Theme Thursday – Thanksgiving and Forever Thankful

Theme Thursday – Thanksgiving and Forever Thankful

Nov 25, 2011

Editor’s Note: Do the Black Friday crowds have you down? Want to remember why this is a holiday weekend in the first place? Then enjoy this week’s Theme Thursday on a Friday. Freaky Friday will return next week at its scheduled time and place! Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all!

This week’s Theme Thursday is another double-feature, each with a Thanksgiving theme to help you celebrate the holiday. The first ADW Launcher theme to be featured is called, aptly enough, Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving comes with a cornucopia of 150 custom icons, each featuring a different app icon within its very own horn of plenty. As you can also see, the custom wallpaper depicts a scene of the Android decked out in Pilgrim’s attire as he hunts the wild turkey for the feast.

This theme, which runs on ADW Launcher is only US$1.25. You can find it here on the Android Market.

The second half of our double-feature is Forever Thankful from MommaDeuce.

This theme depicts several decorative Autumnal scenes and items inspired by the season. It contains 35 wallpapers in addition to assorted custom icons, docks and other elements to give your Android device the look and feel of a Fall harvest time scene.

You can find Forever Thankful on the Android Market for US$1.49.

Each of these themes will require ADW Launcher, a home replacement utility. ADW Launcher allows you customize several different elements of your Android’s graphical user interface all at once simply by switch themes or customizing existing themes to use any icon, wallpaper, dock or other element already installed on your Android device. Even the way the app drawer behaves can be customized to your liking, making it an extremely versatile utility that allows for a truly unique experience. ADW Launcher is available for free on the Android Market. However, to use custom docks, you will need ADW Launcher EX, available on the Android Market for US$3.32.

From all of us here at Android Rundown to everyone out there, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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 – Frozen Android

Theme Thursday – Frozen Android

Nov 10, 2011

In the mood for something cool and refreshing? Perhaps you would like to try an Android on the rocks? If so, take a look at Frozen Android and see if it’s a theme you would like to chill with.

Frozen Android puts your favorite app icons on ice, surrounding them in cool shades of blue and hard freezing them. It even extends this idea into several of the 5 included background images, giving you a good view of the “honeybee” Android mascot looking a lot like the Demolition Man.

Running in ADW Launcher, a home replacement utility, Frozen Android instantly transforms the graphical user interface of your Android device into a customized look and feel. It’s the easiest way to give your device a unique design that you’ll love to show off at every opportunity you get. And, of course, in case that isn’t quite distinct enough for you, you can always further customize the theme by mixing and matching it with others. From icons to wall papers and dock styles, there are a multitude of ways to make your Android device truly your own.

Frozen Android is completely free, so you won’t have to spend anything to get it up and running on your device. The author of Frozen Android has stated that more icons are on their way; however, the theme hasn’t been updated in a while. The author does includes contact information, though, just in case you don’t find an icon for your favorite app and would like to get in contact to get more.

Of course, a frozen droid is never a good thing, unless we’re talking about this theme. In which case, hopefully, plenty of people will agree that this is an attractive theme, well worth the download.

You can find Frozen Android on the Android Market.

Theme Thursday – Facedroid

Theme Thursday – Facedroid

Nov 3, 2011

Are you addicted to Facebook? Do you find that you simply can’t exist without checking on your friends’ status updates every 10 minutes? Do you like to organize events or chat with people, posting pictures and other items to their walls? Or maybe you just like to stalk past lovers? Hey, we don’t judge. But if you’re one of those people who just love that familiar, Facebook blue, Facedroid, this week’s theme, is for you!

Built for ADW Launcher, a home screen replacement utility, Facedroid transforms the graphical user interface of your Android device in radical way. Sporting a very chic, minimal design, the simple white on blue icons all feature a “Facebook-esque” aesthetic for a uniform look and feel. While you only seem to get the one, blue background, you have over 233 icons in all, with more on the way. The author of the theme states that this theme will be frequently updated with more icons.

As mentioned, this theme is for ADW Launcher and will require you to download and install it if you wish to use this theme. ADW Launcher allows you to change your Android device’s user interface in a quick, convenient way. Simply by downloading custom themes and applying them in the theme manager, you can give your device a fresh new look. Everything from the icons to the backgrounds to the way the app drawer behaves can be customized from within ADW Launcher.

Note that the clock widget and colored status bar, as seen in the screenshots, are not included. They are separate downloads and may require other applications which may or may not have their own, separate costs.

If you like this theme and want to make it yours, you’ll be happy to know that it’s completely free. Just download it from the Android Market.

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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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.