While Substratum has recently been making waves due to Android Oreo's integrated support for the theming platform, not all users are getting the love; especially those on older versions of Android. Samsung devices, for instance, which are largely still running Android 7.0 Nougat, have no way of taking advantage of the array of functionality Substratum brings to the table.
There is, however, another way.
Samsung has embedded their own theme engine within Samsung Experience, allowing users to download themes from Samsung's own theme store. While both the store and the theme tools were previously closed off to a large extent, a set of custom tools is now available to users; allowing just about anyone to easily make a theme that works like a charm on their Samsung device.
Today, we'll walk you through just how to get started with using themeGalaxy to make your Samsung device your own.
What is themeGalaxy?
themeDIY is a custom theme development application made by XDA member satishtony. This application uses the inbuilt Samsung theme framework to build deeply embedded, thoroughly customisable and beautiful themes for your Samsung device. It allows theming of over 35 system application overlays and over 10 third-party application overlays. While it may not be as universal as Substratum, it has the distinct advantage of not being affected by application updates and system changes in the same way Substratum themes are.
The theme framework works on Samsung devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or Android 7.0 Nougat, and is not just limited to Samsung's flagship series; it should also work on the J/C/A series of Samsung smartphones.
That not enough to convince you? How about the fact that it doesn't require root access?
There ya go. Now, enough boring info. Let's dive in.
Getting started with themeGalaxy
First, grab the app from the Google Play store, as we'd imagine it would be difficult to proceed without actually having the app.
Upon launch, it will walk you through the comprehensive list of theming features; from building down to publishing. However, it will also give you a pop-up asking you to install the Custom Themes plugin – a one-time installation process which prepares the device for your custom themes.
The Custom Themes Plugin allows you to disable Samsung's own theme store and services, in order to ensure there is no interference. This process shouldn't take you more than 5 minutes, and while it may not be the most seamless, it's worth it.
Follow the link in the pop-up to the unreleased Custom Themes Plugin, and download it.
When you open the plugin, you'll be greeted with a black information screen. It notifies you about the process that comes next, after opening "Theme Store Control"- such as the requirement for some Device Admin permissions and the necessity for an ELM test key (we'll walk you through that momentarily).
Tap "Theme Store Control" and hit "Install" at the installation prompt.
Now, open "Theme Store Control" and hit "Enable Admin" to grant the plugin Application management and Read/Write Storage Function permissions. These are used only to disable and enable the themes and the Theme Store, so don't worry about your data being sucked up and thrown to some foreign server.
Next, you'll need to obtain an ELM test key from Samsung. Samsung allows these via their Enterprise Alliance Program, so you'll need to sign up here, or sign in with an existing Samsung account.
Select "Build and Test" and agree to the SEAP terms and conditions.
Next, open "My License keys" and generate an enterprise license key.
Finally, once you've obtained your key, paste it into the app!
You can now build your own themes as you wish! You can select the accent colors, overlay choices, wallpapers and icon packs of your choice, then proceed to build and install your own theme.
While it may not be as universal as Substratum, it's definitely a terrific option for Samsung device owners who wish to get a bit more flexibility over their devices.
What do you guys think? Will you try out themeGalaxy? Let us know in the comments, or post over on the forums with your thoughts.
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