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Ask Dr. Root: How to Theme Notification Items Using MetaMorph

Dr. Root, I love my theme but if I could change just a couple of notification items it would be perfect. Please help!

*FOR ROOTED USERS ONLY (instructions)

*Please make a backup before proceeding. (As always this comes with risk. Droid Life is not responsible for dead phones, ruined marriages, etc.)

*This should work for most rooted android devices, but be sure to read comments and warnings wherever you get your meta-morph zips from.

Today, I wanted to change a couple of notification items on my Droid X while running  Bgill’s Incognito, which for the most part I love. Seeing as I can’t theme to save my life, I needed a quick and easy way to make changes. Yes, I know I could just flash an update.zip but the changes I wanted were one or 2 things and didnt feel like changing the whole theme just for that.

I decided to dig out MetaMorph which is a program that has been around for quite some time and is probably overlooked.  

The picture below contains a circular battery and WiFi antenna which were themed using MetaMorph. The first picture is the before and the second picture is the after:

snap20101015_225750.png picture by pixolas

Hit The Links below for these files.



stat_sys_battery_0stat_sys_battery_10stat_sys_battery_20stat_sys_battery_40stat_sys_battery_60stat_sys_battery_80stat_sys_battery_100DROID BATTERY

stat_sys_battery_5stat_sys_battery_10stat_sys_battery_20stat_sys_battery_40stat_sys_battery_50stat_sys_battery_60stat_sys_battery_80stat_sys_battery_100TRANSSPIN BATTERY

Download:  MetaMorph |  BusyBox

To use MetaMorph you need to install busybox as well. (Links above)  Using MetaMorph is pretty straight forward, but first you’ll need to find a MetaMorph zip that pertains to what you want to theme and download it to your SD card. (I found a bunch using Google search.) Once you find something to them and the file, move the zip to the AndroidThemes folder on your SD card.  If you do not have  a folder named “AndroidThemes” then creating one is just fine. Open up MetaMorph and it will ask to run some checks which you’ll have to let finish before moving on to the “extract zip button.”  The next screen should contain the MetaMorph file. When you tap on the file, it will ask you if you want to proceed and warns you that the phone may reboot during the process(which it will.) When the phone reboots you should now have your newly themed notification item.

Yes, there are different ways to theme, but I wanted to put this out there for those wanting to try their hand at it. I found this to be a very simple and effective way to make small theme changes. You are not limited to just notification items, There are lock screen mods and more, you are only limited by the amount of time your willing to spend with it.

-MrPicolas (Dr.Root)

File Source: Droid Pirate

  • Casanova984

    How do you use busybox, & why should i downloadit? Can someone get back to me thank you.

  • Bgs_piece

    If I used Metamorph to install a transparent notification bar and I want to go back to stock, can I just replace the framework-res.apk file using root explorer and then reboot or do I have to use an emulator to push the file back? I am rooted with stock rom running the OTA froyo for the droid x. Any help is greatly appreciated!

  • doctordoctor

    Beware that metamorph doesn't play nice with all roms

  • Mike_ster57

    can anyone help me root? tried using Superoneclick cant get it to work. i just want to overclock my droid 1.

  • Justin

    @trunks1667 you can get that battery in the 2nd pic here -> http://droidpirate.com/2010/08/28/metamorph-caleb-v2-battery/

  • Justin

    damn you could have atleast uploaded the images to a diff server.

  • Justin

    all your file names are exactly what i named off the server.

  • Justin

    would be nice if you gave me credit @ droidpirate.com

  • How long does 1 icon normally take? This as been applying for close to 10 minutes

  • Trunks1667

    Where can I find the battery indicator in the second picture?

    • Found out it is BattStatt, not sure if the free one or pro.

  • I am with Jonathan N what is that weather, battery, and calendar widget. What app is it if you don't mind me asking.

  • what weather widget is that? And what are those widget things on the left?

  • Stelvstrash

    I like NinjaMorph better. Made by same person as MetaMorph. Can just replace png files with new png files.

    • doctordoctor

      Just downloaded it but doesn't show my theme zip files in the directory??? So how do you change files?

  • How easy would it be to modify the images for this? Do they need to be signed after modifications? I remember having lockscreen slliders that didn't work when I modified them.

  • im4degreesaboveu

    is there anyway to change the transspin/droid batteries to blue in mm?

    • Mrpicolas

      Unzip find the files edit them rezip and no signing since it is framework

  • Steve Hallmark

    After I confirmed the “reboot” message, it's hung up on the “Please wait, applying framework-res.apk theme 1 of 1” while the loading circle is spinning. Been stuck here for several minutes.


  • what is that countdown widget in the second pic

    • Mrpicolas

      Umm it is called countdown widget

  • I don't imagine this will work being Rooted/S-Off but using Stock ROM?

    • Mrpicolas

      Make a backup then try it out

  • JS

    what's that blue battery in the first pic? i want that

    • Mrpicolas

      Its actually an apk from the market but stays in the notification bar which i dont like search circular battery and you should find it

      • GaetaWoo

        can you post a link or send the APK? I can't find it in the market searching for circular battery.

  • Dude, I want that Droid battery. That's badass!

    • Mrpicolas

      Well theres a link LOL go get it

  • Dkircher70

    Another option to use to just change a few png files is NinjaMorph. Made by the same developer as MetaMorph. It allows you to open the apk and just change whatever files you want..

  • John

    metamorph is invaluable for tweaking your themes that last little bit.. get that custom battery icon with %, etc. Good write up.

  • tjpeco

    Can you use metamorph to change the default sound that android plays when you tap the screen? I want something like a star trek LCARS tone when I touch my screen, instead of scratchy-clicky sounds.

    • Mrpicolas

      No but with root explorer a little rename and the location of the sound i bet it can be done

      • aczm1988

        It can be done, mine says “droid” everytime i click something.

        • tanknspank

          That would get annoying quick >.<

          • aczm1988

            It does but its just the fact that it can be done. I just changed my lockscreen sounds too. Its just amazing how much u can tweak this UI.

          • tanknspank

            Yeah, I posted of DF about it when the first froyo leaks came around. Was cool to mess with, but I usually have my phone silenced anyway, so those things don't matter to me anymore 😛

    • Mrpicolas

      Go to system/media/audio and mount as r/w it is the file Effect_Tick.ogg you must use an .ogg file to replace preferably a small file size renaming an .mp3 will not work

  • BA_Carroll

    Finally the last space for me to conquer and the knowledge on how to do it!!!! Next the world! MUHAHAHA!!! Ahem sorry I mean cool.

  • Gabe


  • Cjreyes666

    I wont say first cause I am not first

  • first 😉

    and this is definitely useful for people, I like using metamorph to fine tune little things in my themed ROM.

    • Mrpicolas

      That is ultra keyboard

      • thank you sir! good article btw.

        • Mrpicolas

          No problem glad you liked it and easier than explaining framework res.

      • josh1980

        What did you search to find the metamorph zip on google to use?