A while back I asked for submissions from theme developers. I feel like we go back to the same developers in this feature. While that’s not a bad thing — we go back to them because they consistently create useful themes — I also like to vary the pool from which we choose. While there’s one mainstay featured in today’s post, we also have something from John Konduros, who emailed me regarding his Groovy theme. We’ll lead off with that one.
Because John Konduros is the only developer to email me so far, he gets a spot in the feature. This is definitely not my type of theme. I like psychedelic imagery well enough, just not on my BlackBerry device. Staring at all the colors, and at the off-beat font, just doesn’t work for my eyes. I know people who would like it, though. The theme features flower and peace sign meters at the top, with peace being the signal and flower being the battery. Below that it’s an applications menu, which is as basic as basic can get. The icons set is the basic OS 4.6 one, though one of the screenshots shows icons from circa OS 4.2. I actually think that would have been appropriate, since it’s another retro feature. All of the text, including menus and message screen, is a typical hippie font, which presents a huge turnoff. I’ve long stated my preference for simple fonts. If odd fonts and psychedelic color scheme are your thing, you can get the Groovy theme at App World for $4.99. It is compatible with all BlackBerry OS versions.
Yes, we’re going back to Hedone Design. They actually recently redesigned their website, and now it features a slick black theme. I’m not a big fan of reading white on black, nevermind gray on black, but I don’t exactly go to Hedone Design for the words. It’s all about the themes and Ambos is the latest. While you can change the wallpaper of this theme, I definitely enjoy the orange sunburst against the black of my device. The home screen is also largely uncluttered, tucking the time, notifications, and meters in a small bar on the top. Below that sit five static icons. Below that is a drop-down menu that reveals six user-defined icons. You can see a Today Preview on the spacious home screen when you scroll over messages or calendar. Like most new Hedone themes, this one is compatible with OS 4.6 and above, including both touch and non-touch devices. You can get the Ambos theme for $6.99.
Super Mario Brothers v2.0
A little over a year ago I reviewed a Super Mario Bros. theme and came away unimpressed. I love Mario Bros. — just got a Wii and I not only got the Wii game, but also downloaded the old versions — but that theme just didn’t do it for me. There was too much going on with the home screen, and the application menu was just a mess. Thankfully, the good folks at Berry Good Themes have developed an excellent alternative. There’s certainly a lot less going on with the home screen of this one. Mario jumps around, but he’s actually serving a function, bouncing among hidden icons (at least on the non-Storm versions). The theme also features seven fixed icons — messages, sms, calendar, browser, options, clock, and manage connections — and also has a hidden Today Preview. The preview sits nicely in the sky portion of the background. The weather slot blends perfectly with the background, though I could have used a cloud koopa popping up. That would have been neat. If you’re looking for a quality video game theme, you can get the Super Mario Bros. theme for $3.98. It works on most BlackBerry models running OS 4.5 and above, though it is optimized for OS 5.0.