The new thing in theme design, it seems, is to include a number of static icons on the home screen, alongside customizable ones. This is a result of the new theme environment. The addition of the Today preview means more and more people want the messages and calendar apps easily accessible from the home screen. There are also a number of other heavily used applications, like phone log and address book, that most people keep on the home screen anyway. So why not put it on there for everyone, and then allow them to put their six or seven favorite applications on the home screen as well? I’m in favor of this, as you’ll see with this week’s batch of themes.
Yes, it’s a new theme from Hedone design. They’ve taken advantage of what I discussed in the opening paragraph. It seems like all of their themes take advantage of the more advanced features. This time around they’ve combined an interesting background with both static and customizable icons to create a vibrant theme, Rainbow. The home screen features four static icons: phone, calendar, messages, and SMS & MMS. This means that the inboxes will be separate, which might annoy some users. I, for one, like having a combined inbox regardless of theme. It also features six customizable icons (eight on the Storm version), plus a designated spot for a weather application. Although the theme comes with the rainbow wallpaper, it appears easy enough to change. I wouldn’t recommend anything with a white background, though. That might render the text unreadable. If you have a BlackBerry with OS 4.6 or above, you can get the Rainbow theme for $6.99.
As Elecite says in the promotional blurb for their new Ember theme, it’s “so organized, you’ll finally be able to ditch the application list.” Well, that’s just what we’re going for here this week, making it a perfect fit. Considering the colorful graphics and unique icons, this might be the coolest theme we’ve reviewed on TRW. We’ll start at the top. There’s a custom icon in the top left, followed by the battery level, clock, signal meter, weather application slot, and profiles. Then there are a number of static icons for the most common applications and functions. These include media, messages, camera, calculator, camera, browser, and more. Below that is a Today preview, which uses the static icons. Then, just when you thought they couldn’t fit anything more on the home screen, there is a row of customizable icons. Simply brilliant. If you like this theme as much as me, you can get Ember for $6.99. You’ll need OS 5.0 to make it run.
Some themes pack tons of icons onto the home screen by hiding them in clusters. That is, one icon really contains three or more. Others arrange the icons in a subtle manner, as to make the screen less crowded. This is not the case with !Information. Everything is right there, front and center, on the home screen. The theme features 12 customizable icons, six on the top of the screen and six on the bottom. Between them, the folks at Berry Good Themes were able to squeeze not only the clock, indicators, and meters, but also a Today preview with seven items. Finally, to the left of the screen, fitting snugly between the two rows of customizable icons, are four static icons: messages, calendar, phone log, and SMS. As expected, these activate the Today preview. If you like themes with everything up front, you can get the !Information theme for $2.49. It runs on BlackBerry models with OS 4.6 and above.