No BlackBerry 7 Themes until mid 2012 :(

BlackBerry 7 Themes
By Kevin Michaluk on 3 Nov 2011 07:51 pm EDT

In a interview with RIM's new VP of Developer Relations, Alec Saunders, Alec provided an update on the status of BlackBerry 7 support in the BlackBerry Theme Studio tools. From CIO:

Another interesting tidbit for BlackBerry developers: Though a compatibility issue with the new "Liquid Graphics" engine in the BlackBerry 7 OS has kept RIM from releasing BlackBerry Theme Studio tools for the latest BlackBerry OS, Saunders says these tools will become available mid-2012, he says. (RIM has an internal theme building tool, which is how the company built the custom "Porsche" theme used on the new, limited edition BlackBerry P'9981 device, but the tool is not available to developers outside of RIM, according to Saunders.)  

So there you have it. If you were thinking the custom theme on the BlackBerry p9981 was a leading indicator that a BB7 Theme Studio release was just around the corner, unfortunately that's not the case.

Mid 2012 sure is a long wait. I feel bad for all the theme developers out there who love creating awesome third party themes. Honestly, by mid-2012 I won't be wanting to theme my BlackBerry 7 Smartphone.... I'll be wanting to theme my BBX SuperPhone!

Source: CIO

Reader comments

No BlackBerry 7 Themes until mid 2012 :(


RiM wants to prevent people from installing themes on the new devices to assure that they operate better.
Notice how much smoother & quicker your device is when you install the STOCK THEME compared to running ANY CUSTOMIZED THEME...
People blame the lagging on their BlackBerry that is "slow".
No themes for new OS7 is just 1 way that RiM can make the devices work as well as possible(aside from all other bugs n things, ofcourse)
"Liquid graphics broke theme engine" = BS

it doesnt take much concentration to lie to everyone about "liquid graphics breaking os7 theme engines"...theyve been lying about PB OS2...why should it be so difficult to lie at all now, about anything...
they do have bigger fish to fry, but theyre still in the kitchen playing with the little burnt pieces of shrimp left in the pan...

I agree 100%. I love themes like most BB users but they are too much of a liability. Doesn't anyone ever ask themselves why the other smartphone manufacturers don't allow custom themes? One of the most important drivers for a product to succeed, is the need for a consistent experience for all users. It helps define the brand and make people all fuzzy inside :)

This is not OK!!!!

RIM needs to get their heads out of their asses! This is completely unacceptable... This should have been working on this since BB7 was just a concept. This should still not have bugs and should NOT take 9 months to fix!

Well I'm glad the new VP of Developer Relations has taken RIM's corporate mantra to heart - tell everyone to wait.

My 9930 is a beautiful phone with very limited support. Can't get the apps I want. Can't get the themes I want. How long can I continue to support the platform that won't support me?

i second that, and i already made the leap to iOS. its bitterweet because i didnt think i would ever leave my BB but i refuse to pay x amount of money every month for a phone that is so undersupported. iOS has its weaknesses but it makes up for it with developer support and ease of use.

mid 2012 is absoluetely unacceptable. by that time the BB7 devices will be such yesterdays news that it will hardly matter anymore.

i will forever keep my 9930 and certainly will fire up some themes when they become available, but this is just laughable.

At the alarming rate the stock is plumetting
Don't expect anything from rim, it will be bankrupt or bought by some other company :(


I used to be a theme junkie for my Bold 9700. Danieloco was my fav. Honestly though I don't really mind not having themes on my 9900. Loving the look of OS 7.

All of these "waits" is making me sorry I moved to Blackberry, come on RIM shareholders, call a meeting, out the co-ceo's and bring fresh leadership please or else BBX will not save RIM.

I can walk, chew gum and read an email on my 9930 at the same time, how about you?

I was looking forward to a "liquid graphics" enabled "Today Theme". Having that instant calendar of upcoming appointments looking me in the face automatically really helps.

With regards to RIM, it just makes me all the more curious about the environment and what's going on "inside" this place. I don't think what is being demanded from a business user/consumer standpoint is all that unreasonable in a lot of areas. There are other manufacturers that roll out products across multiple platforms for dozens of carriers globally. RIM's problems are not unique.

Anyway, here we are...

Not eveyone can afford to spend more money on a BBx phone when they just got their OS7 phones in hand. I toooo feel for the theme developers who welcome a challenge and have more artistic flair to offer different exciting venues for the masses. The middle of 2012 and PB 2.0 in NFL season will be over (was looking forward to my teams theme running on my 9850). ;-) Just have to keep a smile because disapointment makes you feel worse yet again....

I'm not interested in themes. If putting out tools for themes means taking away resources for BBX superphone development, then this delay is a good move. Look at the big picture folks.

Come on, we don't need themes on our Blackberries.

We also don't need all those other apps for iPhone, Android and MS7 phones. Our Blackberries do what we need them to do and that is it.

We Blackberry users should be happy with what we've got. We have great keyboards and BBM, what else do we need?

If we want all the fancy and modern features we would just buy the other phones.


yeah true, we dont need all this and we dont need blackberry itself :)

i need skype, i am forced to have a iphone as my second phone coz blackberry never gonna have skype,


I have Skype on my Bold 9930 and previously on my Storm 2. I am with Verizon. Gooogle Voice also works as well? Looks like its up to the carrier.

As a theme dev who has no respect or love for RIM anymore this doesn't shock me, its what they do! Iv said before, tb7 should have been released the same day the 99xx hit the shops but it was obvious that it wouldn't of! I love theme building but as sales are sucky lately because of this I don't think I can continue to do it just for a hobby!

yeah yeah, we keep only dreaming with RIM before of lunch of any device and then we screw up with RIM, i am sure that so called Super Phone will still be behind of devices we have today

The OS7 devices are behind anything dude. Android is the ugliest operating system known to man, and IOS is a beautiful cage.

Rim is the only option for adults.

This makes me want to rush out to buy a BB7 phone with a 2 year contract because I know RIMM will be there to support the OS7 phones 6 months from now.

Best part with RIM is that every time they promise us something and then minwhile before releasing that super phone RIM tells us ok guys now we release these phones u just go and buy that one before we release that final super one, and its keeps going this way for last 3 years. And we all like schoold kids go and do what teacher told us.

I am done with RIM, this 9900 is my last blackberrry phone i am gonna use!

Maybe its just me but for now, the 9900 is perfect just the way it is. Its an amazing piece of comm device coupled with the smoothest berry os to date. Why cant we just enjoy what Rim and its users have been wanting for a very long time. I upgraded old curve to the 9900 and playbook 32 gb. Its a freeking perfect match. Everything works so incrediably smooth and seamlessly. Other then spell chk and, auto correct and texting for playbook, its a great match. I almost never had to use my 9900 as i was able to access everything thru playbook, xcept answer calls n texting.

For now and the near future xtra apps n themes are the last thing on my mind. With my 10 gb data plan l'm in berry heaven right now. Just came back from malaysia and ppl there r drooling @ playbook n 9900. Everytime i take it out i get a freekin million questions about it, its a beautiful thing. Quite a few ppl there think the ipad is way overrated, and quite suprised by their remarks. Alot of them feel that apple have grown into a fat greedy company, and these remarks come from the local universities. imho, the us consumer tech market seems no longer relevent anymore. Rim is right to focus internationally cus thats where the main interests lie.

To me security is the most important factor in a mobile device, everything else is secondary, which i also feel is where Rim's DNA lies. Just look at the state of the net now. I am probably the few but i will comtinully stand by Rim. Despite these frustrating outages and freeking crazy promises and annoying delays, i just see them as growing and painful transitional stages. All things will come in due time. If Rim can focus on security and continually safeguard its infastructures i'm content. I'm willing to sacrifice half a billion apps for security any day of the week. Wih an industrial grade qnx with its years of proven field usage i'm an xtremely content user. Than again i'm probably the xtremely few.


But as a counter point there are BB users that are sitting on old devices hoping for BBX when we upgrade. Also, I hope RIM patented the bridge because after using the Playbook I won't buy another tablet that connect to my phone. It truely is the perfect marriage.

That would be a huge mistake if they didnt patented it. The bridge is, i think, a great tech innovation for a mobile device to date. It seems on par with some of apple technologies for their iphone.

So is there anyway we can change Alec's title VP of relations. Then remove every phone at RIM including the Co-Ceo's phone.

I would love to see Alec saunders run Rim. I can see him as the face of Rim easily right now. Its seems obvious there is probably an internal struggle between the co ceo right now. At devcon, if that was him on stage, as i was busy traveling and didnt get to pay close attention, he displayed alot of confidence and showed strong leadership which Rim so desperately needs right now.

if they wont release the theme builder for a while then at least release some factory themes to bide time

Exactly my thought. Back whenI had my first BB five years agop (the 8100), they had OEM themes available via OTA.

I could care less about BBX, QNX, themes, apps or release dates for anything. I just happy with my little Torch 9860 and everything it offers me.

Well I am now sure they will loose many users. I hope I am wrong though. Too many missteps from a marketing standpoint.

Why a company will hold me if they give a clear message. I don't mind delays I can deal with that because I'm an adult. But don't lie to me that is why Alec is a breath of fresh air. Hopefully his clear and consise answers will filter through the company.

hihi - true, there are a lot of disappointments from RIM recently (or since a few years...)

I often read something about Flash on the OS6 than OS7 devices but I assume it will never be on this os/devices.

Hopefully the 7.1 will get me the "promised" wifi hotspot.

This is something I really miss. I won't buy a Playbook but eyeing on some android devices and with wifi I could just took the cheaper wifi version.

Would safe me one time ~100 plus monthly ~10 (which I could use to upgrade the BB Data Plan up to 5GB (from 300MB).

So I really hope this time no disappointments in wifi hotspot.

Finger cross for that my carrier allow this (as RIM again does everything for the interesst of the carrier instead of the us, probably :/ )

We Blackberry users are not cutting edge. My Bold 9650 works fine. No use in upgrading to a slightly faster Bold 9930.....

I dont think is a matter of cutting edge. I think berry users are a different kind of users where communication is first and formost, and eye candy is not as important or intergral part of the user experience.

Hate to admit this but i would love to see Alec saunders run Rim. I can see him as the face of Rim easily right now. Its seems obvious there is probably an internal struggle between the co ceo right now. At devcon, if that was him on stage, as i was busy traveling and didnt get to pay close attention, he displayed alot of confidence and showed strong leadership which Rim so desperately needs right now.

The bunny I just shot and put on my phone just isn't as cute, and it makes it hard to open apps. Damn bunnies.

Themes on BB OS7 devices are a "nice to have", RIM doesn't have time to dedicate resources to stuff like that, they have to be focused on BBX/QNX phones.

This is actually a good sign, they get it, it's do or die time.

RIM sucks .... badly..... wtf is this? no themes until new phones (supposedly) hit the market? this is bullsh!t. fk RIM. i love my 9900. loved my 9780 hell i even loved my 8330. but I'm sick of RIM's bull. hope the CEOs get hit by a bus.

I feel like buy my BB7 phone was a waste. . .Maybe if I could run BBX on the damn thing once it came out then maybe I'd feel like it wasn't a complete lost. . .

Rim is killing themselves with these statements.
And pissing off a large developer basis (far beyond app world and shop.crackberry is a sucky idea.

it doesn't really matter for me anyway, i think it's better for RIM to perfect up its OS 7.1 and release it ASAP on an update and keep firing up the BBX rather than being stuck in fixing the OS 7's theme generator. let the stock theme roll out as how it is in the meantime.

Rim has an internal theme builder. Why couldn't they have made a today theme as well as the regular one? I know it is a long time ago, but my 8820 came with an official today theme!!!!!!! WTF RIM?

One of the main reasons I like BB is because it is a tool for me. Part of that is the great email support. The other part is that it is my ****ing calendar! I need a today theme! It keeps me organized and allows me to not remember when meetings are, when bills are due, etc, freeing up that memory to do more useful things.

I like the BB platform, but at the rate RIM is going, the 9930 will be my last BB.

They are restricting the developers ability to generate income yet they are the ones who have solicited developers to come on board! They don’t want a group of people on their front lawn with the press there. Besides themes have always been a part of blackberrys and the consumer who buys their devices are not getting all the options RIM promises to them… RIM has solicited developers…we have come on board and now they are refusing to provide the tools to develop… that the consumer is not getting what they are paying for…its like buying Windows and having no programs available…all we are asking for is what they advertised to developers, yes even us lowly theme developers! That’s the way RIM is treating us right.

Petition to get BlackBerry Themes on BlackBerry 7 Before Mid-2012

How is this news? they always take months or even almost a year to release their tools after they have released the platform :\

They just go the other way around...

All of a sudden, my 9930 isn't so great anymore. Knowing that a simple TODAY theme is 9 months away really pisses me off.

RIM your losing loyal customers now. F U! I'm a pure play business user. We created you, and are a dying breed that is loyal. If the iPhone 4S wasn't so "gay" I'd be gone from Blackberry's.

I think the people that really want themes and really don't want themes is somewhat split 50/50. I don't think that making a theme builder is taking away resources from the development of BBX. I love my BlackBerry because it gives me the opportunity to express myself like no other platform does. I am a designer at heart and making BlackBerry themes has made my passion a reality. I would be the happiest BlackBerry fan when theme builder is released next year and will still be wanting theme support for BBX.

BlackBerry 4 Life!
I love my BlackBerry community, stay awesome :)

I don´t get why people keep crying about themes?!
I never had a bug-free theme on my bbs except the "original" ones.

It´s funny how people react, when they read: DELAY!!!!!!!!!
It doesn´t matter if it´s something useful or not!

People also need everything a new Iphone offers...
Frontfacingcam, a thing that has been on the market for years, no one carred.
Apple brought it in - must have!

Siri, no one used voicecommand.
Apple brought it in - must have!

So people, Iphone users almost never use any themes.
you also don´t need em. ;)

people arent crying about themes, well ok some are, but the reality is that from this and devcon, the bottom line is ALL bbos devs are now obselete. the dev community that they were trying to foster so as to gain more apps jus found out going forward all their work is wasted, thats where the issues lie.

plus it proves rim still have problems exectuing. sorry but 8 months from now? plus however long they`ve been working on it, simply to adapt their own program they use for their themes into a consumer program which theyve been running for years? THAT is the issue here, if anything it shows they are moving backwards as a beta theme developer for OS6 was out within 3 months of OS6.

I think it is an absurdity that there will be no themes for OS7 until 2012. I had iReflect7 Carbon theme on my 9650, and it actually made the device more useful because of the additional shortcuts it provided.

And for those of you who think a theme is what makes a BB lag, then you are using a poorly designed theme.

Themes are part of our BB culture. They are what make our devices unique. One of the things I love is browsing the "What does your BB screen look like?" threads to see what other people are putting on their home screens. It is lame to see the 9930 posts - everyone's screen looks the same, but just with a different background.

So, no apps or Themes for OS7. I'll deal with it. But this shot is getting old - real old.

i used to laugh at my girlfriend and her iphone 3gs because she couldn't use themes and i had all kinds of themes on my 9700... now she's got ios5 jailbroken and uses all kinds of themes and i'm stuck with the default OS7 theme until mid 2012.... funny how things can change

This is probably going to sound stupid but... I don't really understand the whole issue with the theme studio. Isn't there a way they can make themes using something else? Like for the torch 9810, cant they use what they used for the 9800? just curious...

The 9900 is a great device, but it's at least a year late to market. Still no themes, no WiFi hot spot, and very few apps (not even Kindle). And I initially thought that the EDOF camera would be OK, but now I realize that a whole class of apps (reading bar codes) is out of reach.

I'm starting to think that even RIM is believing the "BlackBerry is dead" propaganda. I don't consider myself impatient, but this reminds me of the wait, wait, wait for Palm to innovate (Remember Palm OS 6 vapor ware?). And when they finally did, it was too little too late.

It's like being in an abusive relationship: I keep hoping that it will get better, but in the back of my mind I'm becoming convinced that it won't.

Wtf are these down syndromes at RIM talking about? There is no such thing as Liquid Grahpics, its not like a piece of software that enables the phone to run smoothe, the only thing that does that is the lightwieght OS and t signifficant jump in hardware specs along with proper optimization.

Liquid Grahpics broke the theme builder? It take half a year+ to make a theme builder than it does to make a whole new OS for smart phones? What idiot would believe these dumb flop4brains? If you guys had any decency this thing should've been out back in July when the Bold 9900 should have been out. Go to Hell RIM. Terrible company to be honest.

RIM has a theme builder to make stock themes for os7 phones.. so they DO have a working theme builder or something along those lines.. it doesn't take a genius to put together a 'lite' version of the manufacturer's theme builder.. they need to start completing the previous OS before working on something else.. stop 'planning' RIM and listen to your customers, i am seriously thinking about going back to the old torch just because themes are a massive part of why i liked the blackberry.. everyone wants to be different and themes are a way of being different.. waiting until next year is too long, if the HTC's and iPhones support theme's through many 3rd party theme applications and their screens are richer and more colourful then RIM are being lazy..

Bahahahaha!!!! Well, I suppose we won't be getting the BBX (BB10) devices until after theme builder is released for BB7 devices. What a joke. I love my 9930, but I eff'n hate RIM. The company is being run into the ground by a couple of goons. Blunder after blunder. :-/