Theme Thursday – Tha Pumpkin and Tha Jack-o

Theme Thursday – Tha Pumpkin and Tha Jack-o

Oct 27, 2011

It might not be science-fiction, but this week’s Theme Thursday is definitely a double-feature!

If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate Halloween with a theme for ADW Launcher and thought last week’s Tha Flesh was just a bit too extreme, Tha Pumpkin and Tha Jack-o are a lot more friendly.

First up, Tha Pumpkin carves up over 720 of the famous gourds into the easily identifiable shapes and symbols of apps for your Android device. It’s all the fun of digging into a pumpkin without any of the mess! And the best part is, they’ll never rot away. You can have the memory of happy Halloweens all year round.

Next, Tha Jack-o features more than 720 icons in the same unique style of Tha Pumpkin, but this time, illuminated from within. These spooky lanterns are just waiting to greet trick-or-treaters on a darkened doorstep, and you won’t have to worry about any nasty tricksters smashing them in the street, as they live right at home on your Android device. You don’t even need candles!

Each theme is built for ADW Launcher, a custom home screen utility that radically alters the graphical user interface of your Android phone or tablet. By switching to ADW Launcher, you can use these custom themes to quickly and easily change everything from icons to wallpapers and more, even the way the app drawer behaves can be easily changed! One caveat is that to use the custom docks included with these themes, you’ll need to purchase and install ADW Launcher EX, available on the Android Market for US$3.32 and includes many other features not available in the free version.

Tha Pumpkin and Tha Jack-o are each US$2.99 and available on the Android Market. However, you can download free versions of Tha Pumpkin and Tha Jack-o to see how you like them before purchasing. Happy Halloween!

Theme Thursday – Tha Flesh

Theme Thursday – Tha Flesh

Oct 20, 2011

As Halloween shambles ever closer, we prepare for its arrival with a theme that is certainly not for the faint of heart! It might be a good idea to turn back now, if you have a weak stomach. However, if you dare to witness the grisly screenshots of this terrifying theme for ADW Launcher, well, we won’t be held responsible for whatever happens next. This week, for Theme Thursday, we present to you Tha Flesh.

Tha Flesh is a bone-chillingly gruesome display of blood and gore, done up with shreds of ripped skin, stitches and the living dead. It’s the perfect “gross out” theme for any horror fan or zombie fetishist looking for a darker take on ADW Launcher themes.

As a theme for ADW Launcher, obviously, you’ll need to have ADW Launcher in order to see the changes made by installing and running Tha Flesh. ADW Launcher is a home replacement utility that allows you to completely customize the graphical user interface of your Android device. Icons, wallpapers, dock bars and so much more. Even the way your app drawer behaves can be customized a number of different ways with ADW Launcher. With ADW Launcher, you can give your phone a radical new look simply by selecting a different theme. It’s that easy.

With Tha Flesh comes more than 720 disturbing, custom icons; a set of nightmarish wallpapers and hideous custom docks. (Note that custom docks require the purchase and installation of ADW Launcher EX).

You can find Tha Flesh on the Android Market for $2.99, but there’s always the chance that it may find you, first. Or, if you prefer to take it for a test spin and see if this theme bites you the right way before purchasing, download the free version which comes with considerably fewer icons and features, but gives you a good idea of the sick and twisted imagery that will haunt your nightmares for weeks to come.

Theme Thursday – Steampunk Rusted

Theme Thursday – Steampunk Rusted

Sep 29, 2011

This week’s theme is Steampunk Rusted, an attractive theme for all the steampunk enthusiasts out there.

To say the steampunk crowd are an eclectic bunch would be an understatement. Not content to exist solely in our modern era, they don’t quite dwell in the past, either. Instead, they invent a new era that melds the old with the new, creating an alternate timeline — a history that never was.

As such, the steampunk aesthetic represents a fashion, a taste for objects that eschew modern design while maintaining modern function. Featured heavily are modified clothing and gadgetry designed to look as though the Victorian period never ended and here we are today. Fond as steampunk enthusiasts are of customizing objects, it makes perfect sense that any easily modifiable entity will be made to resemble that imagery — an Android device running ADW Launcher, for example.

ADW Launcher, the customizable home replacement utility for Android, can easily undergo drastic changes in design and function simply by selecting a new theme and applying it. Taking the idea further, you can mix and match themes, designing a wholly new theme just by editing objects and settings to your desire. It’s no wonder there are several steampunk designs in existence on the the Android Market.

Featuring a grunged up interface, laced with corrosion and signs of wear, the metallic and glass elements mixed with mechanical accoutrements in the backgrounds (notice the gears on the wallpaper in one of the screenshots, below) lend themselves to the steampunk aesthetic in many attractive ways. The icons are similarly fitting, resembling small buttons with crystal caps and brass fittings.

If you like the look of Steampunk Rusted, you can take it even further with several additions, such as this Steampunk Clock widget and this Steampunk Gears live wallpaper. Steampunk Rusted also features compatibility with several other launchers, especially Panda Home.

Steampunk Rusted is available on the Android Market for US$1.29.

Theme Thursday – StyGian Dirty

Theme Thursday – StyGian Dirty

Sep 22, 2011

This week’s theme for ADW Launcher is StyGian Dirty, a delicate weave of textures, patterns and a muted, pale color scheme. With 11 wallpapers, 11 docks and more than 240 custom icons, it’s sure to catch a few eyes when people see it.

You will need ADW Launcher to install StyGian Dirty; it’s not a stand-alone application. ADW Launcher is a custom home screen replacement utility which gives users complete control over the look and feel of their Android device. With ADW Launcher, you can customize your wallpaper, icons, number of screens and much, much more. You can even customize your app drawer, completely altering the way it looks and displays your apps. ADW Launcher is a lot of fun, and custom themes like StyGian Dirty are just part of what makes it great.

As you can see from the screen shots, StyGian Dirty consists of a number of background designs and icon images overlaid with several textures in a washed-out, pale color scheme. The stony textures and other patterns certainly make it feel rough and gritty, not exactly “dirty,” but I can see what StyGian Studios were going for.

One thing I will note is that the images on the icons are a bit hard to see. With more contrast and less brightness, the images might have “popped out” more, making them easier to see. As such, it is kind of hard to tell which icon is which at a brief glance.

I also admire the custom docks, ranging in design but still fitting in with the theme. Of course, you will need ADW Launcher EX to take advantage of the custom docks, but it’s worth purchasing as it brings a few more features with it.

StyGian Dirty is available on the Android Market for US$1.25

Theme Thursday – Industrial

Theme Thursday – Industrial

Sep 8, 2011

Holy rusted metal, Batman! If you like the look of dirty aluminum diamond-plate, rust, rivets and heavy-duty machinery, this is a theme you’ll definitely want to take a look at. For the true grunge lovers, Industrial is an ADW Launcher theme that’s aimed to please.

Industrial features more than 80 rust-covered icons in various shades of brown. Plus, you’re getting 4 new docks to go with each of the 4 wallpapers included as a set. Or, you can mix and match to your heart’s desire, using any of the docks with any of the wallpapers, allowing you to make a truly filthy, custom theme.

Industrial requires ADW Launcher to run (although, you’ll need ADW Launcher EX to take advantage of the custom docks). ADW Launcher is the customizable, theme-able home replacement utility that lets you completely change the graphical user interface of your Android device.

This is a newer theme, having hit the market very recently, so the icon pack is a tad skimpy. The good news is that the author is accepting suggestions for new icons. So, if you decide to purchase the theme, feel free to email them with requests if you don’t find a custom icon for your favorite app.

If you’re tired of squeaky clean, slick graphics and “pretty” themes that don’t quite fit your personality, Industrial should be just blue-collar enough to prove to the world that you’re a hard-working, no-nonsense kind of girl! (or guy… just saying.) Then again, maybe you’re a softie, at heart, but still want a theme that makes people feel like they need a Tetanus shot just from looking at it? Well, leave the Rust-Oleum and WD-40 at home, and prepare for some serious lock-jaw.

Industrial is available on the Android Market for US$1.12

Dave Kover of Kovdev Gives us the Rundown on Custom ADW Launcher Themes

Dave Kover of Kovdev Gives us the Rundown on Custom ADW Launcher Themes

Sep 2, 2011

Since April, we’ve been featuring ADW Launcher themes here on Android Rundown. In that span of time, we’ve seen everything from ultra-minimal, monochromatic themes with banal icons to vivid, colorful themes with icons of all shapes. As the person who scours the Android Market for themes to feature, I’ve made it a point to feature a wide variety of themes from a diverse selection of authors. One author’s themes, however, tend to stick out more than most. That author is Dave Kover of Kovdev.

Kovdev has produced several of my favorite ADW Launcher themes, including Tha Shag, Tha Plus and Tha Natural. Each theme seems made up of very interesting ideas, and there’s a level of quality that shines through with each one. What goes into making these themes, though? Where do such ideas come from, and who brings it all together? To find out, I contacted Dave to ask him about the process.

What I discovered is that the themes produced by Kovdev are actually a 2-person effort, beginning with some inspiration found in the icons produced by an artist from Montreal who goes by the name “Tha Phlash.”

As Dave puts, it, “As of late, my inspiration is based on the icon styles that @ThaPhlash produces, as we collaborate together on the majority of the themes that I’ve published. To be honest, this whole thing has been a hobby but it’s so addicting that I find myself spending more and more time on it.”

Next, I wanted to know what kind of tools are required to produce a theme, and how long does it take to create a custom theme?

Kover responds, “Despite the fact that @ThaPhlash is creating the icons, it still takes awhile to put together the rest of the theme. I try to keep wallpapers and docks relevant to the style he’s brought forth with the icons. I typically just toil within Photoshop to do most of the work but occasionally Flash or Cinema4D come in handy.

“Despite having a solid base to work with, getting the theme published is a lengthy process. Don’t get me wrong, you could definitely push one out faster than I do, but I like to think my extra attention to details and double-checking allows for higher quality than some other offerings you’ll find on the market.”

If the number of Kovdev themes that I’ve chosen to feature on Android Rundown are any indication, I whole-heartedly agree. There is a level of quality and attention to detail unmatched by other theme authors. So, what kind of advice would Dave offer to other theme authors? And is this something you can actually make a living at?

“My biggest advice is to focus on quality and appeal,” Kover writes. “Is this a design that you would use yourself? I’d rather scrap an idea before anyone ever sees it because I know that it’s not up to a quality I’d want to be associated with. Given that we’re mostly dealing with cosmetics, this has to be something you are doing purely for the passion of it. The Android market is a scary place for theme designers. If you are just hoping to make a quick buck, well then I wish you good luck and let me know how it works out for you.”

Good advice for anyone, really, regardless of what they’re doing.

Finally, because ADW Launcher isn’t the only launcher out there that supports themes, I had to know, which launcher does Dave actually use? And which theme is his favorite?

Dave replies that, “I’ve tried to use other launchers, but I keep coming back to ADW [Launcher] EX. If only for the fact that it truly lets me customize the experience and still retains a solid, speedy feel. When working on a new theme, I use that one exclusively until its released. Afterwards, you’ll find a mix of 2-3 of my themes that I always come back to. They consist of Eyefold, Post-It and Gemstone. Tha Eyefold in particular is partial to me because it really jump-started this whole partnership with @ThaPhlash and that alone has been instrumentally inspirational.”

Seen below are screenshots of Dave’s current set up, featuring a background from R2 Wallpapers by Jsinlegacy/gbianchi:

As the world of custom themes spins on, I find that I can’t wait to see what great ideas Dave produces next. Dave offers free versions of his themes, but if you like them, definitely consider purchasing them. Included with the price are free updates which often include new icons to go with the ever increasing number of apps on the Android Market.

Theme Thursday – Lil Monster

Theme Thursday – Lil Monster

Aug 25, 2011

They’re here, there and everywhere! But what are they? Why, they’re lil’ monsters, and they’re taking over your Android! But, wait. Before you run off screaming, know this: the lil’ monsters are harmless. In fact, they’re quite helpful, holding up your icons for you so can quickly tap them! They’re also part of this week’s featured theme, Lil Monster.

Lil Monster is a theme for ADW Launcher, a customizable home screen replacement utility that allows you to quickly and easily customize your Android device’s graphical user interface. You can easily change entire icon sets, wallpapers and more. You can mix things up even further by using only the icons or wallpapers you want to use along with icons from other themes. It’s all so easy to do, with just a little tinkering around in ADW Launcher’s menu system.

The main attraction of Lil Monster is, of course, the smiling little monsters standing behind each of your icons. It’s a practical solution with an extra dash of whimsy to keep the theme entertaining. In addition, the theme sports several dock styles such as a brown, bushy background, a brick wall and more abstract, conventional designs. There’s also an array of wallpapers to choose from that add a little extra bit of color to the interface.

There’s only one other thing you need to know about Lil Monster, and this may or may not come as a relief to you, but, this theme has absolutely nothing to do with the 1989 movie Little Monsters, starring Fred Savage and Howie Mandel. I know, that’s a real bummer; I was shocked, as well. It’s just one of those things you’ll have to get over.

Lil Monster is available in the Android Market for US$0.99.

Theme Thursday – Tha Natural

Theme Thursday – Tha Natural

Aug 18, 2011

As a famous frog once said, “It’s not easy being green,” but that’s only because Kermit didn’t have an Android-powered phone running ADW Launcher with Tha Natural theme applied. As I learned recently, it’s actually quite easy to spend each day the color of the leaves.

With ADW Launcher, configuring your Android’s interface to reflect the warm, lush tones of a Summer’s day is as easy as touching a button. Simply download and install this theme to completely alter your backgrounds, icons and dockbars. Then, feel free to change it even more. ADW Launcher makes it easy to set any icon to any app you wish. And with Tha Natural, you’re getting more than 620 icons to choose from, all based on the same, leafy-green tribute to the fairer months of the year.

In addition to the custom icons and dock bars comes a set of wallpapers featuring everything from earthy tones and textures to a field of grass and the wild, blue yonder. Even the Android mascot makes an appearance, imprinted on a leaf.

As I said, it’s easy to be green with this theme. From the dew on the freshly cut grass beneath an endless, blue sky, to the curled, green leaves lying on the ground, this theme conveys so many senses and emotions with little more than a few pictures and icons.

You can almost feel the blades of grass tickling your skin as you lie back and watch the clouds go by. And though you know you could be doing something a bit more productive with your time, you realize you’ll soon be trading in your sandals for snow boots and a heavy coat. It’s worth it to cherish this moment, in the final days of Summer. At least you’ll have this theme to remind you that Spring is just around the corner in those blustery, Winter months.

Tha Natural is available on the Android Market for US$2.99, or you can give the free version a try before you buy.