Has anyone shown you something on their Android phone and the first thing you notice is that they are still using the same setup on their homescreens since they first time turned it on? Or seen a recent iOS convert cover their entire homescreen with app icons, just so they can still get that iPhone feeling? For me, the greatest feature that Android has over the competition is customization. The ability to change the UI of your phone and tailor it to your specific needs. Android is a system that you define, not the other way around. I’m confident that between the wallpaper I choose, the icon pack and widgets I use, that I have a phone that is 100% unique. No other mobile OS can make that same boast.
When my friend first bought his Galaxy S4 one of the first apps I made him get was Nova Prime. Nova is one of the best home replacement launchers available and I thought he would take to it like a duck in water. Unfortunately he hasn’t. Coming from iOS, he has covered his first homescreen with all the apps that he frequently uses and has barely made use of any widgets. When he see’s my phone he states how nice and organized it looks, but when I tell him to just start playing around with Nova and experiment, his answer is “it takes too long and he’s not sure how to do it”. He wasn’t even aware that you can download additional widgets from the Play Store, he was under the impression that the widgets you get with the phone were all you get. In fact, this is not the first time I have heard a recent iOS convert say the exact same thing. I can’t help but wonder if this lack of knowledge on what you can do and how you can do it is somewhat intimidating for the iOS and WP8 convert. That’s where the folks over at MyColorScreen and Themer come in.
I’ve waited a long time to get my code and I wanted to give this app ample time before writing this article. Let me first state that this app is still in beta and therefor this is not a review, but rather an extensive first impression if you will. That being said, let me say that Themer is a game changer. An app that lets you dramatically change the look and feel of your phone with the simple click of a button is not only ground breaking, but was a much needed program for those who lack the skill for customization. Themers greatest advantage is its pure simplicity. Browse the theme you like and click download, the app does the rest. Below is a few examples of what I have used on my phone.
Ease of use
The apps user interface is extremely easy to use. Setting up app preferences, picking out themes to use and changing RSS feeds for themes with news readers is simple. In fact, when I first used the app I required no special instruction. Just navigating through the menus was enough to show me what I needed to do. The folks at MyColorScreen did an amazing job of creating something that can be accessible to just about anyone.
As much as I am impressed by Themer, I won’t use it. Why? Because I need to be in 100% control of what I put on my screen. I have been themeing my phone since I had the first Moto Droid. Themer doesn’t offer the same freedom that you get with a home replacement launcher like Nova or Apex and that’s fine. Themer isn’t meant for people like me. It’s meant for people who want a new look, but don’t know how or are too intimidated by home replacement launchers. Some people need the work done for them and there is nothing wrong with that. The downside is the loss of originality and for the few like me that’s a deal breaker.
Themer is one of the most impressive launchers too come out for Android. I can definitely see this becoming the go to app for the average consumer when they want to change the look of their phone. Is Themer going to replace any of the established home launchers out there? No, it’s too limited on what the user can tweak. Themer is like going to the art store and buying a nice painting, where as conventional home replacement launchers are like a blank canvas. I’ll be the first to admit that a lot of the themes available on Themer look better than what I can do, but I still prefer a look that is 100% mine.