download the BLACK preinstalled theme first on theme store but don’t apply, proceed to the option page of the tool and tick the entry, then proceed to install the theme via the tool.
-If you want to change theme, apply default theme and delete the base theme from store and do the method once again with different theme apk.
The fundamental idea is to replace the assets of an existing theme dynamically and re-apply the modified theme package:
But the tool simply refracts theme package name to the one of the pre installed free theme from store, its like you are using the default high contrast theme but with modified/replaced assets.
Compared to Wings Font, which relied on theme caching, this method is slightly different:
I think not, these tools won’t require adb and a pc to work and the main purpose is to break trial timer for theme to stick when wings font doesn’t have or the need to trial it coz its just relying on theme cache.
The team aka PROJECT [vivid] Development has not published the theme installer app(s) in Google Play for the masses. They are kept unlisted at this moment as further testing and user feedback are necessary to create a bug free solution.
It will not get officially released, only unlisted entry. Still undecided on this regard as i don’t think a separate thread is needed.
A video tutorial has been shared by envy~ for properly demonstrating Sathissh’s new theme installer for One UI:
Although the current implementation is matured enough, the team is not going to drop support for the root and older non-root methods any time soon.
We’re not dropping those other two coz its a great alternative, and it got a perk coz its not relying on theme store theme base.. but eventually one of it will become obsolete, we can do nothing about it, those tool will be always be live but will not be updated unless samsung changes something to block it again.
XDA member carlosbalbuena_ responsible for the APK editing method used in the current non-root theme installer. We hope Samsung will not abruptly shut down this technique in subsequent updates of the One UI.
What are you waiting for? Go, start modding your Galaxy S10e/S10/S10+ with new themes and share the screenshots with us!
Update 1 (April 30)
An indie developer has created a method to install custom third party fonts on Samsung phones running Android Pie based One UI, such as Galaxy S10. Read our exclusive interview with developer Sathish Kumar Bangarusamy aka sathishtony by clicking here.
Update 2 (June 11)
Developer sathishtony and modder envy~ are actively working on Hex Installer – the next generation theming solution for Samsung phones running One UI. Details here.
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