If you haven’t heard of Substratum, then you will probably hear of it soon enough. It’s a popular new theming engine that arose from early theming projects like Layers and Sony’s own RRO Framework. It’s looking like Substratum will take off where the CyanogenMod Theme Engine left off, taking the best features of the CM Theme Engine and mixing it with the functionality of Layers.
One of the people behind Substratum is XDA developer Nicolas Chum, and he stated on a social media post that the theming engine will go rootless for all devices soon – that is, root access will no longer be required for Substratum, which is good news for all of us who want to make our smartphones look just so. At the moment, one of the drawbacks of Substratum is that it still requires root.
The reasons for requiring root at this point are obvious. For one, changes in the boot animation still require access to a non-encrypted data system – and people who like to theme their phones usually install a new boot animation. Also, the app’s “Legacy Mode” still requires root as well.
But the good news is that the team has reportedly seen faster overlay compilation speeds from rootless Substratum, and that the app is now a lot more streamlined. Compilation speeds were the usual problem with the app, and now that the overlays compile faster, the team will be able to focus on other improvements to Substratum.