A while ago Alec Saunders “VP of Developer Relations” at RIM had promised theme devs Theme Studio 7 software would be released near the end of Q2 2012. But given the current state of things do we really expect this software to come out now?
I’ve still kept a pretty close contact with all the BlackBerry developers that at one time depended on this software to build their new themes. And yes I do realize developers can build a stock theme with Theme Studio 6 and then with some time consuming tricks they can pull the themes into OS7 & 7.1 devices. However these processes are a headache to code and if you build a theme with a custom homescreen (non-tray layout), then you’ll have a theme that’s loaded with more bugs than you can sell.
I have a handful of these bug filled themes that never saw the light of day because most developers aren’t comfortable with releasing them to the public. You can’t charge consumers for a theme that hides all your apps placed inside of folders. Or turns your app screen into a blank white screen.
The reasons I’m bringing this up again are more for RIM’s benefit than the consumers. — Most of the developers I’ve talked to are still interested in building themes for BlackBerry 7 devices. — Most of these developers aren’t even using a BlackBerry anymore, because they couldn’t bring their self to buy a BB7 device when themes weren’t really possible at the time of their upgrade. — Themes sell and they sell like crazy. — BlackBerry has always been the most original platform because themes were possible and support came directly from RIM.
But on the flipside, and I knew when Alec Saunders talked about themes for 7.0/7.1, that coming out with the software near the time they planned to bring out BlackBerry 10 devices could be too little too late for many users/devs. RIM really should focus on BlackBerry 10 moving forward. I think many users, devs would agree. And does RIM have time or resources to pull a rabbit out a hat right now?
I originally got more into BlackBerry because I loved the culture and arts that themes introduced. Nowadays I’m able to thrive and blog about many other aspects of BlackBerry news, apps and hardware. But as a fan I’d love to see themes again. As well RIM could really use these once BlackBerry devs now turned Android & iPhone users back on their team again. What’s stopping these developers? A lack of software. I do believe June is right around the corner, so we’ll just have to see what happens.
And as a side note, this post is not created to get people in a frenzy over themes. Please be respectful and do not go bombing Alec Saunders with negative comments. Let’s keep it positive and show RIM we can be fans and devs that are proud to rock the Berry! Thoughts.. and insights are welcome..