On Jan 28th, Themer, the one-click homescreen theming app for Android, passed one million Play store downloads.
As we know from the popularity of theming here on XDA, Android personalization has become an art form in its own right as themes require a healthy dose of beauty, intrigue, and creativity. The team over at Themer recently posted a video created by well-known MyColorScreen designer GaRyArTs. The video shows how inspiration can strike at any moment and how there’s a whole creative process that goes into making a theme.
We talked with another one of our favorite designers, Michal Peszkowski, creator of several popular themes, including Sky, Bookmarks, Xbox, and Green Accent, all of which are available in Themer right now. Amazingly, Michal is a postman from Koszalin, Poland who dreams of doing design full-time. Here’s what he had to say about how he comes up with his amazing creations:
What’s your starting point when making a theme?
I always want to create something in a different style from my previous projects. I look for inspiration everywhere: sometimes a color, picture, or a UI creation posted to Dribble or other design site. The Internet is a gold mine of ideas for inspiration and learning. I visit Dribble and Behance daily. I belong to many design communities on Google+. I can even build an entire theme around a beautiful font.
From time to time I get requests, like with the XBOX One or PS4. I study the layout and try to convert it to a Themer theme while maintaining the functionality of an Android homescreen.
What makes a beautiful theme?
It’s hard to say. Most important is functionality, for comfortable use. And color determines whether the theme grabs your attention. But imagery and structure are also important. Everyone has different taste, but I think a beautiful theme has all of these things.
What additional tools would you like to see to take Android theming to the next level?
Little additional is needed because Zooper Widget gives you almost unlimited possibilities. Unfortunately, I’m not a Zooper expert. Sometimes I miss out on the ability to create interactive widgets with features like pop-up elements. But I’m constantly learning.
What would you like to see in Themer in the future?
Themer is developing very quickly and is very close to perfect. I would like to see the possibility to pin elements to the homescreen. More screen transitions effects–like flip, overlap, wheel, rotate–would be nice. Support for icon packs and lockscreens would also be great. But we can’t forget that Themer is still in Beta!
What’s your favorite theme in Themer that you’ve made? How about that someone else has made?
I love Green Accent, a functional and fresh theme with my favorite colors. As for a theme by another designer, Tennis by GaRyArTs has everything that I need in a homescreen and looks so juicy on my AMOLED screen.
December 20, 2013 By: admin
In the world of ultra-customizable build-your-own Android widgets, there are only a handful of options. UCCW (Ultimate Custom Widget) and Minimalistic Text are probably the most well-known. But the most powerful, the undisputed heavyweight champion of Android, is clearly Zooper.
Zooper is not one widget—it’s pretty much anything you can imagine. When you drag Zooper to your homescreen, an editor opens that lets you choose among some pre-installed templates, a blank slate, or any templates you’ve downloaded from the Google Play Store or saved to your SD card. Placing an existing template—like any of those in the screenshot below—takes just seconds. You can use Zooper without ever digging deeper, but when you finally enter the Zooper editor, the power of the application becomes apparent.
A single Zooper widget is made of modules. Modules can be text, rich text, shapes, a series (showing a sequence of days of the week, months of the year, etc), icon sets that change (based on pretty much anything), crazy progress bars that show battery level or the hour of the day with any colors or curvature, or just static images.
The app includes a massive number of available data fields and system variables that can be dynamically added to a module—everything from weather (current conditions and forecasts) to calendar information (next appointment time) and network data. Sunrise, sunset, moonrise, nautical twilight, moon illumination, Star Trek Stardate (seriously!), latitude, longitude, locality, current cellular operator, WiFi data traffic, cell data traffic, free memory, next alarm time, number of processes running, unread calls and emails, last time connected to a charger, battery temperature, battery voltage… I could go on and on. You can alter the font, text color, size, rotation, blur, alignment, case, etc. Conditionals let you change modules based on the day of the week, battery level (if friday and 17:00, print “I’m Out Of Here!”), or the moon phase.
With Tasker integration and other ingenious mods, the community has done amazing things to take Zooper even beyond this out-of-the box functionality. If you’ve never tried Zooper, you really should. If you’re an old pro, please join us in the Zooper forums here on XDA where you can discuss the app, ask questions, get support, or post your templates.
Marco at MyColorScreen put together a video to introduce XDA to Zooper. Have a look:
For those who want a themed Android phone without all the work of configuring widgets, wallpapers, and icons, our friends at MyColorScreen offer a terrific option with their Themer app (available on Google Play). And as of today, those looking to show their love for XDA can do so by applying the XDA theme, which can be found under the “Newest” category in Themer.
This theme features a card-style UI style homescreen design, as well as a direct link to the XDA forums. It also contains clock and battery stats, weather information, music controls, and access to common apps. There’s also a slide-out panel with missed message notifications, quick access to search, and even a link to the XDA Portal.
If you want to know more about Themer, here are some helpful videos:
And of course, XDA is home to the official Themer forums where you can exchange themes you’ve made, offer tips and tricks, and get support.
This year’s Big Android BBQ was a great event. XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan was in attendance, and you have already seen him interview XDA Elite Recognized Developer XpLoDWilD and Elite Recognized Developer Dees_Troy (interview). However, these were not the only people Jordan interviewed.
In today’s episode, Jordan interviews the artist and personality that is ThaPHLASH. Tha Phlash is a self-described urban artist and creator of numerous icons in use on Android Devices. Honestly, there are no words to describe Tha Phlash properly, so just check out this video.