One of the biggest reasons people keep coming to the XDA forums is to find new ways to theme their device. Many of us also like to live on the bleeding edge of Android software updates, so it’s no surprise to see so much interest in unofficial ports of Android Oreo. Now is an especially great time to hop on the Oreo bandwagon due to the release of rootless Substratum for Android 8.0. Interest in Substratum themes is at an all time high, so while we have your attention, here are some cool things you can do: get a minimal lock screen, rounded recent app thumbnails, and change the number of quick setting columns.
The best part is, none of these tweaks require root access. Just a bit of Substratum theme magic, and you’ll be good to go. Of course, this requires you to purchase the paid Andromeda add-on app for Substratum, as mentioned in the article linked earlier. However, the two Substratum themes we will be using are both free, so you won’t have to spend a single dime more to get these tweaks.
Get a Minimal Lock Screen, Rounded Recent App Thumbnails, and More Quick Setting Columns
Before you can start using the Substratum themes you’ll need to install, you have to set up the Andromeda add-on to make Substratum run without root. The full steps to do that can be found in this tutorial here.
Please make sure that Substratum is actually working by opening up the application. If it opens up and doesn’t immediately close out and pull up the Andromeda app, then it’s ready. If instead you see the Andromeda app pop up stating that the connection status is “disconnected”, then you’ll need to re-run the desktop client in order to start the service necessary for the Substratum app to function correctly.
Once you’re ready, download the two free Substratum themes linked below. The first is necessary to clean up the lock screen, while the second is to change the recent app thumbnails to be more round as well as modifying the number of quick settings columns.
Get a Minimal Lock Screen
- Open up the Substratum app.
- Look for “Lock Clean” in the list of installed Substratum theme packs.
- Tap on “select to toggle all overlays.”
- Now customize how you want the lock screen to look by going through each dropdown menu and picking each option.
- For example, if you want a clean lock screen interface, you can select “Only Clock” for System UI, “No Bottom Charging Indicator” and “Clean Bottom Area (disables Shortcuts)” for System UI Navigation, and finally “Clean Statusbar Area” for the System UI Status Bar Icons.
- Once you’ve picked your preferred options, tap on the floating paint roller icon.
- Pick “Build & Enable” in the menu that pops up.
- Wait for it to finish applying the themes. Hopefully it should say there isn’t any errors.
- Enjoy your minimal lock screen! The theme might not immediately take effect in the lock screen, or may appear to look a bit wonky at first. This is usually fixed with a reboot. I would recommend deferring a reboot if you plan on following the rest of this tutorial, though, as you would need to once again run the Andromeda desktop client if you rebooted now.
- In case you dislike the way your lock screen looks after these changes, then you can easily disable it by opening Substratum, expanding the sidebar, going to “overlays” and finding Lock Clean in the list. Then, tap the “select to toggle all overlays” and then “disable selected” in the menu.
Rounded Recent App Thumbnails
- Open Substratum and look for “substweaks” in the list.
- Scroll down to “System UI Headers.”
- Tap on the checkbox to select it.
- Expand the dropdown menu to show the available rounded recents options.
- Note that the list, from top to bottom, is less rounded to more rounded.
- Once you’ve picked a value, tap on the floating paint roller button and then select “Build & Enable.”
- In a couple of seconds, the theme will compile, install, and immediately apply.
- Hit the recent app key and check out your rounded recent app thumbnails!
- In case you want to adjust how round, you can easily go back and choose another option then enable that one. If you want to disable this and go back to the stock, rectangular looking recent app screen, then you can disable it by expanding the sidebar in Substratum and going to “overlays” to find substweaks in the list. Tap the “select to toggle all overlays” and then “disable selected” in the menu.
Add More Quick Settings Tile Columns
- Again, open Substratum and look for “subtweaks.”
- Tap on the checkbox next to “System UI.”
- Expand the dropdown menu where it says “Select QS tile column count.”
- The list, C1-C10, is the number of columns you want shown in the expanded Quick Settings layout. C1 represents 1 column while C10 represents 10 columns. Pick the number you want.
- Tap on the floating button in the bottom right and select “Build & Enable.”
- The theme will quickly compile, and it should immediately take affect. Hopefully more quick setting columns proves useful for you!
- Bonus: follow this previous tutorial to adjust the number of quick settings tiles shown in the header (the collapsed state).
Those are just some of the more useful tweaks we’ve found among the list of free Substratum themes out there. Follow our Substratum forum and download the XDA Labs app to keep up to date with the latest news related to the custom themes on Android 8.0 Oreo.
This post is part of a series. Check out some of the other tutorials:
- How to Install a Dark Theme on Android Oreo without Root
- How to get Blob Emojis in Whatsapp and Telegram on Android Oreo
- How to change the Navigation Bar Icons on Android Oreo