Theme Thursday: JAMT for CyanogenMod 7

Theme Thursday: JAMT for CyanogenMod 7

Oct 11, 2012

As my EVO 4G gracefully nears the end of its life I figured that now was as good of a time as ever to finally commit and root my phone. My mod of choice was CyanogenMod7 which is the highest version available for the EVO. I have been wanting to do this for some time and after doing so I have to say that I am glad I did. But this blog post is not about rooting and modding, as it is all about the wonderful world of themes. So I decided this week, in celebration, to do this Theme Thursday on my favorite CM7 theme (so far).

That lucky theme is called JAMT, which stands for ‘Just Another Minimalistic Theme’ and it comes in two distinct styles, black and white. For today I will be looking at specifically the white one, because, well, its cooler. The advantage to themeing the whole operating system instead of simply the launcher is that all the apps that fall under that OS are now themed in accordance with each other; bringing an enveloping, unified, and custom feel to any phone. This means that the messenger, dialer, contacts, clock, ect apps all have the same styling which is radically different than the more Gingerbread-esque that CyanogenMod delivers.

Judging from some of my past Theme Thursdays, it is easy to determine that I am a huge fan of minimalistic themes, and minimalism in general. So choosing JAMT was really a natural choice for me and it is one that I do not regret. The beauty of this comes in the simple way everything is portrayed; with the dialer relying on stark black and white as well as some well chosen shades of gray in the menus. The status bar looks great and gives almost a Windows Phone 7 feel to the whole thing. Even apps like Facebook and GMail are tweaked to adhere to the white , sterile regime.

One problem is the fact the the standard ADW Launcher does not follow suit as it is not a real part of CM7. I found this setback to be not a problem as I simply downloaded the ‘Elegant’ theme which fit right in with a nice white background. Other than that setting up this theme is no harder than downloading it from the Play Store and selecting it in a list, and unlike other themes in the past because it lays right on top of the OS there is no performance lost in the process. I would almost root my phone solely just to get access to themeing the OS like this.

Theme Thursday: Tasker and Minimalistic Text

Theme Thursday: Tasker and Minimalistic Text

Aug 2, 2012

I have written before about using Minimalistic Text as a great addition to any home screen. Any plain or overdone home screen can instantly get a modern, sleek makeover by adding text based icons or notifications to the home screen. Because Minimalistic Text supports any .ttf font the possibilities are pretty much limitless, and are only limited by available time and creativity. Well, kind of. My only gripe with Minimalistic Text is that the available automatic display options are slightly limited to just basic functions such as time, date, calendar events, and weather.

I usually hide the notification bar in GO Launcher and as such I miss out on some important notifications especially using two different emails on my phone. There is no way to display missed alerts though Minimalistic Text alone so a third party application is needed because MT does support local variables. For this I used Tasker, which, comparatively, is pretty expensive as far as apps go but its still only the price of a good McDonald’s trip.

Now I am not going to lie, Tasker is a big boy’s tool for Android, and I tried to dive headfirst and only got confused quickly. The key is to download the already created templates on the Wiki website through the ‘Browse Examples’ command in the menu. These require some tinkering but most moderately experienced users can figure out what to do relatively quickly. This is really one of a hundred uses for Tasker as it is an incredibly powerful app and I could probably spend a year writing weekly blog posts on all of Tasker’s uses, but for this post it basically serves as a conduit to tell Minimalistic Text that there is a notification.

After setting these variables up in Minimalistic Text, everything is ready to be edited. The downloaded example showed missed calls, GMails, and text messages but I copied and edited the Gmail one to display notifications for my Ohio State BuckeyeMail account as well. Adding fonts to MT is easy as importing some from a computer into a single folder then scanning that folder inside of Minimalistic Text. Once everything is set up enjoy crafting a great home screen that, if done correctly, will definitely make those iPhone owners jealous.