Most OEM’s now offer their own marketplace with apps, widgets, and other features that enhance the UI experience. HTC is no different in this respect, and one of my favorite options that they offer are Themes.
Themes are a collection of User Interface updates that change the way your phone looks and sounds. Specifically, each theme can be loaded with just a change in wallpaper and icons, or can be as in depth as changing ringtones, fonts, default contact pix, and even widget and shortcut placement and design. I’ve noticed over the last few years that HTC’s phone releases have loosely coincided with some major motion picture releases, so I’ve geeked out a bit and loaded the latest Avengers, or Age of Ultron, or Star Wars Themes on my phone.
NOW, there is a new type of Theme available. The original “Classic layout themes” are themes that have shortcut icons that are relatively similar to icons that you may have in your default set up. Additionally, the homescreen is still set up in the traditional ‘grid’ of 4x4. There is a significant number of Classic Layout Themes available for free. They even offer the option of creating your own Theme, which isn’t all that difficult to do for a basic Theme with ringtone, wallpaper, and font.
The new theme offering is called the Freestyle Layout Themes. I’ve found that freestyle themes are NOT bound by the 4x4 grid for each homescreen. So for example, the Galaxy theme uses different images of planets, moons, and other celestial bodies as icons for shortcuts to different apps. Additionally, those planets can be placed ANYWHERE on each screen… not just limited to the 4x4 grid.
I’ve also found that there doesn’t need to be any association with the app that each shortcut represents. That can definitely be confusing when first using any given freestyle theme, but it does ‘look’ cooler. There is also an interface that allows you to assign the icon to a specific application if it is not assigned by default to something you already have installed on your device.
Currently I’m running the Summer freestyle theme, but I’ve also used the Solar System and The Walking Dead #TWD theme… they’ve been REALLY cool, and make my phone screen a talking point to others who see it.
What are you running? Have you made a theme that we can try out?