I know what you’re thinking, “Oh man I just wish my embedded Gmail app were black like the non-Gmail Android email client, preferably a relatively new version,” ain’t that right? Well today’s your lucky day because thanks to ecsnead69 from Droid Forums for somehow making this happen and XDA’s drexman8244 for ripping out an APK for those who would prefer not to flash the zip and thanks to me for cranking out this article to hook you up, you’re now hooked up with a dark/black Gmail client otherwise matching the official client in its 2.3.2 version.

Now you’re gonna need root to proceed and it wouldn’t kill you to run a full backup first, but grab this Gmail.apk file, drop it in the tools sub directory inside your Android SDK, adb shell, then rm /system/app/Gmail.* (or if you want to back it up first, mv /system/Gmail.apk /system/, exit the shell, adb push Gmail.apk /system/app, reboot. If there is no Gmail.apk to remove, check in /data or /data/app. Or you could just do this with a root-friendly file manager like Astro or Root Explorer. Need further help or screen shots? Check out one of those threads. You can’t just sideload this like a regular apk tough guy — if you thought that were an option, you’d better stick to the punk-ass whiteboy client.

If you decide you don’t like it or if it doesn’t work, if it blinds you with its midnight blackness, here’s the original Gmail.apk from my Gingerbread phone so you can revert either with that or by doing a nandroid restore in Clockwork or whatever. Or if this thing ain’t black enough for you, here’s a Wesley Snipes version (gotta flash it).

This is actually just a test to see how many of you have a rooted Android phone and a desire to spend time on something like this. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, this is an Android thing, hopefully compatible with your particular phone (hey, I said do a backup).

Doug Simmons

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