We’ve gotten to the point of theme design where nearly every new theme comes with certain features. While with older operating systems users had a choice of a Zen, L, TodayPlus, etc., theme, nowadays we see many of those forms lumped into a single theme. TodayPlus has turned into a less-intrusive preview, so many more developers have included it. We’ve also seen formerly static icons — battery, signal, clock — start to open corresponding applications. I think it’s given theme developers a lot more to work with. We’ll see some of those features at work this week.
Hedone Design actually released two new themes recently, though we’re only picking up one for this feature. If you’re an Olympics fanatic, make sure to check out their other team. If you’re looking for a less timely theme, then continue on. This week we’re examining their latest, BusyStyle. As mentioned during the lead-in, Hedone takes advantage of three home screen icons, allowing you even further customization. Whereas with old themes I’d have lock, options, and clock on the home screen, now I can make room for other icons. Most new BlackBerry models have the lock button on top, and many new themes, including BusyStyle, use the clock itself for the clock app, and the battery signal for options. The signal meter also opens manage connections. It also has three static icons running up the left side: SMS, Messages, and Calendar, all of which generate Today previews. The theme also has a busy background design — not one I particularly like, but one I can see many others enjoying. You can get the BusyStyle theme for $3.99 until March 1, when it returns to its normal $6.99 price point. It is compatible with BlackBerry models running OS 4.5 and above.
Over the past month or so I’ve jumped on the Elecite bandwagon. I have no idea why it took so long for their themes to start popping up in our reviews, and I really wish I’d starting featuring them sooner. It seems like every time I review one of their themes I want to immediately ditch mine and go with their new one. Thankfully, my impulse is controlled this time, as Pulse is a Storm-only theme. Still, it’s among the best I’ve seen on the platform. A semicircle sits on the right side of the screen, containing five categories. Each of these opens up to reveal a number of applications. For instance, if you select Phone you’ll see Messages, Calendar, Call Log, and Contacts. Each category except the Custom field contains four applications. In the Custom field you can arrange six of your otherwise most-used applications for quick and easy access. Beyond the excellent home screen features, the theme also has a standard applications menu, in case you prefer to browse that way. Storm and Storm2 users can get the Pulse theme for $6.99. The screen shot says a lot about this theme, but in case you want a better look, check out the video below.
After a pair of high-powered themes, we’ll close this week’s feature with a simple yet cute theme called TiltBerry. That’s not to say that it’s featureless, though. While part of the theme’s charm is based on the tilted icons, which straighten when highlighted, it also packs some punch. Unlike the previous two, it’s not exactly for power users, but I don’t think it will disappoint many. The home screen features seven customizable icons, five along the bottom and two along the left side. If you choose messages or calendar, they turn into a Today preview. Again, I don’t see why non-wallpaper-based themes don’t use this all the time. Does anyone not like this in their themes? Otherwise, the theme features iPhone icons, which many people apparently prefer. There’s a spot for a weather app on the home page, and it includes a QuickLaunch shortcut. You can get the TiltBerry theme for just $1.75 until February 28, when it returns to its normal $2.50 price point. It is available for OS 4.6 and above.