Customization is one of Android’s biggest features and one of its greatest advantages over other mobile operating systems. While Custom ROMs are an offering for advanced users, many are contempt with customizing using one of the many launchers available on the Google Play Store.
A quick search on YouTube provides dozens of videos describing how to create beautiful themes for your device, allowing you to create a customized launcher to fit your needs. The biggest problem with these though is the sheer length of time that it takes to tweak your launcher to the perfect theme, taking hours on end, and they often don’t end up anywhere near as beautiful as the ones in the tutorial.
So the folks at MyColorScreen set out to provide beautiful, classy and elegant themes which could be applied to a device with a single tap. This is how Themer was born, and it’s now available as a closed beta. With a lot of hype surrounding the app, you know we just had to put it through its paces.
Editor’s note: The Themer app is still in beta, so there may be some changes in the application once it gets out of beta and becomes public. These opinions are all based on the beta version of the application. We’ll have a video review when the app goes public.
After downloading the application you are faced with a few options. Since this is a closed beta, the app requests for you to insert a code which the developers supply you. If you’ve yet to sign up for the beta, you can also do so in the app.
After you eventually get your code, the app requests you to login to either your Facebook or Google account. This is so that the developers can ensure that nobody is abusing the theme downloading system; once you’ve done that you are ready to use the app.
The application is designed fairly well. There’s a search bar in the top right corner so that you can search through the themes, and a swipe from the left side reveals a bar with all of the settings, themes, sharing abilities, as well as the option to logout.
The launchers perform decently on my Nexus 4. I wouldn’t call them blazing fast, but there’s no lag unless you try to quickly swipe through the pages. Despite this being a beta app, it’s incredibly stable, with the only crash occurring when I tried to tweak the app preferences in the app.
Setting themes is fairly easy. You can browse through all of the available options and, once you’ve decided on a theme, you simply tap on it and it’ll begin downloading and applying the theme.
If it’s the first time you are trying the theme, there will be a pop up asking for permission to access the information it displays, like your RSS feed, messages, and email numbers and what is being played in your music app. This is standard procedure on launchers and is to be expected, so don’t fret. Once that’s done, the theme has been applied and you can start poking through the launcher to see if you like the theme.
Remember that, despite the Themer name, this isn’t a theme that goes on top of your current launcher like Nova or Apex. Instead, the app actually replaces your current launcher. The Themer app has over 50 themes which range from elegant and simplistic custom themes, to themes based on popular culture like Breaking Bad, GTA 5 and Super Mario. It’s highly unlikely that you won’t find something that suits you.
Customization and tweaking
Once you’ve chosen your favourite theme, you can then tweak it to suit your exact needs. One method of customization is to configure the “Everything Widget”. This is a widget with a plethora of additional options including the ability to add buttons for the time, date, weather and battery. You can set actionable areas where the user can tap on to open up an application or create a mini widget to show what song you are playing.
This customization is triggered by holding down on the screen, unlocking the widgets, then holding down on where a widget is placed and pressing configure. You can also choose to remove or resize the widget, if you so choose. Besides the Everything Widget, the app also comes with dialer, calendar and analog clock widgets, as well as widgets for your RSS feed (you can import from Feedly if you’d like) and a Reddit widget.
You can also add home screens, themer actions, apps and shortcuts and change your wallpaper. Themer offers loads of customization options which will satisfy all but the biggest customization freaks, however, it would be nice if Themer offered extra wallpapers which suit the theme that you’re using, so that you can add extra home screens and retain the sleek look of the rest of the home screens (currently, Themer will direct you to your gallery).
The overall controls for customization are a little finicky and take a little time to get used to, but luckily, most themes don’t even require you to tweak with them and most users can leave them alone.
Sharing your theme with friends
Another cool feature is the ability to share your theme with friends. So, if a friend likes how you’ve setup your device, a few simple taps and a data transfer are all that’s required to set the same theme on your friend’s device.
You can do this by going into the Themer app, clicking on settings, Advanced and clicking on Export Theme. Your design will then be found in the Themer app folder in your phone’s data base and you can share it with your friend to be installed on their device.
- Themer’s appeal is that it’s a one-tap theme launcher. Instead of wasting hours trying to copy the theme you saw on the internet, Themer can install themes onto your device within 30 seconds. If you don’t like it simply try another one.
- Despite being a beta product, Themer is a solid performer for the most part.
- The Everything Widget offers some powerful customization options.
- The wide variety of themes means there’s something for everyone.
- The app is free, and doesn’t require the downloading of additional apps and widgets from the Play Store to use to full capacity.
- Controls for customization can be a little finicky, and the app would benefit from an undo button.
- The option to resize the widget and to configure the widget are separate, when really they should be combined.
- Lack of a tablet version of the app is disappointing, although the developers tell us that the app will eventually support tablets.
- Clicking on the icons option within the app leaves you staring at an empty page and trying to tweak the app preferences crashes the launcher.
- Some themes are so well designed that I found it difficult to incorporate my own tweaks and customizations without ruining the overall design of the theme.
Themer beta requires an activation code! You can sign up to get one at: http://themerapp.com and you will be added to the wait list. Or, you can enter our giveaway to win one of 50 activation codes!
The giveaway rules:
- 1 entry per person
- 1 entry ticket for leaving a comment on why you like Android Authority
- 1 entry ticket for joining our Android Authority Newsletter (Sent once a week, not spam, we promise!)
- up to 10 bonus entries for referring others to the giveaway.
Update: The contest is over and the winners have been announced above. If you’re one of the lucky winners, we’ve sent the activation code to your email address (make sure to check the email you used to enter the contest). Thank you to all those who left kind words in the comments, your support is very much appreciated. If you didn’t win, don’t worry! There are still amazing giveaways coming up and a giveaway every Sunday in the Sunday Giveaway!