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1/4/12: Minor updates throughout the guide

CreditsThis guide is meant to help BEGINNING DIY android users (who are familiar with folder hierarchy and Ubuntu Archive Manager) the chance to theme their own battery icons WITHOUT impatiently waiting for someone to do this for them. I was guilty of such behavior and finally decided to figure it out for myself, and was surprised how EASY it was!

As of now, this guide is only for Ubuntu. I haven't found out how to modify a zipped folder in Windows without extracting it.

Sorry in advance for any misconceptions I may have in terms of how android functionality. I'm still learning. I've always been a lurker and never really contributed. This is simply a method that has worked for me and thought I would share it.

Disclaimer: You follow this method by your choice knowing that I offer limited to no help if anything goes wrong with your phone. Android OS modifications can harness power never before utilized within each device, therefore I dont know if this could cause your phone to create black holes, faster than light neutrinos, dragons, or begin to melt. Also, I have no idea how far the term 'kanging' applies. Sorry in advance if I am somehow frontin'

You might want to make a backup of your rom in case this decimates your phone...

In a Nutshell
  • We are copying the images from the theme of choice (these are found inside SystemUI.apk) and putting them inside the currently-running-rom's SystemUI.apk
Gaining Resources
  1. Have a working version of Ubuntu
  2. Understanding that a .apk is an app, and that a .apk can be treated as a good ole fashioned compressed folder (.zip)
  3. Download the theme.zip or the rom.zip which contains the icons you WANT
  4. Finally, obtain the rom.zip of your current rom

*Note*: The item we want to modify is stored within the .zip, but we need both because they can be specific to each rom.

Locating Files
  • In two seperate file explorers extract the lusted theme/rom.zip and in the other extract your present rom.zip
*Note*: It is probably best to extract them INTO a folder, just to keep things tidy...
  • Now enter the root of this newly created folder. find /system/app/SystemUI.apk in BOTH of your file explorers. This is where the images we want to copy and modify are located.
Moving the Files
  • The two recently located SystemUI.apk's are all that is important to us now. You can either delete everything else, or go looking around.
  • Extract the SystemUI.apk from the one you WANT and your currently-running-systemui.apk
******NOTE******
Make sure you keep the unaltered currently-running-rom's SystemUI.apk because we will need it. I say this because I don't know how to re-create an apk once extracted, it requires apk decompiler which is beyond the range of this guide.
  • Now inside the newly created extracted-folder, you'll want to look for the folder titled 'res', open this
This should hold your 'drawables' (but not to be confused with the folder also named 'drawables') all of these folders contain the images used within the apk.

Here this guide digresses a little from exact:
  • You must now look within each extracted folder to find the battery images you WANT and the images currently used
*Note*:
The most previous phones (usually ones shipped with froyo or above) should be the 'non-landscape' hdpi folder. THE HD DISPLAYS are probably in xhdpi because it's a higher pixel density,
You'll also notice in the other drawable folders there are more redundant battery icons. I have no clue what those are for, probably just place holders.
The battery icons are probably labeled something like stat_sys_battery_#.png

Now you know where to find your much sought-after icons! We are getting close!!!!!!!!!
  • Once you have navigated to the correct folders containing the images, put the file explorers side by side.
This part differs with each rom/phone:
  • Compare the number of battery icons between the sought-after and the current. There may be a difference between the two. The difference in the number of images may occur because of the rom and/or hardware of the device. Some phones may only display changes of 10% while others may show 1%. Some may show an "unknown" battery image, but others may not. Having an excess in the currently-running-rom's SystemUI.apk is acceptable, but having fewer might pose an issue at some point. To fix this, either leave the current image, or duplicate one of the new ones and rename it to mach the old.
  • Compare the names of the icons. if they do not match, you'll need to rename all of the new ones to match the old.
Here's where I reference back to my beginning statement about using Ubuntu archive manager:
  • As of right now I am unaware of how to add files into a compressed folder without the need to extract the contents first, while a Windows program
  • Open your currently-running-rom's systemui.apk in archive manager, but DO NOT extract anything.
  • On the menu bar select: Edit ~~> Add Files...
  • Now, navigate to the extracted systemui.apk and select and add all of the needed battery icons to the .apk
Now for the easy part:
  • Copy this .apk to your phone's sdcard.
On Your Phone
  • Using a file explorer app with root privileges (ie Root Explorer or any other free ones) navigate to /system/app/ and within your file explorer should be an option to 'mount r/w', do this.
  • Find the SystemUI.apk and rename it SystemUI.apk.orig This will allow you to revert back to your old icons by simply deleting the newly inserted apk, and renaming removing the '.orig' from the old, followed by a reboot.
  • Now copy the .apk with the modified images and paste it into this folder
  • Reboot
  • Enjoy!!!!

My Customization

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