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Articles Tagged:

theming

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Android's System Bars And Your Interface - Whether And How To Theme

Google updated its design spec recently. The material spec, which Google says is a living document (as evidenced by its ongoing updates), gained further guidance on floating action buttons, dialogs, updates on typography, and a lot more.

One less-advertised update was a change to the section in "Structure" concerning the navigation bar in Android. The "color variants" text is still identical to that from the "status bar" subsection, but an image showing nav bars themed to match your device's hardware was removed. Here's the image in question:

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 1.39.01 AM

Theming according to device color is - as far as this writer knows - not possible on Android at the moment, and neither is theming the nav bar to its "light style" variant also shown in the guidelines, where the nav bar is white and the buttons become gray.

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Major Update To Android Support Library 22.1 Introduces AppCompatActivity, Adds Major Theming Improvements And Tons Of Backward Compatibility

At one time in history, building an app that gave a consistent experience across all (or most) versions of Android was nearly impossible without dedicating a lot of time and effort. Thanks to the Android Support Library (a.k.a. AppCompat), it's easy to use some of the most important and commonplace user interface elements on versions of Android going as far back as Donut and Éclair. A fresh update for AppCompat was just released, bringing it to v22.1, and it introduces some really big changes. The ActionBarActivity has been deprecated for a new AppCompatActivity class, several new features from Lollipop were ported back to the Support V4, and some big improvements were made for Leanback, Palette, RecyclerView, and Renderscript.

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MyColorscreen Beta Is A Site Dedicated To Mobile Customization And Theming, And It's Full Of Great Content

I've always been a huge fan of software customization and theming; back in the early days of Windows XP, I would change themes, wallpapers, and icons almost daily, focusing on every detail to get that perfect look. Over time, I've become a huge fan of the minimal style on all of my devices, and there's no better place to get inspiration to re-theme a tired layout than by looking at other screenshots.

Fortunately, there are several resources dedicated to such things, one of which is the newly opened myColorscreen beta site. MyColorscreen differs from other sites, as it focuses exclusively on mobile homescreen customization, highlighting the various tools that the submitter used in creating the look.

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Android Central User Makes A Great Tutorial About Theming Android

There is talk of rooting and ROMs throughout this article. If you aren't familiar with the process or its pros and cons, you can check out our primers here:

Sprintgirl, a user in the Android Central forums, has put together a tutorial for people who want to start theming their rooted Android phones. While the process is a bit, well, ugly, to put it nicely, this tutorial should help to clear some of the fog from the process. The tutorial uses the EVO 4G as it's target device but, as we know, Android is basically the same across all different phones so the process will remain more or less the same.

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