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[pivotCE] Guest Guide: Mimic webOS in Android


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I bet you’ve seen topics on webOS Nation forums and our article here on pivotCE about . Well, webOS Nation forums user, Shuswap, just kicked it up a notch.

He recently that he’d made a pretty sweet Android mod to mimic webOS. I asked for a tutorial and he obliged! Read on for his great work and get ready to webOS-ify your Android!


Overview

This is a guide to adding webOS-style features to your Android device, complete with gesture area, gestures, and icons. Here is a quick video demonstrating the result:

The tutorial below explains the process step by step. It assumes that you already know . In order to proceed, you will need to be running the Dirty Unicorns ROM, and will need several applications from the Play Store: , , , and .

Before we webOS-ify…

Before you can set up a webOS-ified Android, you need to do the following things:

  1. MAKE A BACKUP and then flash the Dirty Unicorns ROM (and a set of GAPPS, if you want them – if you don’t, you’ll have to find alternate methods of downloading Nova Launcher and GMD Gesture Control Lite). Note: first boot can take a very long time. Be patient.
    • You need Dirty Unicorns specifically, because it has the Fling navigation bar, which you will use to create the gesture area.
    • Check the supported devices section at to find out if they support your device. Downloads are available at the site as well, but it’s a good idea to check out the XDA thread for Dirty Unicorns on your device. The thread for the Nexus 4 is here: .
  1. After installing the ROM, proceed through the initial device set up and log into your Google account for Play Store access.
  2. Install .
  3. Install .
  4. Install .
  5. Install .
  6. Install a file manager. (Alan talking…I like Cyanogenmod’s File Manager which you can get by installing  or the immensely popular is pretty good too.)
  7. Get the webOS icons and wallpaper you need. You can harvest them from a webOS device or doctor. There’s a good discussion at , and there are more icons in the app folders in /media/cryptofs/apps/usr/palm/applications/. Alternatively, you can find the icons online. See and . I found the launcher up-arrow icon in this set: . The white line for the gesture area is here: . You can find the wallpaper you want with a quick google search, or copy it from your webOS device.
    (Alan again…).
  8. Put the icon images and wallpaper in the “pictures” folder on your device.

Step 1: Change the Launcher and Wallpaper

  1. Enter the app drawer. Go to Settings > Home and choose “Nova Launcher.”
  2. Press the arrow in the top left to return to settings.
  3. Select Display > Wallpaper > Gallery and navigate to the folder in which you saved your wallpaper. Agree with permissions dialogs if any appear. Press “Set wallpaper” at the top left of the screen.
  4. Back out of settings to the home screen and push the home button to start Nova Launcher.

Step 2: Set the Swipe Up Gesture

  1. Enter the app drawer. Select the GMD Gestures App.
  2. Grant root access.
  3. Select the “Home” gesture (the top one).
  4. Select “Pinch Points” and change it to “Swipe UP.”
  5. Select “4 Touch Points” and change it to “1”. Press Okay.
  6. Select “Anywhere” and change it to “Bottom Border.”
  7. Select “Advanced Options” and make sure that “Active On Keyboard” is toggled on. Hit the arrow in the top left to go back one screen.
  8. Press the check mark in the top right of the screen to save your changes.
  9. Press and hold “Back” and select “Remove.” Repeat for all other actions (except “Home”).
  10. Select the three dots at the top right of the screen. Choose “Device Setup.”
  11. Set the Border Size to 10mm.
  12. Reduce the Gesture Size Adjustment to somewhere around -30.
  13. Press the check mark in the top right of the screen to save your changes.
  14. Select the three dots at the top right of the screen. Choose “Settings.”
  15. Select “Notification.” Choose “Hide Notification.”
  16. Select “Gesture Toast” and choose “None.”
  17. Under “Gesture Vibration,” you might want to slide the slider all the way to the left to get rid of the haptic feedback.
  18. Exit the app.
  19. Enter the app drawer. Go to Nova Settings > Gestures & inputs > Home button and select “App drawer.”

Step 3: Create the Gesture Area

  1. Go to Settings > Dirty Tweaks > Navigation > Navigation Bar.
  2. Select “Navigation mode.”
  3. Choose “Fling”
  4. Select “Fling settings.”
  5. Select Right short swipe > Select custom action > Home
  6. Select Left long swipe > Select custom action > Back (“Left short swipe” should already be set to “Back.”)
  7. Select Single Tap Right > Select custom action > Recents
  8. Select Single tap left > Select custom action > Recents
  9. Select Right long swipe > Select custom action > No action
  10. Select Long press right > Select custom action > No action
  11. Any other gestures should be set to “No action.”
  12. Toggle off “Animate logo”
  13. Select “Custom logo image” and navigate to the folder where you placed the white line image for the gesture area.
  14. Toggle off “Show ripple”
  15. Toggle off “Enable gesture trails”
  16. Exit the app.
  17. Enter the app drawer. Select Nova Settings > Look & feel. Toggle off the “Transparent notification bar” setting.
  18. Exit Nova Settings.

Step 4: Set up the Dock and Customize the Icons

  1. If you long press (press and hold) and then drag the icons on the dock, you can rearrange them. Move the app drawer icon to the far right. It may try to combine with another app icon and create a folder. Just keep moving it around until the other icons slide over to make room.
  2. If you long press the icons, a menu will appear. Long press the app drawer icon. Select edit. Tap the icon to the left of the App label.
  3. Select “Gallery apps.” Choose “Gallery.” Navigate to folder where you placed the up-arrow launcher icon for the app drawer.
  4. Select the launcher icon.
  5. Press “Done.” Press “Done” again.
  6. Long press and remove any unwanted app shortcuts from the dock.
  7. Long press and remove unwanted app shortcuts from the desktop.
  8. Wait to add any new shortcuts to the dock until later (step 19).
  9. Enter the app drawer and select Nova Settings > Dock > Dock Background.
  10. Set “Shape” to Rectangle.
  11. Under “Content” choose “Tint.” Select the blue-grey color (top row, second from left).
  12. Set the “Transparency” slider to around 70%.
  13. Exit “Nova Settings.”
  14. Enter the app drawer. Long press and drag to “Edit” at the top right any app you wish to change the icon for.
  15. Select “Gallery apps.” Choose “Gallery.” Navigate to folder where you placed the icon.
  16. Select the icon.
  17. Press “Done.” Edit the App label if necessary. Press “Done” again.
  18. Repeat for each icon you wish to alter.
  19. When you have finished editing the icons in the app drawer, long press and drag to the dock any icon you want on the dock.

Step 5: Change the App Drawer Appearance

  1. Enter the app drawer. Select Nova Settings > App & widget drawers.
  2. Toggle off “Frequently used apps”
  3. Scroll down and select “Background”
  4. Select the blue-grey color (top row, second from the left)
  5. Select “Background” again.
  6. Set the “Transparency” slider to 7%. Backswipe in the gesture area to exit.
  7. Scroll down and select “Transition Animation.” Select “Slide up.” Press “Done.”
  8. Scroll down and toggle off “Search bar”
  9. Exit the app.

Step 6: Clean Up the Desktop

  1. Enter the app drawer. Go to Nova Settings > Desktop.
  2. Toggle off “Persistent search bar” if necessary.
  3. Select “Page indicator.” Choose “None.”
  4. Exit the app.
  5. On the desktop, press and hold the Google search bar. Choose “Remove.”
  6. If additional icons or widgets appear on the desktop as a result of the above steps, press and hold them, and select “Remove.”

Step 7: Move the Status Bar Clock

  1. Enter the app drawer. Go to Settings > Dirty Tweaks > Status Bar > Clock & date > Alignment. Select “Center clock.”

Step 8: Eliminate Haptic Feedback (Vibration on Touch Events) (Optional)

  1. Enter the app drawer. Go to Settings > Sound & notification > Other sounds. Toggle off “Touch sounds” and “Vibrate on touch” if desired.
  2. Go to Settings > Language & input > Android Keyboard > Preferences. Toggle off “Vibrate on keypress.”

Step 9 Set Up Wave Launcher

  1. Open Wave Launcher. Back swipe.
  2. Select settings.
  3. Ensure that the boxes for “Enable on startup” and “Soft keyboard has precedent” are both checked.
  4. Select “Number of apps.” Set to five (or the number of shortcuts you have in the dock).
  5. Scroll down and de-select “Auto advance on edit.” Back swipe to return to the main setup screen.
  6. Select “Calibrate.” Set the size and location of the launch trigger (shown in pinkish red). I set mine to the bottom left, so that it’s unlikely to be accidentally triggered. Back swipe to return to the main setup screen.
  7. Select “Edit wave.” Select the apps for each position. I mirrored my dock apps, so that it is most like webOS. After you have chosen an app, you can long press the icon on the wave launcher to bring up a menu and change the icon to match the customized icons on the launcher.
  8. If you want the app tray shortcut in the far right position, when you’re adding that shortcut, select the up-right arrow to the right of the android robot. Scroll down through the list and select “Nova Action” and then “App drawer.” Long press the icon on the wave bar and proceed to change the icon to the webOS launcher icon.
  9. Back swipe to return to the main setup screen.
  10. At this point, you may want to change the wave launcher transparency to match that of the dock. If so, select “Edit Colors” and adjust the slider marked “A” to your preferred setting.
  11. Exit the app.

Step 10: Configure Roundr

  1. Enter the app.
  2. You might have to toggle “Enable Roundr” off and on to get the app to start the first time.
  3. Ensure that “Start on boot” is checked.
  4. Set the corner radius. Using my Pre3 as a guide, I set the corner radius at 18 on my LG G2, but different screen dimensions may call for a different setting.
  5. Uncheck “Hide on KitKat home.”
  6. Back swipe to exit the app.

Step 11 (Optional, if you have Nova Launcher Prime): Create Tabs in the App Drawer (Alan again…Prime is totally worth it!)

  1. If you have the , you can set up multiple tabs in the app drawer by going to Nova Settings > App & widget drawers and toggling on “Tab bar.”
  2. Select “Menu action icons” and uncheck all the choices. Press “Done.”
  3. Scroll down and select “Drawer groups” to create tab sections.
  4. After you create the groups, select each group, and use the check boxes to choose which apps to assign to the group/tab.
  5. You can also assign individual apps to tabs from the app drawer. Just enter the app drawer and long press and drag app icons to “Edit” at the top. You can assign the app to a particular group/tab in the edit dialog.

Interested in Additional Tweaks?

There are alternative, customizable task-switchers in Settings > Dirty Tweaks > Multi-Tasking > Recents. Unfortunately, neither provides a webOS-style card interface. Rather, they display running apps in a slide-out pane. I found that both the “OmniSwitch” and “slim recents” task switchers caused unwanted interference with the webOS-style gestures, but you may have better luck.

If you discover a webOS-style card-based Android task switcher, you are obligated to report it in the forums at webOS Nation!

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