Most Android users have installed, and uninstalled, dozens of launchers in an attempt to improve or personalize their devices. A lot of these users find that a cool launcher skin can cover up an outdated OS interface, but can slow down the device. This is a shame as Android lends itself so well to customisation and launcher modifications — as evidenced by our epic coverage of the different available options in our Customization Month.
With KitKat installations climbing every hour, a lot of space and processing power on Android devices will be freed up for a better, more robust launcher that truly ticks all the boxes. MyColorScreen’s Themer is trying to be that launcher.
The company has just announced the launch of the app’s public beta onto the Play Store. Before this, it had been in private beta and required an invite code and direct download from their website. Users running Android 4.1 and up should find their devices supported. Let’s take a look at the launcher and the amount of customisation it permits.
Initially, I couldn’t understand what all the great reviews on the Google Play store were about. My first interactions with Themer were slow and arduous. However, the problem seemed to have been my 3G connection. In order to fully load-up all the available themes, a WiFi connection is required. Otherwise, you’ll be waiting for ages.
A popular theme on Themer
To the get the ball rolling, I decided to choose the “City” theme. Themes are downloaded when you click Apply; after this there’s no futher interaction required and the new homescreen will launch within twenty seconds or so. The ‘City’ theme’s simplistic design, great use of the city photograph and the widgets impressed me. Little did I know, Themer was only revealing a small portion of what it had in store.
My Top 5 Themer Themes
Unlike rival launchers, Themer has hundreds of themes available – all of which are totally free and can be downloaded in just a few seconds. I spent a couple of hours trying out as many as I could. Here are the ones I liked best.
An awesome theme inspired by Walter White and Jessie Pinkman
As a huge fan of the show, this one drew me in instantly. The use of the periodic table to house core apps (which can be customised to launch any application) really impressed me. Like a lot of Themer skins, this one doesn’t launch with the centre panel being the main one. Instead, the panel furthest to the left is displayed by default (as it contains the most important shortcuts).
Large tiles, slightly reminiscent of Windows 8
Perhaps a little reminiscent of a Windows 8 setup, this theme has a great fusion of minimalist design with a lot of practicality. It’s a three-panel design featuring large application buttons for email, phone, messaging and weather. These can be switched out or their destination changed. For example, I liked the look of the messaging icon but decided to reroute it to open Whatsapp as opposed to SMS, as that’s my primary messaging app these days. The third screen has numerous small application shortcuts for appaholics along with a large “My Apps” button which will open the Android app drawer.
A colourful setup with stylish fonts
A beautifully designed theme if there ever was one, Horizon displays only the most crucial information in a visually appealing way. The left panel is dominated by weather widgets and a cool text font describing the conditions in your city.
In the main screen, battery condition is displayed as a pie chart just below the clock, which is encased in a small, shadowed circle along with the date. Basic app shortcuts are present along the bottom of the screen for easy access to your browser, camera and other apps.
The right panel contains more shortcuts in grid format but also has an RSS newsfeed which dominates the lower half of the screen. The design, look and feel of this theme is very “Miami Vice”.
One of the many themes with just two panels
This theme is one of the many that only has two panels. The left (main) one is packed full of app shortcuts and information but doesn’t appear too crowded. The standard wallpaper of a tropical idyllic beach compliments all the cacophony going on in terms of text and shortcuts.
Music lovers will happily find a dedicated music player widget in the right panel, beneath which is a news stream which can be loaded with your own personal RSS feed preferences.
A bold, three-panel layout with big fonts
This theme is undoubtedly my favourite and it’s the one I’m sticking with on my personal device for the foreseeable future. The centre panel is split diagonally in half revealing the appealing triangular design of the wallpaper and the crucial information we check our phone for all the time such as emails, texts, missed calls, battery level, weather and time.
The left panel is dominated by application shortcuts in grid format while the right panel is home to a cool music player. This theme’s bold text, great design and practicality make my phone feel brand new.
Phone’s Performance With Themer
I’ve been using Themer for a couple of days now and I haven’t noticed any performance issues with my phone at all. It’s just as quick to unlock, launch apps and respond to the touch of my finger. I have even been playing a few games with Themer running as my default launcher and have had no issues.
However, there are some people on the Play Store reporting issues such as lag when swiping between homescreen panels or the launcher just crashing and reverting to the default launcher. I guess in many instances, it’s important to remember that the app is still in beta and isn’t supported by all phones.
Themer is head and shoulders above any other launcher on the Play Store for several reasons:
It’s very easy to use with no ridiculous settings to trawl through
Customising a theme doesn’t ruin its look
Themes are being sourced from approved designers, of which there are a growing number, meaning hundreds more themes are on the way to compliment the several dozens already available
Virtually no performance issues or bloating (on supported devices)
Supports swipe gestures, including multi-finger gestures
On top of all this, Themer is totally free and makes it really easy to switch back to your previous homescreen. It’s extremely rare that a launcher of this quality, with a dedicated developer behind it, comes along. If you’re running 4.1 and over, you should really check it out; it’s totally worth it.