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Help Looking for non-rooted support

My question and concern are regards to Android devices that are not rooted. I recently came across a theme that I would love to install on my Evo, but am unsure of how to do it and if it is safe to install themes that are not located in the Android Marketplace?

Also, if it is safe to download a third party theme or app that is not in the Marketplace, how would I go about doing this? Also, how would I know if the site or creator are reputable?

Thanks a lot in advance to anyone that can help me out.
 
My question and concern are regards to Android devices that are not rooted. I recently came across a theme that I would love to install on my Evo, but am unsure of how to do it and if it is safe to install themes that are not located in the Android Marketplace?

Also, if it is safe to download a third party theme or app that is not in the Marketplace, how would I go about doing this? Also, how would I know if the site or creator are reputable?

Thanks a lot in advance to anyone that can help me out.

What kind of theme are you talking about (examples)? There are many different types of themes out there. If you're referring to the type you'd find on xda that modifies the look of menus, taskbar icons, the taskbar itself, etc., you need to have root. Those modify system files. If you're referring to themes for different launchers, you need only use the particular launcher that the theme supports. An example is ADW Launcher. If you search the market, you will find all kinds of themes. These themes, though, only modify backgrounds, dockbar/background icons, etc. If you can give some examples of what you're looking at, I can give you a yes or no answer.

As far as downloading 3rd party apps/themes, apps can specifically be installed outside of the market through sideloading. You have to allow it by going to menu->settings->applications->check "unknown sources". As to whether or not they're reputable, you just have to do some research on it. There is no yes or no answer. The option is there to allow/disallow it because some 3rd party apps could be malicious.
 
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Thanks a lot for the insight. I am currently running both ADW and Launcher Pro on my phone. As for the theme, its a theme I found outside of the market place which is based on the MIUI that many people use on their rooted phones. I would love to root my phone and install the MIUI, but to be honest, I'm a little nervous that I might just brick my phone in the process. Also, the fact that I am pretty un-savvy about cell phone programs in general.

I have Astro file manager on my phone which is great, but I'm just not sure the launcher the theme is for will not register that I have downloaded the MIUI theme. The files are unzipped, but it then asks me where to send the files. I am completely lost about what to do there. I've tried creating a new folder to place the files in, but the launcher doesn't pick it up.

Like I said, I am completely illiterate with cell phone software and processes. I am definitely trying to learn how to do everything but it's tough for a layman like myself.

Thanks again for the help.
 
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1) You need root to apply any theme like that. Specifically, in your case, you need an actual MIUI rom to use a theme made for MIUI. Right now, that theme is completely useless to you.
2) Any mod you download, whether it be a theme, kernel, etc. will come as a zip file, as you have apparently noticed. You're kind of getting ahead of yourself since you haven't even rooted yet, but I will tell you this much. Those files need to remain unzipped. You flash them from recovery.

Read this thread thoroughly:

http://androidforums.com/evo-4g-all-things-root/194918-rooting-dummies-extras.html

That has all the information you need to a) root the phone, b) flash a rom (MIUI, etc), c) flash any mods you'd like, such as themes. There's also plenty of information on how to do it safely (make backups, etc.). Here's the important part - find out your hboot version. Turn the phone off, then press and hold the volume down button while turning the phone back on. That will take you to hboot, where you can find the version. If you have 0.97 or under, you can root easily with Unrevoked. If you have hboot 2.02 or higher, you cannot use Unrevoked until it gets an update. There is a more complicated method, but from what you've said so far, I'm not sure you'd be up to it. Here it is anyway, but I don't recommend it:

[ROOT][GUIDE] HBoot 2.02/2.10 SOFF - Merry Christmas Edition - Upd. 12.25.10 - xda-developers

From this point on, take a look at threads in this section:

EVO 4G - All Things Root - Android Forums
 
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