Theme Thursday – MIUI Cartoon Mob

Theme Thursday – MIUI Cartoon Mob

Nov 17, 2011

The theme chosen for this week’s Theme Thursday, MIUI Cartoon Mob, is an interesting one, no doubt. For one thing, I find it to be fun and visually appealing. The cartoony, hand-drawn style of the icons, backgrounds and other elements all look great. For another thing, it comes to Android and ADW Launcher by way of the very popular MIUI ROM.

I admit that I’m not quite brave enough to install a custom ROM on my phone. For whatever reason, I just don’t want to do it. As I said, I understand that this is kind of a weird hang-up, but it’s my hang-up and I don’t really want to go into it. Even so, to get this theme on my phone, I’d almost consider taking a risk and going through the process of installing MIUI. Well, thankfully, I don’t have to go through that process, I can just purchase MIUI Cartoon Mob and set it as the current theme in ADW Launcher. It’s that easy!

Of course, it’s easy because ADW Launcher makes it easy. The custom home replacement utility allows you to customize your Android’s user interface in a number of amazing ways. From custom backgrounds to completely new icon sets, everything is customizable — even the way the app drawer displays and behaves. It’s very powerful.

So, if you’re like me and want to install a cheerful looking theme without getting your hands dirty dealing with custom ROMs, buying MIUI Cartoon Mob and installing it in ADW Launcher seems like the easiest way to go. You can even mix and match it with other themes for a truly unique user interface. Just another one of the great things about Android; the sky’s the limit when it comes to customization.

You can find MIUI Cartoon Mob on the Android Market for US$1.49.

Theme Thursday – CrystalX: Blue

Theme Thursday – CrystalX: Blue

Oct 13, 2011

Feeling a little blue? While it’s great to have plenty of colors to choose from, you might not want them all showing up at the same time. Therefore, it’s good to have just one or two for a more uniform appearance, and if blue just happens to be one of your favorite colors, this week’s theme is going to be of particular interest to you! For this Theme Thursday, we present, CrystalX: Blue.

Some of the features of CrystalX: Blue include 10 custom wallpapers to choose from, along with an internal wallpaper selector so that you wont have to dig through all of the wallpapers you might already have installed. In addition, you also get 4 custom dock bars, 120 custom app icons and, finally, 60 app drawer icons to complete the theme.

Of course, this is a custom theme for ADW Launcher, not a stand-alone application. That means you’ll need to install ADW Launcher first or you won’t be able to use this custom theme. ADW Launcher is a home replacement utility which can radically change the entire look and feel of your graphical user interface, changing everything from the way it looks to the way certain elements behave and function. Basically, it’s like a makeover for your phone or tablet. Also, it’s worth noting that in order to use the custom dock bars, such as the ones available in CrystalX: Blue, you’ll need ADW Launcher EX. While ADW Launcher is free, ADW Launcher EX costs US$3.32 and supports a number of features ADW Launcher does not.

As you can see from the screenshots below, the color blue prominently runs throughout this theme and its many icons. You may also note the custom widgets being used, although I am unable to identify them.

CrystalX: Blue can be found on the Android Market for US$1.20.

Theme Thursday – Sense

Theme Thursday – Sense

Oct 6, 2011

When selecting a theme to feature on Theme Thursday, I usually go for something eye-catching but also simple and elegant. This week’s theme, Sense, is no exception. While the interesting and colorful backgrounds are pleasant to look at, it’s the etched glass icons that keep pulling me back. Take a look at the screen shots and see what you think of it.

As I mentioned, the icons are my favorite aspect of this theme. The beveled glass squares with each application’s graphic etched onto it is very attractive, and the subtle touch of gold as the outline of the Android peeks out from the corner is also a nice touch. Each icon is quite classy and delicate, although they might be difficult to tell apart — especially if you’ve got a particularly busy wallpaper.

As the author states, there are more than 1200 icons included with this theme. I’m not about to count them in an effort to confirm this claim, but suffice to say, most of the applications on my phone are supported. If anything, it explains the size of the theme, coming in at 15 MBs.

As usual, this theme requires ADW Launcher to run; it’s not a stand-alone application. ADW Launcher is a home replacement utility that allows you to customize your graphical user interface in many ways. From backgrounds to icons, docks and even the way the app drawer works, all of these elements are easily customized using themes. Themes such as Sense change almost every element of the interface just by selecting it within ADW Launcher’s settings. While ADW Launcher is free, you’ll need ADW Launcher EX to support the custom docks and extended app drawer features. ADW Launcher EX can be found in the Android Market for US$3.32.

Sense can be downloaded from the Android Market for free.

Theme Thursday – BlackBrushedCarbon

Theme Thursday – BlackBrushedCarbon

Sep 15, 2011

I love the simple elegance of black and white, especially when mixed with tones of grey and silver. You get a minimalist aesthetic while splashing in enough color to keep from being boring. However, the color scheme isn’t all that there is to BlackBrushedCarbon, this week’s theme for ADW Launcher.

Normally, you wouldn’t consider icons to be decorative. Given that icons generally serve a utilitarian purpose, that gives way to a rationale that icons aren’t supposed to be pretty. Outside of a savvy developer furthering their brand by putting the company logo in their app’s icon, most people just see icons as a switch, or a button — a handle to grasp at the abstract idea of executing a command to run an application. I find that the best themes take this idea and twist it around 180 degrees.

BlackBrushedCarbon, for example, has some attractive looking icons. The texture and color scheme help make them uniform, pulling the theme together, while making them a little nicer to look at. But this theme also doesn’t forget that icons are supposed to help you visually identify the app you’re looking for, so it’s good to see that logos and pictographs are still prominently displayed.

As with all of the themes featured on Theme Thursday, BlackBrushedCarbon is a theme for ADW Launcher, a highly customizable home screen replacement utility that makes customizing, editing and switching themes on your Android device a fun and easy experience. With over 400 app icons and 5 wallpapers in this theme, alone, you’ll be able to mix and match for an incredible looking user interface you can truly call your own!

If you want a simple, elegant theme with just enough decoration to keep it interesting without appearing too busy, BlackBrushedCarbon might be the look you’re looking for.

BlackBrushedCarbon is available on the Android Market for US$1.49.

Theme Thursday – Elite HD

Theme Thursday – Elite HD

Sep 1, 2011

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about this week’s theme that makes it worthy of the title “elite.” Is it the stitched leather wallpaper? The abstract colored wallpapers? The gradients used in the folder backgrounds? The custom docks? Or is it the more than 1000 icons that are available for your apps? I honestly don’t know what makes it elite, but that is a lot of icons.

Elite HD is a theme for ADW Launcher, a highly customizable home screen replacement utility that gives you the ability to completely revamp your Android device’s graphical user interface. You can quickly and easily choose custom icons, wallpapers and docks. You can even mix and match, using elements from any number of themes installed on your Android device. There’s no limit to what you can do and how radically you can alter your phone’s look.

The semi-transparent look and the minimal color scheme of Elite HD’s icon set allow for a tasteful touch to your Android device’s user interface. They look almost as if they would fit in with just about any background you could choose — assuming it isn’t too lightly colored. That’s the one caveat with this icon set. Under the right conditions, it looks to be infinitely reusable. However, against the wrong background, the icons might be a bit hard to see. Something to consider.

The sheer number of icons available is staggering, and really makes you wonder which apps could have possibly been missed. Then again, with more than 250,000 apps to choose from in the Android Market, I would have to assume it’s possible that someone out there will be upset that there isn’t an icon for his or her favorite app. Thankfully, the author of this theme mentions that there are more icons on the way!

Elite HD is available on the Android Market for US$0.99.

Theme Thursday – Tha Litebrite

Theme Thursday – Tha Litebrite

Aug 11, 2011

It’s too bad I wasn’t into pixel art back when I had a Lite-Brite. Not that the iconic children’s toy has gone away, I just don’t have one anymore. I actually have ideas for art I’d like to make with one that go beyond sail-boats and smiley faces. Even so, I’m not exactly in a big hurry to rush out and grab one, which is shame, because they do all kinds of crazy things, these days.

Multiple panels, pseudo animation effects, portable versions and more. There are all kinds of Lite-Brites, today. And it looks they finally got away from using dangerous, hot incandescent light bulbs like in the ones I grew up with. That’s just fantastic! You can even download a Lite-Brite app for those various iOS devices; although, that’s probably a discussion best reserved for other sites in the 148Apps Network.

So, if you’ve always been fond of the glowing LED, pixel-like aesthetic of a Lite-Brite, now you can apply it to the icons on your Android device using Tha Litebrite, a custom theme for ADW Launcher.

ADW Launcher is a home screen replacement utility that allows you to completely alter the way your Android device’s user interface looks and behaves and will be required to use this theme. As always, ADW Launcher is freely available on the Android Market.

Tha Litebrite includes more than 540 icons, a graphically enhanced action bar, wallpapers and additional dock styles. Plus, if you just so happen to find that the icon for your favorite app is nowhere to be found, the author is willing to create custom icons for you.

Tha Litebrite is available on the Android Market for US$2.99. However, there is a free version available as well, so you can see how it looks on your device before spending any money.

Theme Thursday – Droid Genesis

Theme Thursday – Droid Genesis

Aug 4, 2011

It’s hard to beat a classic layout and structure, and there’s just something I like about having large, colorful icons with rounded corners splashed across the screen. Droid Genesis, this week’s Theme Thursday, features just that.

Now, the great thing about ADW Launcher is that you have the luxury to pick and choose every aspect of your user interface. Take these icons, for example. You might want to use them across your phone, but completely ditch the wallpapers. No problem! Maybe you just want to assign some of the icons and blend in another icon set? Again, with ADW Launcher, the world is your oyster. The home screen replacement utility allows you to completely customize the look of your Android device. It’s a lot of fun to play with.

There’s not a whole lot to this theme, aside from the fact that it features 300 attractive icons, a few “spacey” wallpapers and seems reminiscent of iOS. It’s a very subtle theme, but that may be all some people are after. If you’re among the group of people out there who don’t care for the default Android icons and simply want something different that’s not too over-the-top, this theme’s for you.

One of the best things about this theme is that it isn’t restricted to just ADW Launcher. Droid Genesis is compatible with Go Launcher EX and Launcher Pro. This means you can use 3 different launchers and still maintain the same look without downloading 3 different versions of the same theme. It’s a good idea to support multiple launchers, and this isn’t the first theme I’ve seen that does it.

Droid Genesis is available on the Android Market for US$0.99. The author also accepts icon requests, so if you notice a custom icon for your favorite app isn’t included, be sure to contact the developer.

Theme Thursday – Solace

Theme Thursday – Solace

Jul 28, 2011

As I delve deeper into the list of themes I’ve been choosing from for Theme Thursday, I find myself steering further away from gimmicks and more towards uniform color schemes and imagery that helps pull a theme together. In other words, a theme that simply changes the icons into funny pictures or novelty items isn’t going to cut it. I want something that catches the eye. Solace, a custom theme for ADW Launcher, does just that.

If you’ve never heard of ADW Launcher, it’s a home screen replacement utility that allows you to customize nearly every aspect of your Android device’s graphical user interface through custom ADW Launcher themes, like Solace. Icon sets, wallpapers, dockbars and even the way the app drawer behaves are all easy to customize through ADW Launcher’s settings.

This week’s theme, Solace, comes with striking wallpapers that show off their tones of orange and purple that really grab your attention. The colors clash just enough to make the background stick out, but blend together in unexpected ways. It’s almost like an oxymoron — how can these two, seemingly opposite colors that are completely at odds with each other help bring about a sense of unity? As I look at the designs, I realize that this is a visual representation of what the world “solace” means: comfort in a time of distress.

It’s no coincidence that even the abstract shapes and objects are set against dark, rigid lines. Two elements that shouldn’t go together, yet here they are in harmony.

The color scheme continues into the more than 250 icons that are included with the theme, showing off colorful silhouettes against a dotted background. As each of these elements come together, you get a sense of “one from many,” a prevailing idea displayed in a beautiful, mesmerizing way.

Solace is available on the Android Market for US$1.49. The clock widgets being used in the screenshots are Tajm and Clockr. Both are free.

Theme Thursday – Inspired

Theme Thursday – Inspired

Jul 21, 2011

I can sum up this week’s theme in one word: bokeh. That’s the first word that popped into my head when I saw the screen shots for Inspired, a theme for ADW Launcher.

ADW Launcher is a home screen replacement utility that allows you to customize the look, feel and function of your Android device’s graphical user interface. Custom themes built for ADW Launcher make it extremely easy to replace the entire icon set, wallpaper and dockbars, giving your device a more personal identity.

Now, back to that word I mentioned earlier, “bokeh.” In photography, bokeh refers to the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in the out-of-focus areas of photographic images. It can make for some very appealing shots that many photographers strive for in their work, and, as you can see by the screenshots, it’s part of why I chose this week’s theme.

I’m not sure if the images in the included wallpapers were photographs that have been blurred to the point of abstraction or if they were already abstract splashes of color with a blurring filter applied to them, but they are simply gorgeous. They cause the icons to pop right out at you. It makes for a perfect wallpaper that is both beautiful and eye-catching, but not distracting. You can see the icons clearly and identify them quickly.

The only thing I don’t like is the color scheme of the folders, as seen in the screenshot below.

The way the folders are done here is a wrinkle in an otherwise flawless theme — one of my favorites to date.

The clock being used in the screenshots is a free clock widget called BobClockD3. I think it’s a perfect complement to this already outstanding theme.

Inspired is available on the Android Market for US$1.00, and the author does welcome icon recommendations, just in case you don’t find a custom icon for your favorite app.

Theme Thursday – Tha Plus

Theme Thursday – Tha Plus

Jul 14, 2011

I must confess that I’ve become somewhat obsessed with Google+ after my first week of using it. As the newest kid on the social networking block, sure, it’s got a few kinks to work out, but I think Google is on the right track. Google+, for me, does a lot of what Facebook doesn’t, and while it seems to lack a lot of the simplicity that makes Twitter so easy to use, the level of interaction I’m already getting keeps me coming back. It’s true, I’m completely hooked on it.

Now, if you find that you are as addicted to Google+ as I am, you might want to take a closer look at this week’s theme, Tha Plus, which carries over the unique look of Google+ into your Android device.

Tha Plus is a custom theme for ADW Launcher, a home replacement utility. ADW Launcher allows you to quickly and easily freshen up your Android device’s look and feel simply by downloading and installing custom themes that change the icons, wallpapers and other elements of the graphical user interface.

Tha Plus comes with more than 620 custom icons, covering just about every app you could possible have installed on your device. And, just in case your favorite app doesn’t have a custom icon, the author of this theme has mentioned that he is more than willing to design one for you.

You’re also getting several wallpapers, a graphically enhanced action bar and custom dock styles to complete the look of this custom theme.

Tha Plus is available on the Android Market for US$2.99. However, there is a free version called, simply, Plus, which comes with a much more limited number of icons just to give you a feel for the theme and decide whether you wish to pay for the whole shebang.

If you’re into the look of Google+, this might just be the theme for you!

Theme Thursday – Crystal Black HD

Theme Thursday – Crystal Black HD

Jul 7, 2011

This week’s theme, Crystal Black HD, is a simple theme, but I’m absolutely in love with its slick, elegant icons. The stark contrast of white on a black, glossy surface just looks great, but if you take a closer look, you can plainly see that this theme has something extra going on.

Why, if it isn’t our little friend, the Android! I must say, besides the 5 eye-catching wallpapers included in this theme, my favorite part of Crystal Black HD is definitely the Android mascot taking a peak over the edge of the more than 450 icons you get with this theme. From over the corners, sides and tops of each icon, you can see him just hanging out. Also, note the free analog clock widget designed just for this theme, Crystal Black Clock. And there’s the Android mascot, once again, peaking out from behind the clock! It’s a nice touch if you like analog clock widgets.

Crystal Black HD is a theme for ADW Launcher, a highly customizable home replacement that allows you to completely change the way your Android device looks and behaves. From the dock to the app drawer, icons, wallpapers and more, by downloading a theme such as this one, you’ll be able to quickly and easily customize your device’s graphical user interface, giving it a unique, personalized touch in no time.

If you’re looking for a theme with a touch of class, but something that isn’t afraid to be cute and jovial at the same time, Crystal Black HD is a good theme to go with. Also, it’s great that the author of this theme has pledged to keep it updated with new icons, just in case you don’t find one here for your favorite game or app.

You can find Crystal Black HD in the Android Market for US$0.99.

Theme Thursday – PinkyBubbles

Theme Thursday – PinkyBubbles

Jun 16, 2011

Once again, it’s Theme Thursday, where I dig through the Android Market to find the latest ways to prettify your Android handset or tablet. For this week’s theme, I decided to do something a little more bold and daring than the social norm; I went pink.

Did you know that pink used to be considered a boys’ color? According to Wikipedia, in the early 20th Century, pink was considered appropriate for boys because, being related to the color red, it was a more masculine and authoritative color, whereas blue was more delicate and dainty. Then, for some unknown reason, attitudes shifted in the 1940s. Since then, blue has been for boys and pink for girls. So, depending on whether you want to prove how strong and authoritative you are, or dainty and delicate, it looks like pink might just be your color.

Coming from ADDesigns, PinkyBubbles is a theme for ADW Launcher, a highly customizable home screen replacement that allows you to radically alter the way your phone’s graphical user interface looks and behaves. Everything from icons, docks, wallpapers and layout can be easily changed. Once you’ve got ADW Launcher up and running on your phone, all you need do is install the theme and select it within ADW’s settings.

PinkyBubbles features more than 250 custom app icons plus 165 extra icons in an icon pack for use with ADW’s custom shortcuts.

This theme also comes with 4 matching wallpapers featuring pink swirls, floral starbursts and other interesting collaborations between pink, silver, gray and black.

Wherever your tastes may fall on the color pink, you have to admit, it’s a striking look. So, whether you believe real men really do wear pink, or you think you’re honestly fooling anyone by telling them it’s actually magenta, this theme is not for the shy types. Be bold!

PinkyBubbles costs US$1.49 in the Android Market.