Theme Thursday: ICS for CM7

Theme Thursday: ICS for CM7

Nov 8, 2012

As with a few past Theme Thursdays we will be looking at themes for the most popular ROM for rooted Android phones and that is CyanogenMod. Most people who run CyanogenMod use it because they want something that their current phone does not give them, and for a majority of people that reason is Ice Cream Sandwich. Because phone carriers are so reluctant to upgrade even year old phones to Google’s newer OS, a good amount of these owners have looked to rooting in order to get their phones looking the way they want. I personally have a love/hate relationship with ICS; I enjoy everything right up to the icons. Ice Cream Sandwich’s thin lines and dark complexion are very attractive but I feel the bright and oversized icons to be out of place.

Well never mind what I think because I feel that I am probably in the minority here and the questionable icons have not stopped me from getting an ICS theme for my CM7. There are a few ICS themes for CM7, and I have tried a few but my favorite by far has to be the one by Sonny Sekhon, who has a large and impressive list of CyanogenMod themes. Like most themes there are not much performance tweaks and everything about the phone remains CM7 except it just looks better, and wow it does look better. The developer does a great job of making sure that everything here was themed correctly and after looking at my friend’s ICS phone I found it hard to tell many differences in the way the phones looked.

CyanogenMod 9 comes with its own proprietary launcher, Trebuchet, but CM7 still uses ADW Launcher to handle the home screen. Unfortunately, this app does not have a corresponding ADW Launcher theme but it does have one for LauncherPro. I find this kind of weird and I do not usually like having multiple launchers on my phone as I feel it bogs the home screen down for some reason, but ultimately it is not a deal breaker as the launcher skin looks great as well.

So anyone who has a rooted phone with CyanogenMod 7 I highly recommend looking into grabbing Sonny Sekhon’s Ice Cream Sandwich theme and give that “aging” phone a breath of life.

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.