Themes, themes, themes. There’s so many of them, we couldn’t possibly review them all. Not if we had all the time in the world. Twice a month, we explore three themes from various providers and put them on display for your approval. Usually these will include some traditional themes, but I like to mix it up with some stranger ones. For instance, this week I’m looking at a Bad Religion theme. Rock on!
Real World Custom L
The first thing you’ll notice about the Real World Custom L theme is the blue background. It contains a map of the world, which is cool. It is also reminiscent of the old school PC monitors, where you’d do your word processing with white text on a blue background. Like the old PC monitors, this was a bit harsh on my eyes. However, I’ve been staring at a computer screen all day, so that might have something to do with it.
This theme features the traditional Today icons — messages, calendar, call log — with a row of icons on the bottom. They jump when you scroll over them, which is a neat aesthetic feature (for Mac users, the icons jumping is like your desktop icons jumping when you launch an application). Beware, though: You can only scroll up and down through the menu, despite the fact that it is set up left to right. It’s kind of like my Storm theme, except that one only lets you scroll left and right.
Once in the main menu everything returns to normal. The icons are a bit different, but they’re all easy to recognize. The little orange L-shaped thing marks your icon. It’s pretty straightforward.
The review links to the OS 4.5 version for the Curve. You can find other variations by browsing Gadgetbean’s themes.
HD Business Today Plus
I chose to review the HD Business Today Plus theme because I really like the home screen. Or, at least what I saw of it on the screenshot. It has the three main icons: messages, calendar, call log, followed by a row of five icons, which you scroll through using your up and down trackball motions, not left and right. As I said above, this can be slightly annoying for someone used to a different type of navigation. It’s pretty easy to get used to, though, if you’re so inclined.
Upon close inspection, the Hedone Designs logo seems a bit in the way. The white highlight on the white background makes it kind of difficult to follow your current selection, at least on individual message and calendar items. Once again, not a huge deal. What I don’t like, and I’m sure those of you with less than perfect eyes agree, is the small text on the bottom of the main menu. This theme usues some unfamiliar icons, so reading the text at the bottom can be critical. It’s not exactly easy, and this is coming from a guy with 20/20 vision.
The link above goes to the Red version for OS 4.5. You can find other colors, for older OSs, by checking out all Hedone’s themes.
Bad Religion Theme
I love me some punk rock. From the Ramones to the Clash, Dead Kennedys to the Buzzcocks, Descent to Rancid (and Op Ivy). This, of course, includes Bad Religion. You can find the Bad Religion theme at BlueRoomSolution. I have to say, even with all my biases, this is a pretty damn cool theme.
Oftentimes, themes like this fall short because of the emphasis on the background image. The creator so badly wants to place a cool image in the background that the overall functionality of the theme suffers. I reviewed a theme like this a while back, the Transformers theme. This is not the case with the Bad Religion theme. It works on all levels.
The best thing the creator of this theme did was create blocks for the main menu. This way, the icons don’t blend into the background. Each one is set against its own black background with white outline. Yes, it obstructs the image, but the functionality is primary and the image is secondary, so it makes perfect sense. To top it all off, it has an old school picture of the band when you lock it up.