Many Samsung users wonder how to create their own themes as found in the Samsung Theme app. Technically speaking there are two methods for doing this – an unofficial method which can be done on devices from Galaxy S6 and below (TouchWiz Theme Engine devices), and the official process which involves being accepted into Samsung’s theme and design program.
This guide will walk you through the complete unofficial process, and point you in the right direction for the official process.
- Samsung My Theme for PC (Windows 7 or higher)
- Android SDK for Android 4.4 or Higher
- Java JDK versions 1.6 to 7.0 (but not 8.0)
How to Build Samsung Themes for TouchWiz Theme Engine Samsung Devices
Download and unzip the Samsung My Theme application to an easily accessed location.
Unzip the .zip file, and put it on a location you can access easily, then then the “SamsungMyTheme.exe”. You should see a screen like this:
Download the Android SDK – for the Android SDK, you can use the download.bat script in the working folder, which will automatically download all SDK version. Alternatively, you can download SDK for 4.4 specifically from the download link above.
Open the Samsung_My_Theme folder and navigate to the /sdk folder – now copy the files you see in this screenshot:
Now open the working folder and run SamsungMyTheme.exe again, and wait a few seconds for all of the components to be loaded. When it is finished, choose “Create a Changeable Theme”.
It will ask you to confirm the resolution for your particular Samsung device – if you don’t know it, just Google search for the specs of your Samsung device (e.g. ‘Samsung galaxy s5 specs’)
Now you’ll want to add a Lock screen and Home screen wallpaper – you can make them different, of course. It can be any image(s) you want, but for best quality, try to use pictures that match your device’s resolution (this allegedly saves a tiny amount of battery by preventing Android from shrinking or enlarging your wallpaper on the fly).
In the Samsung My Theme tool, you can make adjustments to the image such as cropping, rotating, adjusting the size, and cutting the image to fit your device screen. But if you’re using a picture that already matches your device resolution, this should be entirely unnecessary!
You’ll want to repeat the procedure for both the Lock Screen Wallpaper and the Home Screen Wallpaper tabs.
Now you can add custom icons for your (default system) apps as well, by clicking on the Icon tab. Of course, there are a thousand other ways to change your app icons, but Samsung themes typically include these (annoyingly, sometimes you just want an all-black theme without somebody else’s stupid icons…).
So you’re just going to click the Plus+ icon for the app you want to change the icon for, then drag whatever image you want to use as an icon onto the blank space. As seen in the screenshot, 192×192 is typically a good size for app icons, as it allows the icon to be scaled up to XXHDPI or down to LDPI or whatever.
Now for testing the theme on your device, you should see an .APK file named “SamsungThemePreview.apk” in the SamsungMyTheme folder on your PC.
Connect your Samsung device to your PC via USB and copy the .apk file over to your SD card, then install it with a file browser on your Samsung phone.
Next, go to Settings > About Device > tap ‘Build Number’ 7 or 10 times until Developer Mode is confirmed as activated. Go to Settings > Developer Options > and enable the USB Debugging mode. Confirm any popup that occurs on your Samsung device’s screen.
On your PC, click on the Preview on the Phone button near the menu bar. When you have the Theme Preview APK installed on your device, you will see a preview of the theme automatically.
If it looks good, you can click File > Package the APK file, give it a name, and save.
It will open a new popup, set name for your Theme, package name, etc… And click on save.
Depending on the resources you used, this may take a little while to compile the .APK. Once it is done, you can directly apply the theme to your Samsung device, or copy the .APK file to your Samsung device from the /out folder in the My Samsung Theme folder.
How to Become a Theme Designer for the Official Samsung Theme Store
This is a very difficult and bureaucratic process – it involves applying and waiting to be accepted (if you’re accepted, many are not).
Basically you need to apply for a Samsung Theme Partnership, which only becomes available on the third Wednesday of every odd-numbered month. So basically the third weeks of January, March, May, July, September, and November. The window remains open for 2 weeks, however. You need:
- A Samsung Account
- Then you navigate to the Samsung Theme website HERE.
- Click on “Get Access” and submit all of the information. You have to submit things like your name, email, why you want to be a Samsung theme designer, a portfolio/mockups of Samsung themes you want to do, etc.
- If you’re accepted into the program, Samsung will send you their Samsung Mobile Theme Editor software.
- You then download the Samsung Mobile Theme Editor and run it on your PC.