It’s time again that we take a look around the BlackBerry world and pick out three interesting themes to discuss in our bi-weekly feature, Theme Review Wednesdays. Sometimes it feels like I go back to the same theme designers often, so if you design themes you want to see featured in this space, hit me with an email. My email handle is jpawlikowski, and you can figure out that it’s at bbgeeks.com. Today we’re looking back to our friends at JC Designs and Hedone Design, plus a peek at what Cherri Chiodo is up to.
Windows Se7en theme
I’ll admit that when I first saw the name of this theme, I thought it might be a bit more gruesome. After playing around with it, though, I was pleasantly surprised. The folks at Hedone did a good job with a clean-looking theme. Not only that, but they continue to take advantage of the newer aspects of BlackBerry OS 4.6.
Even as a Mac and BlackBerry kinda guy, I do appreciate the clean layout of the Windows 7-esque theme. The default background is basic and sharp-looking. You won’t see icons blend into it, even in the full applications menu. If there’s one thing to nitpick about the theme, it’s that the Internet Explorer icon is the default browser icon. IE…grumble grumble grumble.
The new aspects are pretty neat. In the screenshot, you might notice three small icons in the bottom right side of the dock. Those are the battery indicator, the signal strength/manage connections icon, and the profiles menu. I really do like how these have been reduced in size and relegated to a corner of the screen. That’s going to be a personal preference thing, I’m sure, but it’s nice to have them stowed in an area away from the main part of the screen. I honestly don’t check any of them that much (except my battery before I go to sleep).
You can get the HD Se7en theme for your BlackBerry Bold at the BBGeeks Store. They also have it in Today Plus and Zen for 88xx and 83xx users.
I Heart U
BBGeeks fave Cherri Chiodo has been hard at work at her site, All Things Berry. When I talked to Cherri a while back on the BBGeekcast, she discussed her process of creating a theme. Perhaps most interesting to me at the time was how she went about creating the icons, and how much time it took. Well, she’s gone and done it again, this time creating gray icons on pink or red hearts, apparently in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Here is the I Heart U series.
Not only has Cherri made this theme in both pink and red, she’s made it for most major BlackBerry models. You can get it for the Bold, the Curve, the Pearl flip, and the regular Pearl. The design isn’t intrusive at all. Everything is laid out very clearly. Unlike some themes which use the artwork in the background of the Applications Menu, the I Heart U themes put the App Menu up against a plain background, so there is no blending of icons.
If there’s a complaint to be had about these, it might be the font. The menu font is a cartoonish one, resembling the Walt Disney logo. That’s fine and good for the text on the menu screens. However, it looks like a Comic font when you’re viewing messages and reading dialog boxes. When testing this theme out, I had to go in and change the font. Still, if that’s the only complaint its a rather miniscule one.
You can check out all of the I Heart U theme variations at Cherri’s website.
Here we are again with another quality theme from the good folks at JC Designs. Anyone ever play Cubis? It’s quite an addicting game if you’re into the puzzle-like flash games (think Snood). Now you can celebrate Cubis right on your BlackBerry, even if you can’t play it. Incidentally, has anyone found a copy of Cubis for the BlackBerry? I couldn’t find it at Bplay.
This is a straight up Application Menu theme, so there are no bells and whistles. Just your application icons, arranged in customary rows. Normally I avoid themes like this because there’s not a whole lot going on. This theme, however, is visually pleasing, and so I thought I’d lay it out there. Like the game, it features blocks of various colors. These contain the icons. No, they won’t disappear if you place three of them in a row.
Again, I’m not a huge fan of the message font, but that’s easily changeable. You can get the Cubis Icon theme for $7 from the BBGeeks Store. If you’re going for simplicity, this one definitely cuts it.