Compu-Crafts: Phone Fonts, Skins, and Rooting

It feels weird to categorize this stuff in the same way as the oven mitts, but it’s crafty in its own way.

I discovered the other day, after a year and a half of using this phone, that I could change the font. Yes, it took that long for me to find a little menu. I immediately changed it to something called “choco cooky” or something, which was cute enough, but if you know me at all, you know that I want my own darned font on there.

So I researched, and found out how to take a .ttf font file and compile it into an Android .apk file that the phone would recognize.

THEN, I thought to myself, if I can download widget skins for the Beautiful Widgets app (which I just got for 10¢, thanks to the 10 days of 10¢ apps sale going on right now), why can’t I make my own widget skins?

So I did.

And this is the horror that I created:

Because really, WHY NOT?

A few days of partly Scottish with a chance of rain, and then a day of just partly Scott. And the battery was creeping down toward half Scott.

Even creepier, the 50% level of the battery:

That’s right, it’s Scott as the Dread Pirate Roberts. I can only hope that soon we’ll be living like kings in Patagonia.

Well, all this research took me to some fascinating sites like the XDA Developers forum and Android Central and a host of others that I read but didn’t bookmark. And everywhere I looked, there were mentions of rooting phones.

For those who don’t know, rooting the phone means clearing off the software that came pre-installed by the cell carrier, and installing a fresh and clean version of Android. It makes the phone way faster and less bloated, and it also voids your warranty immediately.

I’ve always been scared of rooting the phone, because what if something happens? And I screw it up? Then my warranty is voided, and I’m up a creek without a paddle. But I don’t have much time left on this contract, the phone is two generations old, it’s running Android from two releases ago, the carrier isn’t updating anytime soon, and it came pre-loaded with 30 or 40 applications that I don’t use but can’t delete.

So I rooted! It wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it wasn’t that hard either. And we only had a couple of minor heart attacks throughout the process. (Scott decided to root his this morning too, and we each had different weird things happen.) But both phones are now working great, and they’re SO FAST.

I also made a new background, and a new battery widget skin, and a new weather widget skin. Because those Scott Meyer heads are creepy.

I also adjusted the old font that Scott uses for the Basic Instructions dialog — bumped it up to 130% in size, because in its old format it was displaying a little too small on the phone. I combined it with the special characters from one of my other handwriting fonts, because sometimes it’s nice to have accent marks and stuff.

SO! I’m all about sharing the arts & crafts. Here’s various things, if you want them:

MissyFonts.zip – the original Basic Instructions font from 2006 (“BoldMissyHand” in regular and bold), the 2010 handwriting font (“MissyMeyerNew”) and the up-sized combo of the two I’m using on my phone now (“MissyCombo”).

Basic Battery Instructions – the Scott Meyer head you can use for a Beautiful Widgets battery meter.

Basic Weather Instructions – ditto, but for the weather widget.

Battery Doodles – Black – the doodled battery meter I’m using now, also for Beautiful Widgets.

Weather Doodles – Black – ditto, but for the weather widget.

If you’re using Beautiful Widgets, all you need to do is extract the .zip file, and then move that onto your phone. Your Beautiful Widgets folder will probably be on the phone memory drive, under data>beautifulwidgets. Plop each folder into the corresponding sub-folder on your phone (the battery widgets into the “bskins” folder, the weather ones into “wskins”.)

Since I ended up with a 30-day version of a font-making program, I guess I should get cracking on a 2011 font. Before it becomes 2012.

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3 Comments

  1. Oh, I laughed so heartily at the Scott weather and battery widgets! As well as the Princess Bride “wish”…

    I don’t have a smartphone, much less an Android, so the actual craftiness of this post is lost on me. But I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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  2. Shame shame you stopped the Scott battery one. I didn’t understand nine-tenths of this at a do-it level, but I appreciate what you did, and for sharing. I hope there will be a BI about this sometime, you as heroine of course……

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  3. *When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

    Sure! After I remove your spammy URL, spammer.

    [Reply]

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