1. CharredPC's Avatar
    I love the stock themes. They're professional-looking, classy, and very functional. A lot of the user-created themes look like... well, like a teenage kid made them, trying very hard just to be different. Ugly, big, strange fonts, eye-searing colors, wacky new what-is-that-supposed-to-be icons and a bizarre new homescreen layout system that makes you feel like you're on a completely different device. I guess some people who are sick of their BB like this, but...

    On my 9700, I end up using a modified Zen theme which looks original but just adds some useful functionality. It simply allows ten customizable homescreen icons via a simple scroll. No need to cram 14+ icons into a dysfunctional layout, either in a line so tiny they aren't recognizable, or spreading out to cover the whole wallpaper like you've already hit the BB button. It's just a clean intuitive extension of what's already there, providing more functionality without needing a manual; 'keeping moving right for more icons.' I can easily see this being integrated into a future stock OS. Themes are a wonderful way to improve the UI we're given... but most seem to use it as some sort of gaudy temporary tattoo instead.

    If I could get any weather app to actually update itself, I'd include a tasteful weather slot into this improvement category (T-Mobile .330 OS here, from what I read that's likely the problem; but I'd rather have the great battery life and stability over a working weather icon). It's useful, almost a no-brainer. If I'd picked up my Bold in the store and saw the current weather on obvious display, I'd have been impressed. And again, it just adds to what we have, doesn't try changing all the rules for the sake of change. For those that use the calendar, a hidden today menu is another seamless improvement, and has become pretty much standard on all new themes. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, it's just a handy feature that I could definitely see on a stock BB.

    So where do we go from here? What other UI improvements can we think of that actually makes our device better- not just different? If you could design our interface, what would you want to see (besides another pink color scheme based around your favorite wallpaper )?
    02-26-10 11:58 AM
  2. BBThemes's Avatar
    3 point to raise from that,
    firstly the weather app, you can now get weather apps that integrate the weather icon into your wallpaper (i use simpleweather, but plenty do this feature) so as there isnt a `clickable` icon the wallpaper just updates, its very good imho and i used it due to having the same issues as your having, best of all works even on the stock themes

    secondly what would i include? well i personally have a very clear idea of what id love to be able to do, i cant, but then i guess i wouldnt be saying it if i could do it
    imagine your screen is one side of a cube, you can move through different sides of the cube by scrolling / swiping and the other sides can each have individual layouts and wallpapers (widgets would be cool too) so you effectively have 6 screens to float through, so lets say you have a work screen with your inbox, sms, calendar and such, then you `flip` the cube to say your social side, where you have say your fb, twitter, bbm and such available, then flip again to your `home` screen, to show a nice wallpaper with your 6 icons on there, basically each side of the cube is kinda geared towards something, be it social networking, work, normal, images, basically that kinda thing. if only eh!

    and thirdly themes are made by people, so they are obviously gonna have their personal `flair` in it, wether thats to everyones tastes or not is then down to the user i guess, theres themes i like, themes im not so fussed on, and themes i love, choice is what makes life brilliant

    ( rim please pay attention to point 2 )
    02-26-10 12:35 PM
  3. mrtolles's Avatar
    Point 2 - daveastra, i know YOU know how to think out side the box. I have created a 2 themes in 1 theme and with the same concept, could ideally have a cube theme. But my Gemini theme had 2 themes in one, different layouts, different icon placement, different walls (although only the first theme was able to change the wall, the other was set in composer), even different # of icons on each. Granted, it was still limited to the users set icon on both themes, with the same concept us theme makers could set a side of the cube to set icons for media, and another side to social media and so on. Even think to some of the hero themes that have the media and messages and calendar in special hot spots. Yes, in order to pull it off fully we don;t have all we need, but in concept, i could make a cube theme with each side of the cube serving different general functions. The problem lies in that not everyone uses this twitter client, or this media program. But, just wanted to say that your cube is possible, even if limited.
    02-26-10 01:50 PM
  4. CharredPC's Avatar
    ... i could make a cube theme with each side of the cube serving different general functions. The problem lies in that not everyone uses this twitter client, or this media program.
    In such a theme as you're describing, a rudimentary version could probably be created using five sides of a "cube" - simply accessed by up, down, left, right, or the standard "home." Sort of like a D-pad with a default center location. The "home" location could probably be user chosen icons, much like most themes do, while the other sections are based on the 'theme' for each (entertainment, business, internet, etc). You're right, it wouldn't cover every single eventuality, but if you used the most definitive / popular and stock apps, I think it would suit most people (default media player, media folder, Pandora, etc for entertainment side, for example). And as long as the "home side" was customizable, everything user-specific could go there. It's an interesting idea, and could work well if it were implemented right. The default home screen could even look quite stock, and the different category screens could have a tasteful wallpaper image that displayed what you were in (web icon for internet area, film reel for entertainment, etc). The shading could even be done in such a way that it implies what part of the cube / d-pad you're in. With the right transitions, it would be a convincing and very unique Cube theme.

    An enterprising theme-creator could probably do this, making a free "stock" or default one, then charging a small fee for customized editions so the section icons matched everyone's personal app collection. This is actually the type of great UI thinking that I'm talking about- we have this feature on all modern computer operating systems, basically multiple desktops. Incorporating it on the BB would make sense. It would also allow more icons (and therefore more app accessibility) via a couple simple trackpad swipes, without making the home screen cluttered or confusing. Even if people found themselves only using one or two of the alternate 'themed' home screens, the excess wouldn't be intrusive or bothersome. Done right, the theme could be indistinguishable from stock until the 'extra features' were activated.

    I can totally see myself using a theme like this, especially if combined with the other sensible UI improvements I mentioned- logical, helpful extensions of what's already there, like a BlackBerry OS 5.1 interface.
    02-26-10 03:33 PM
  5. BBThemes's Avatar
    here is kinda what i mean for windows, what i wopuld like to see just cant be done at the moment in themes (the expandiong / shrinking) and the full 3d effect, then throw used background in and it gets more like an app than a theme i guess, so maybe an app running from startup, on a blank homescreen, which would then allow gesture control on touchscreens, the vids at the bottom of the link show what i mean alot better than i can say it

    Otaku Software - Products > DeskSpace 3D Virtual Desktop: Organize Your Desktop > See
    02-26-10 03:54 PM
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