Change the Look of Your Dialer and Phonebook Apps in Just Few Steps


Much of the Android’s beauty is in the ability to change practically every part of the OS—both in terms of aesthetics and functionality. There are several ways to go about this. One way is to modify apps before compiling them from source. Another involves decompiling and editing already compiled, ready-to-use binaries.

Theming your ROM is one way to make it look cooler and more personalized. Many custom ROMs use the T-Mobile Theme Engine, which allows the use of external themes prepared by third parties. Stock ROMs usually don’t allow the use of such themes, so you’ll often have to resort to APKTool or equivalents.

If you’re a Sony Xperia user, you  can now easily change the color of Phonebook and Dialer applications thanks to a thorough guide by XDA Senior Member Rajeev. This guide explains how to change the XML files to get rid of the stock values. Fear not, no Smali knowledge is required, so even the freshest newcomer will be able to do it with the available tools. Rajeev’s method method works only on Xperias with Android 4.1 or greater, but you can easily adapt it to work with other stock ROMs like Sense or TouchWiz.

Naturally, you need to be rooted in order to push some files back to the /system partition. APKTool or a similar utility is needed as well in order to decompile and recompile the APK files. If you find the stock dialer and phonebook colors boring, head over to the guide thread to get started.

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