[EXCLUSIVE] Samsung Galaxy S10 / One UI custom font support arrives on themeGalaxy & GxFonts
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The modding scene for any popular gadget becomes known to the masses, after they create easy-to-use wizard like tools and/or some kind of nifty dongle that just needs to be plugged in and voila!
Although some people love to unleash the true power of their gizmos, majority of them don’t want to go through the blood, sweat and tears (figuratively!) to achieve the prize. Take a look at those one-click jailbreak or root tools and their download counts.
Vendors often try to close down the exploits and introduce new restrictions to make user modifications harder and/or impossible. We have seen a similar stance from Samsung, when they abruptly stopped custom theming support with the introduction of Galaxy S10 lineup.
Matter of fact, the Samsung Galaxy Store does feature a dedicated section for themes. But themers need to pay Samsung to enlist their creations there – a prerequisite not ideal for community modders.
Our readers should remember the interview from the lead developer of Wings Samsung Fonts project. Those guys eventually found out a way to install third party fonts in the Samsung Galaxy S10 (in fact every Samsung device running Android Pie based One UI).
In their workaround, they tricked the Samsung Themes app to cache the third party fonts installed via Android Debug Bridge (adb). The method does not require root access or ELM licenses, but you do need a PC running Windows to invoke adb for the first time.
The trick is to install the theme by adb while the Theme Store is opened. Not much more. But errors are easily made. So I wrote a script automating these commands to have an user friendly installation method.
We noticed updating the theme once successfully installed works great, so changing it wouldn’t require a PC
Meanwhile, we talked with XDA recognized themer Reinemar Saplagio aka envy~, who created a set of themes based on the work of sathishtony. They came up with Custom Themes Installer for OneUI Pie, an app which can dynamically replace the assets of existing themes.
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.
This new method is standalone and does not require the usage of adb. Free themes for One UI can be modified on the phone itself and installed as new theme with updated assets. Both root and non-root based method exist to break the trials.
Today, we have the opportunity to interview Sathish Kumar Bangarusamy, who is rather popular as sathishtony in the Samsung theming community. He is the lead developer of PROJECT [vivid] group, and has recently published a simplified solution to install third party fonts.
Popular modding apps like theme Galaxy (from version 16 bs_rl89 Stark) and GxFonts (from version 1.4 Stark) are now capable of installing custom fonts on Samsung Galaxy S10e/S10/S10+ and other devices running Android 9 Pie based One UI, based on the same principle of Custom Themes Installer for OneUI Pie.
Q1. AFAIK, the custom font support is merely a subset of the custom theming solution. Have you re-used the asset patching method on the fly here as well?
A1: Yes, i used the same replacing method to use custom font without adb.
Q2. What are the actual issues with S10/S8 One UI? How are they blocking custom themes, while the S9/Note9 firmware is allowing them?
A2: Vanilla pie won’t allow you to install the overlays that are not platform signed. And Samsung’s oneui just inherited that. S9 and N9 oneui builds are exceptional as they are the ones to receive pie updates first I guess samsung forgot to put that restriction lol.
Now for the blocked phones, the only way of using overlays is to inject them in a theme. GxFonts and themeGalaxy compiles the font package based on what device you’re holding. If you’re holding s9 and n9 then it will compile simple overlay. Install and then boom it will show. For blocked phones, it will compile the font overlay and bundles into High contrast theme. And the replacing method is used to enable custom fonts.
See, simplicity is key! The Wings Font [Samsung] team opened the floodgate, and other community developers joined the venture to polish the available methods.
Q3. How is your method different from the Wings guys?
A3. They are using adb to push the theme, where I am using the replacing method as I have my installer app doing that already.
Q4. Are you going to merge all these apps (GxFonts, galaxy Themes, Custom One UI theme installer) into one single app?
A4. No. themeGalaxy included custom fonts feature since day1. GxFonts is actually a new shell with themeGalaxy’s custom engine along with low price to enable pro. I authored GxFonts mainly for the community people who just want to change the font alone. Theme Installer has to be a seperate app as it enables our community themers like envy to share their work easily.
Q5. Any plan to open source the project(s)?
A5. I have no plans for that…
Wait, there is an exclusive info waiting for you guys! Sathish has further informed us that he and envy~ are working together on another universal theming solution, which is going to be separate from the existing themeGalaxy app.
The current version of the themeGalaxy app becomes saturated due to the introduction of truckload of new features. Rather than refactoring the existing app, the developers prefer to start from scratch.
Team PiunikaWeb is in touch with the development team, so expect new articles from us regarding the new updates on theming and modding scene of Samsung phones running One UI (Galaxy S8, S9, Note 9 etc.).
What is your favorite custom font? Apply it and share the screenshot with us.
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