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Friday, March 14, 2014

Android App Review: Themer Beta

The Android OS has a wide selection of apps that allows users to personalize their devices. There are launchers, lockscreen apps, and widgets that have a thousand and one skins to choose from. Themes allow users to show off their personality through their devices, and new themes can give your phone that brand new feel.

My Color Screen (developer of Themer)

I personally enjoy customizing my devices, and I love me some beautiful home screens! That's why I've been a big fan of My Color Screen. It's a website where Android and iOS users can share their homescreens, wallpapers and apps. My Color Screen themes require more than basic knowledge of the Android OS though (can't speak for the iOS themes).

For example, setting up the Evangelion NERV theme involves downloading 2 apps and a zip file, and knowing how to place overlapping widgets, to pull everything off. Some My Color Screen themes come with tutorials. However, following the instructions to the T does not guarantee that you can perfectly recreate a theme on your device sometimes due to device or software compatibility issues. Here's an example:

Theme on my Samsung Galaxy S II
Evangelion NERV theme sample

See how the 'AT Field readings' (which is actually a System Monitor widget) on the left screenshot isn't filling up the entire space compared to the one on the right. (BTW, I edited the image using GIMPshop to change 'AT-Field WIFI' and "BAT. TEMP" to "A.T. Field Active" and "INTERNAL POWER SUPPLY" because it's a static image and not an actual Battery Temperature widget. That and I thought it suited the theme better.) It was only when I placed the widget that I noticed the System Monitor didn't fit well. Another issue is the Music widget buttons. Even though I had the recommended widget installed on my device, it still turned out differently compared to the sample screenshot. Regardless, the widget worked as intended.

Now, not all of My Color Screen themes are as challenging to set up as the Evangelion NERV theme. There are ones that are easy enough to recreate. But for those who doesn't have the time nor the patience to go through all the steps necessary to recreate a theme, My Color Screen has made the theming process much easier with its new app: Themer Beta.

You can now transform your device in one click! No need to install other apps and no need to set up widgets one by one. Not all My Color Screen themes are Themer compatible. However, there's also no shortage of themes either (237 as of writing). If you want to view the available themes without having to download the app, click: HERE.

What is Themer Beta?






Themer Beta Settings


Menu Button or double-tap on your homescreen


Categories

Categories



Tag your shares #HomescreenEnvy
How to Use Themer Beta

Step 1: Browse the gallery
Step 2: Choose a theme
Step 3: Click APPLY
Step 4: ???



Step 5: PROFIT!

Congratulations! You have now successfully themed your device!

Optional:

You can view theme info, upvote, add a theme to your favorites list and share a theme:
Click on the Menu to access the additional options
Additional Feature: Smart Categories

Themer Beta also has a Smart Category feature. The app automatically categorizes your app drawer for you.

You can manually Manage each category

Complete app list

Favorites Tab
Themer Settings

Applying a theme using Themer Beta doesn't necessarily mean you'll have limited control over how your homescreen works. The app actually provides users additional customization options. Take a look:
Themer Settings
 You can set which specific app Themer Beta will launch when you click a widget:
App Preferences
Right now Themer Beta supports 2 weather providers but I'm hoping the dev adds more in the future. You can also change the units in the settings:
Weather
You can also manage the app drawer in the settings:
Manage App Drawers
 Add/Remove Feeds:
News Feed
 Set custom Gestures:
Gestures
 Set default launcher app:
Use Old Homescreen

About Themer
What I like

-One click theme application

ONE. CLICK. No need to install other apps to apply gorgeous homescreens!

-Smart Categories

Smart Categories will make more sense to you once you apply a theme. It makes accessing apps easier and organized.

-No Ads

Themer Beta is free and it is ad-free as well!

What I don't like

Free apps usually come with ads/sponsorships. Themer Beta doesn't have ads, but it does feature sponsors. How does the app do it? By adding sponsored apps to your Smart Categories.

Open Table under Travel & Local
Open Table isn't listed in the App Drawer

I do not have Open Table installed on my phone. If I click on it, I am redirected to the Play Store where Google informs me that the app is not available in my country. I'm not against ads or sponsorships being utilized by free apps. What I don't like is that there's no mention of it in the app's description in the Play Store. A little transparency would be nice, wouldn't you agree?

Update: 3/15/2014

Dev replied to my Google Play review:

to remove this, try this: Themer Settings - Manage App Drawer - Hide Sponsored Apps
At least we know how to hide the sponsored apps now. However, there's still no mention of the Sponsored Apps in the app's description in the Play Store.

Beta version

One thing to remember is that app is still in Beta. This means you will encounter issues/bugs. As a Beta user, you can help the dev out by providing feedback and submitting crash reports (if you experience one).

I've been using the app for around 2 weeks now, but I honestly haven't encountered any app breaking bugs. One bug I've encountered is Smart Categories not remembering apps you've placed in a category after a reboot/crash. I've noticed this applies only to my Games category. This hasn't happened to any other category though. At the moment I only have one game installed on my phone: Cytus. Unfortunately, Smart Categories doesn't recognize the app as a game yet.



Sponsored apps and a few bugs aside, the app is as snappy as the other well-known launchers out there, albeit more beautiful. Themer Beta is definitely a must-install for users who love beautiful homescreens!

What launcher app are you using? Are you going to give Themer Beta a try? What theme are you using? Comment below!

Before I go, I'll leave you with screenshots of my favorite theme so far:


Hardwood Beauty

Hardwood Beauty

Hardwood Beauty

2 comments:

  1. I installed Themer app and so far i absolutely LOVE it. its really neat and the themes are very easy to install and use. Thank you Catnippy

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for reading! Glad to know you're loving the app. :3

    ReplyDelete

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