Install Substratum : Rootless Theme Engine for Android [APK Download]

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Substratum Theme Engine

Any Android version on any device may it be mid ranged device or flagship is incomplete without flaunting a catchy theme. Users always look for different custom themes to style their devices.Usually a few manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, etc support for the custom theme over the Android OS. But Google’s Nexus and pixel devices never till date supported the mechanism of custom themes. Yes, one could apply custom themes through rooting or by using custom ROMs. And with the inception of Android 8.0 Oreo, developers of the Substratum Engine could figure that Android 8.0 oreo supports custom theme over the official build.

So, the developers have worked hard and came up with Substratum Theme Engine. It’s a theme engine to install custom themes in a complete rootless environment. Well, the plot twist here is this application is not for free. Obviously, with that much hard work into it, the developers need support from users. But it will bring stellar changes to the devices running on official Android 8.0 Oreo or the custom build of the same. And we have provided complete details on downloading and installing the Substratum Theme Engine to enable custom theme support on Your smartphone.

We will first start by learning about the pre-requisites before using the theme engine to create themes.


The two most important requirement we must have are,

  • A device with Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Access to a PC running on Window/MAC/Linux

Apart from that, You need to install two Apps. we have provided the download links for the same.

  • Substratum Theme Engine | Download
  • Andromeda Substratum Stock Rootless Backend | Download

The Substratum Theme engine is absolutely free to download. However, the second App Andromeda is not free and will cost $2.49.

We will start by setting up the Andromeda desktop client.

How To Set-Up Andromeda

First of all, You have to Unlock Developer Mode so that You can enable USB Debugging on Your device.

How To Unlock Developer Mode In Your Android Device

Step-1 Follow the above link to unlock developer mode and enable USB debugging.

Step-2 Connect Your device to PC via USB data cable.

Step-3 In Your Windows PC open the file  start_andromeda.bat file.

Step-4 Then You will see the command prompt open up. Press Enter

Andromeda Windows Command 1

Step-5 After pressing enter, you’ll see a bunch of ADB commands getting executed. These commands will set up the Andromeda add-on to run independently.

Andromeda Windows Command 2

Step-6 Now if You correctly employed the above steps, then the Substratum application will open up on your device.

Andromeda Client 2

If You see the above green message, Substratum theme engine can now manage themes without root and without needing to be connected to your PC..!

Note:-  Whenever you reboot your phone, this service is terminated. So if you want to change any themes, you will have to simply re-connect your device and run the steps 3,4 and 5.

What’s New: Substratum Theme Engine

Let’s see what we can be able to do with Substratum theme engine.

  • Full system dark theme
    This includes Settings, Quick Settings tiles, notifications, alerts/dialogs/toast windows, etc.
  • Per-app themes,
    It includes themes such as a dark Play Store/Twitter/Messages or changing all of the green in the Hangouts app to blue.
  • Minimal lock screen
     Allows hiding the status bar and all shortcut icons to show only the lock screen wallpaper.
  • Custom navigation bar icons
    You can pick from a lots navigation bar icon packs.Substratum Theme Engine
  • Whatsapp Blob emojis,
    You can change fonts/emojis on a per-app basis.Whatsapp Emoji 4
  • Customizable Recents App Screen,
    you can round the corners of the recent app screen.Substratum Theme Engine
  • Customizable Quick Setting tile columns,
    Rather than only 3 columns, You can customize it to have more or less than that.

Now, let’s come to the point on how to install the dark theme on the device running Android 8.0 Oreo.

How To Install System Dark Theme using Substratum Theme Engine

The bright lighted theme has been there since many previous versions of Android. But as Android 8.0 Oreo comes with custom theme support with the power of Substratum we can install the dark theme for any device running on Android 8.0 Oreo.

Download Dark Theme for Android 8.0 Oreo

We already installed the Substratum Add-on that works on the Android device.

Now download the Android Oreo Dark theme from the link given below.

Sai’s Android Oreo Black Theme | Download

This theme currently works over the Android framework and System UI.

So, to apply the dark theme over certain other Applications You have to download another theme.

Sai’s Fresh Theme | Download

Steps of Installation

Step-1 first open the Substratum application and find “Sai’s Android O Black Theme” on the list.

Step-2 Tap on it to enter the setup page.

Step-3  tap on “select to toggle all overlays.”

Theme Setup 2

Step-4 This will select default theme colors and navigation bar icons that come with the theme. If you want to change the color to “Better Teal”, “Rose”, or “Violet”, expand the drop-down menu under “Android system” and select the color that you want.

Android Oreo Dark Theme Setup 5


Step-5   Expand the drop-down menu under “System UI Navigation” to reveal alternative navigation bar icon themes such as “AOSP”, “Parapaper” etc.

Android Oreo Dark Theme Setup 6

Step-6 After that tap on the floating button with the paint roller icon. This will bring up a small floating menu.

Step-7 Select “Build & Enable.” Now, You will see a loading screen as Substratum compiles, installs, then enables each overlay file onto your device.

Substratum Theme Engine

Step-8 You will get a message that the theme installation process has been completed successfully.


Step-9  If you want to install a dark/black theme for other Apps such as Messages, Twitter, and the Play Store then go back to Substratum > Sai’s Fresh Theme in the list. Then, select the themes that you want to apply to the apps that you want to be themed.

After applying the dark theme it will show like this.

Dark Theme 1

Dark Theme 2

Substratum Theme Engine: Supported Devices

Here is a list of devices that the Substratum Theme Engine supports as of now.

  • Google Nexus 5X
  • Google Nexus 6P
  • Google Pixel
  • Google Pixel XL

Apart from the above-mentioned devices, any device with an unofficial build or custom ROM of Android 8.0 Oreo can support the Substratum Theme Engine.

Therefore, You have finally installed custom theme over Android 8.0 Oreo on your smartphone. Enjoy the immense scope the theme has to provide. And stay connected with us for further updates on Substratum.


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