RIM cancels BlackBerry Theme Studio 7 release plans, confirms 'themes' not available for BlackBerry 10

By Bla1ze on 12 Oct 2012 04:14 pm EDT
RIM cancels BlackBerry Theme Studio 7 release plans, confirms 'themes' not available for BlackBerry 10

If you're a BlackBerry theme developer, you've likely been waiting for RIM to release BlackBerry Theme Studio 7 since the first BlackBerry 7 devices started rolling out. As we all know, that didn't happen. Theme developers have had to use work around methods in BlackBerry Theme Studio 6 in order to offer BlackBerry 7 device owners themes and now the final word has come down from the BlackBerry Developer Team.

All plans for BlackBerry Theme Studio 7 have been cancelled due to the fact that feedback from beta testers was not good and it was clear that the quality of the tooling would not be acceptable. In addition to that, confirmation was also handed out for those looking to theme BlackBerry 10:

There will be no Theme Studio product for BlackBerry 10 and there will be no theme support in the BlackBerry 10 OS.

With BlackBerry Theme Studio 7 cancelled and no Theme Studio product being built for BlackBerry 10, what's the suggestion for BlackBerry theme developers? Build great looking apps using Cascades.

As RIM notes accurately, there are a lot of talented and creative folks out there building great looking themes who could be better served by building great user interfaces and beautiful apps. While that suggestion is entirely valid, I'm sure there are a lot of theme developers who'll still be upset at this decision, even if they never expected RIM to deliver BlackBerry Theme Studio 7.

Source: BlackBerry Dev Blog

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RIM cancels BlackBerry Theme Studio 7 release plans, confirms 'themes' not available for BlackBerry 10


"a person familiar with the matter told VentureBeat." - Just so everyone knows what you were referring to, lol.

Who said no Instagram for BB10? The platform isn't even out yet.

Back on topic... Hope theme builders are diversified, things are going to change. You could always build themes for Android.... but to be honest, the quality of themes have really gone down over the years but obviously the platform has been out for some time now...

There's more to BlackBerry 10 than just those two apps, but now that we know Instagram is on, Skype alone couldn't bring down BlackBerry 10 if it seizes to be there on release or afterwards.

Hate to be that guy that says, "told you so." But I did. Seriously, RIMM has not kept a single promise or delivered a single thing since Heins came in. I'd say and people wonder why the stock can't get over $10, but at this point every sane person knows why, and any one paying attention isn't holding out allot of hope. Anyone really thinking that all government agencies and magor corporations and law firms are suddenly looking to add the expense of running a paralell server for BB10 to run along side legacy balckberry? Just as easy to move to a cheaper MDM/ BYOD model for I-phone. But whatever...

Hate to be that guy that says, "told you so." But I did. Seriously, RIMM has not kept a single promise or delivered a single thing since Heins came in. I'd say and people wonder why the stock can't get over $10, but at this point every sane person knows why, and any one paying attention isn't holding out allot of hope. Anyone really thinking that all government agencies and magor corporations and law firms are suddenly looking to add the expense of running a paralell server for BB10 to run along side legacy balckberry? Just as easy to move to a cheaper MDM/ BYOD model for I-phone. But whatever...

Who said no instagram for BB10? Was it launched already? Did I miss it?!

Also, am I the only one that's m'eh about themes? I mean, I tried a few back in the day but for me themes died with my Curve 8900. Photoshop exporter for Cascades, those theme devs should give it a whirl!

people have work around making themes without the builder but a lot of them dont fully function properly because of it.

this really sucks for the BB faithfuls who stuck around and support OS 7. Its the best Blackberry OS out right now but its constantly ignored. *sigh*

and will there really be no Instagram? if so, thats really not a good look. Thats like a smartphone with no twitter.

Not really concerned about themes either. All I want is the ability to choose my wallpaper.
Regarding Instagram, I really don't get that app. I just see it an app that makes ugly people look better - nothing more. Also, there are so many rumors that how do we even know the Instagram thing is true? Recall that RIM has a very close relationship with Facebook who own Instagram.

I must admit, I was a theme whore for a year...but ive been off the junk for a while...life is better without themes

i'm with you all on this... I really dont care either way. BUT... Themes were what made you personalize your BB as your own in someways. This move seems like an Apple Iphone bubble where you cant be an individual.


i miss being able to fully customize my phone the way I wanted to do. Themes are slim picking these days. A lot of themes dont even fully function properly (hidden folders/missing options, etc..). Thats why I just stick with the stock theme.

I think that RIM figures that not enough people use themes. And I agree that it isn't worth the money or effort to be able to incorporate them. Besides, there will always be people out there who will make themes for BB10. Maybe in the future we will be able to do something along the lines of people jailbreaking their iPhones.

No, you're not alone. I don't use themes, but I am very disappointed that RIM is doing essentially what MANY development have done; ignore BlackBerry, based on the percentage of people using it.

I understand the whole "BlackBerry people do", but I have known many people that have left BlackBerry because they felt less and less developers were supporting it and to hear that they're not going to support the developers on this is not what I wanted to hear.

As a former theme developer its not so much the issue of no longer supporting themes anymore its the stringing along of theme developers for over a year. Many theme devs make the majority of their income off of themes so to spend a year saying "sit tight it's coming" and then pull the plug was such an ass move. At least when they gave the finger to JAVA devs it was instant so they could start planning on their next steps. Im lucky that I transitioned away from themes over a year ago but not everybody did.

Yep. RIM could not have handled it any more poorly. The message is clear that, once again, their commitments to their customers are not important. I have been a passionate Blackberry evangelist since I switched from my Palm Treo to my BB Curve, but now it is just painful for me to watch RIM's slow decline - sitting idle while their competition eats them alive - putting all of their hopes into their next big OS that is years too late. It is like Palm all over again.

I've used the Porsche Design theme on my 99 since the day someone leaked it. Never seen a need for any other theme. Sucks for the theme makers though.

Another SAD day in the world of RIM. Yet again RIM makes a promise only not to keep.....when does the madness end. I love the ability to totally customize my BlackBerry and without TB7 that puts a limit on what can be done with personalized themes, also NO custom themes for BB10.....VERY DISAPPOINTED........again. I guess a major decision has to be made by me concerning my next mobile platform. This is the last straw that broke the camels back. If this is true, I might as well purchase an iphone, at lease I will have third party accessories and apps.....that's right I said it........!!!!!

wow bud chill. you are buying an iphone now because there is no THEMES on bb10? It doesn't sound like your hiarchy of needs is in line with the blackberry solution anyway.

In all seriousness, That's not what he said. Everyone that moved from BlackBerry to other platforms had their "straw".

With that said, he was probably trolling.

I don't use the BB because it has themes but the themes make it mine. I personally hate the trays and am diappointed that something that RIM isn't supporting the creativty of themes.

What? No Themes. Blahhhhhhhh. I better be amazed with BB10. It isnt a big deciding factor but it is nice to have some options to change.

As long as the default theme looks good, the icons look good, and you can change wallpaper, etc., then I think it's not as important. It'd be largely inconsequential if you can modify settings that might otherwise be part of a theme. Things like font style, font size, font colors, menu colors, wallpaper images (perhaps a separate one for lock screen), sounds, etc. Default icons need to be great if we can't change them. Honestly, I don't want to have to change them anyway, so they better not suck.

I could care less about themes.... for the most part they are all crap and I always go back to the stock theme.

I don't think you were looking in the right places. Then again, based on the phone(s) you've used, you could have had a different theme experience than others.

For those who don't understand the importance of themes, it's goes way deeper than the wallpaper. Blackberry has been unique in the ability to port information to the lockscreen, ie - Today theme with upcoming calendar events, and recent email headers, weather, etc

With ZERO button pushes or interaction, all this info was displayed. Business users and soccer moms alike were dependent on this.

Also, the ability to add more icons and larger fonts was invaluable. Themes were the persoanal connection each user had to the mobile device. This was a great advantage over iPhone.

By cancelling TB7 and themes as a whole, RIM has now alienated millions of users who used themes, and theme developers that made the BB experience unique and enjoyable.

My 9930 will be for sale shortly and after 10 years of loyalty to RIM, I'm gone.

RIM, you suck!

I don't know if it is a good idea for business users to display too much information on the lockscreen...defeats the purpose of having a secure platform.

Wow, 10 years of using BB and the only thing keeping you was themes?
Cool story bro. You should add more ninjas.

LMAO- I've never been a fan of the "Cool story bro" comments, but the "You should add more ninjas" was great....and it would not have been the same without the cool story preceding it!


Themes allow more than just colors and stuff. SVG allows you to control how much information you want and how it is presented, plus where they're positioned. BlackBerry 6 is a major disaster to trackpad navigation, custom themes fixed it. And remember: you usually don't fix things that ain't broken.

If RIM decided we need special apps designed to manipulate information presentation on our homescreen, they better have that functionality built-in

the only themes i have ever used, are ones that I made myself. other than that. no loss. sorry for the theme makers as they have lost out but like RIM said, make awesome interface apps, then you get to show off BB10 and still make $$. And if you dont make 10 g's, well y'all know the rest.

What is the big deal about instagram anyway ? Developers have been making some pretty nice themes for OS 7.0 and 7.1 w/o a theme builder I think, so maybe RIM figures they'll do the same for BB10 - just a thought -

You're right, maybe they won't have "Theme Builder" per say, but maybe themes can still be made with their tools.

Pity, but hope BB keeps up the new tradition of putting things into the open source community. As was said, beta testers had trouble, so it just wouldn't be able to be an official release. Open source knows there'll be problems, they'll fix 'em. Hope BB will do that. Make a dogfood theme.

Teens and tinkerers are probably the biggest fans, and they'll be the main market (aside from developing countries) of OS 7 phones in the future, IMO. Do themes make other languages easier to accomodate on phones?

I also have 10 years of loyalty to RIM and not so happy about not having theme builder for my 9900. I love to personalize my phone and the themes was a good way to do that. I am not saying that i will leave because there where other reasons for choosing BB but it is a BIG disappointment. I hope that they end up changing their mind on this.

I have low vision and write my own themes for BB 6.0 phones so I can see them. RIM has never been very proactive when it comes to accessibility but at least they provided us with the tools to allow us to fix it ourselves. Now they seem to are taking that away too.
Meanwhile Android is developing better accessibility support with every version.
I use Blackberry phones because they were aimed at business use while the others seem to be aimed at gamers. I just read an article where RIM is focusing on gaming for the BB10 platform.
I know people with low vision is a small market share but you would think RIM would be trying to keep loyal customers rather than thinking of ways to get us to use another platform.
I haven't read any info on the accessibility features of BB10 but with RIMs history I don't expect much. I also don't expect BB10 devices by May 2013 when I am eligible for a new phone.

Q1 2013. So janurary were all hoping. But even if it isn't, it'll be before may. And did you see the article when kevin went over the dev alpha b settings in bb10. There was a decent amound of accessibility options and I remember one was a gigantic zoom if that helps. Do a little googling see what its like. And wait for bb10 they're not focusing entirely on gaming. That would defeat the purpose of a blackberry, but the bb10 os is very good for gaming so they're trying to get te 3rd party apps which are games onboard so they can win back majority of the consumer market. They aren't abandoning anything.

Gaming capability is a side effect from high processing power. BlackBerry 10 devices have more processing power, so they're more suitable for games, that's my take on the matter.

@shadysprings - I don't know if you've seen the design for the BB10 lock screen, but they're planning to have that info on there by default, so maybe hold off a bit.

It's pretty hard to judge what BB10 will or won't be like, given that most of us do not have alpha devices and have only seen short clips or heard people describing functionality. I think we need to simmer down and just wait until the devices are in our hands before we can accurately say we don't like x or y. Besides, the fact that RIM is not planning to support themes kinda says they think it's going to be so awesome, it won't need a theme. And I say this as someone who uses themes myself :)

Not everyone who uses BlackBerry is a "business user". This thinking is part of why RIM is where it is, while Apple and Android have been catering to all users. The options with a jailbroken iPhone and Android device rooted or not are endless. You don't have to customize, but at least you have the option. Themes may not be important to all, but to many they give the ability to make your device more personal, and yes fun to use. The default layout is boring and not very appealing, in my opinion. Like others have said, BB10 better look damn good for users to not want to change anything about it.

I always liked the idea of themes on the BB, but I never had time to find one that was both attractive and functional on my OS6 device. (I think the stores that sold them never seemed to have an efficient way to scroll through them and find one that appealed to you. For example, I never found a place I could easily filter on which OS version they supported, that also made it easy to quickly browse through that filtered list. I don't have 3 months of spare time to load the page on every theme before being able to see that it's ugly. :P )

So while I ended up never being a themes customer, it seems disappointing that they are eliminating this feature, especially if they strung-along the devs for a while before just dropping this "bomb" on them.

I'm betting it was a cost-saving/efficiency issue - RIM probably wants to focus their resources on things other than having to second-guess theme compatibility every time they want to tweak their UI.

Aside: Sounds like iOS devices don't support themes, and while some people here suggested themes for Android, I could never find anything like that for my Android tablet in the Google store. Where do you get Android themes?

For finding a theme for your phone, you could have used your search engine of choice and found a number to choose from. That's basically how I found the majority of mine. As for finding themes for android, you get them in google play (formerly android market). I'm not sure if there are any for tablets though.

With BB10's active frames, exactly how much more home screen customization does anyone really think they're going to need?!

I want to see wallpaper on my home screen, not icons, not unless I can choose what they look like. The only icon I want to see on the home screen is sound profile and weather icons. I do want to see that. I don't want to see the default blue either. Sick of default blue. I want purple highlights!

Obviously not happy with the way RIM handled this. But I am still going to be making themes for OS6/7 :)

Personally themes were what made me love my BlackBerry 9000 when I first got it. Call me crazy or whatever you want but that is my personal preference.

I have no hopes of themes on BB10, but who knows maybe after RIM releases it and is more stable there can be discussion of themes. I am a graphic designer, but I will always be a BlackBerry Theme Developer.

Thanks to everyone who has and continues to support The World Of Pootermobile

BlackBerry 4 Life!

Not everyone will be moving to the Golden Child called The Ten due to its I'm sure a number of reasons from cost or contract. So for those who have 7.0+ phones who like themes and would like them or a selection thereof are possibly saddened by this news having waited on the word of RIM this past year. Are the numbers of these faithful so little that RIM does not care......do they plan to drop any and all support for models like the 9850/60 once The Ten is released??????

I am very disappointed in this! I loved having my Today+ themes. Honestly, I know it an additional click, but come on, it is so much more useful than a "clean" wallpaper screen. I suppose with BB10, peek is all I need, but is it really that hard to get TB7 out? Even if it is shit? How about just release what works and let the community find a use for it?

Just one more broken promise - what's unexpected about that - yup, call me more than cynical at this moment. Oh, wait, I'm sure that they never PROMISED - so one more broken UNpromise.

I guess I'm in the minority here, but I have always thought that themes were utterly stupid. It always seemed odd that while everyone else on the planet is talking about and celebrating which applications they are now getting on their phones, we here in BBWorld are celebrating a new theme which changes the logos of our phones and rearranges the icons - woohoo, jump for joy, what a modern phone we have!

Granted, there are some great themes out there and there are some developers out there that been very supportive of the Blackberry platform in terms of providing quality themes - RIM's broken promise (now there's a surprise) must feel like a kick in the teeth. These people, I feel bad for.

But as for no themes in BB10 - fine by me; after all, it's apps that I want and not themes.

I wondered when they would get around to announcing this but horrified it took so long. I seem to remember they promised availability in spring of this year. This is typical of a company who doesnt give a stuff about its customers and developers. Why could they not just have made an early decision to close this and issue a formal statement apologising to theme fans and developers, explainingg they were concentrating on BB10. I was a big theme fan as it gave the opportuntity to personalize by mobile... but it is not a major issue to me that it will not be available. I am a long term bb user now with a 9900. i suspect like many others the only reason i stay with blackberry is the keyboard and email. That is their Unique Selling Point and when that advantage goes the company will go down the pan whatever operating system they chuck out.
Good luck to fans waiting for BB10 dont hold your breath, it may be out there by the time my contact is up in Oct 2013

Our company (BlackBerry Live Wallpaper) is very disappointed with this decision. With 355 live wallpapers on App World today, we constantly receive support e-mails asking when our wallpapers will be available for OS7 phones. For the longest time now, all we've been able to tell our customers is that BB is working on theme builder 7 and as soon as its developed we will redesign and release all of our live wallpapers for the newer phones.

Now what? Nothing...

Granted, there are many BB users who couldn't care less about themes. True, but what about those that do? And of those, there are many.

Despite how great BB10 is expected to be, we are once again very disappointed with BB regarding this decision. This is a huge blow to theme lovers and developers alike who have been looking froward to the OS7 theme builder for a long time now.

BB has a long history of putting the cart before the horse. Releasing their new line of phones long before the accommodating theme builder is just an example. Why they've made us wait so long before making this decision is unconscionable. But then again, that's BB. Newer management didn't seem to make much of a difference here...

Very disappointed, yet again.

BlackBerry Live Wallpaper
blackberrylivewallpaper dot com

Customization, for me, has always been half the allure of technology. It's one of the first things I get to work on when I start with a clean pc, phone, tablet, etc. My biggest gripe is all of the BLUE! I've never been a fan of the color. Since my first Windows 3.1, everything comes default blue. Give me the chance to change the backgrounds and the cursor/select blue, and I'll be mostly content.

I like themes and use ones I like to personalize my BlackBerries over the years but what is more important to me is, weren't there direct quotes from BlackBerry employees last month who said the theme builder was to be released any time now? If memory serves there was even a tweet from an employee? I thought we had moved past this with the new regime of promising and then not delivering?

I have to take the opportunity here and give a big shout to the Professional Theme builders and the ones that decided to give it a whirl themselves.

My opinion is this: I think it's kind of sad to take away the ability to customize a theme the way you'd like to see it. That option was always very cool and part of what to me, kept BB unique. I love using a good thought out theme, I'm still running the live banner one on both my personal 9900 and work 9780. It's my opinion that I think its sad to remove this option for theme dev's and for the ratio of people that like the choice. I hope RIM changes their mind to let this option be free once again. Customization is king. Cheers guys.

Well, this is a very disappointing announcement. I created loads of free themes, and even made a couple bucks selling some premiums. But my main focus was always my own convenience and preferences.

I'm confident I will find a way to tailor any new device to my personal desires and usage patterns. On the bright side, I will not have to wrestle with the monstrosity that was Theme Studio.

For every code that's written there's someone that can break it ! So for iPhone it's Jailbreak and for Android it's Rooting and just wait BB10 will have something too and CB will hold a contest for the best name to call it ;)

Meh, for me, themes are awesome and they change the way the blackberry UI looks like. But like the playbook and soon to be blackberry 10, I won't need a theme. But for those disappointed, we feel for you.

But I'm NOT leaving and jumping ship over dangerous waters (or skies or outer space) because there won't be theme builder 7 or themes for blackberry 10.

I think we should all write the executives below and express our dissatisfaction regarding their decision to not release Theme Studio 7.

Here is a list of RIM executives that you should write to:

Thorsten Heins - President and CEO - theins@rim.com
Peter Valin - Manager App World Marketing - pvalin@rim.com
Frank Boulben - Chief Marketing Officer - fboulben@rim.com
Kristian Tear - Chief Operating Officer - ktear@rim.com
Robin Bienfait - Chief Information Officer - rbienfait@rim.com
Alec Saunders - VP of Developer Relations and Ecosystem Development - asaunders@rim.com

Thank you.

Blackberry Live Wallpaper

I find themes to be a total waste of time. I just don't see the point. If you don't like the look of the OS then get another device with another OS. I like to able to customize the looks of the screen with a wall paper, but I never used themes and am shedding no tears here.

Well I used to be a theme developer for BB until I heard this "awesome" news.RIM just fails every time to keep their promises.Now they have this Blackberry 10 10k commitment,now how will they keep that promise if they can't keep their promise to release theme studio 7?Just a couple of weeks ago they said theme studio 7 is en route and now suddenly they just pull the plug!What is this 10k reasons to believe in blackberry 10 anyway?I would rather give 10k reasons not to believe because you just can't believe anything rim says!I just registered as a theme developer for Android market and samsung,I'm done with Blackberry.Best of all is that I was giving classes to disabled people and was teaching them how to make BB themes to make some money from home because they're battling to find jobs.They were all looking forward to build themes for BB7 and now I had to tell them RIM just broke their promise.They were so sad and demotivated.But I will now teach them how to create Android and Bada themes,so much better but I have to start from scratch again.We are all disappointed in RIM and if they don't start to keep their promises soon,they won't last long.They are going to lose a lot of theme developers because of this.Well I'm done with RIM

they aren't just gonna lose the talent of the theme developers and dedication from them. They're gonna lose a lot of consumers due to this decision. one of the big selling points of blackberry is how versatile the device is. and now their just gonna be like their competitors and be all copy right obsessed. it's so rubbish. i sure as hell hope there is gonna be a good phone around when i upgrade in 2014 because blackberry is the only device i like and i'm gonna be real sad if i can't theme it :(

Blackberry is kiilling me. First they come out with these ugly looking phones for BB10 and now themes not available. What the hell? Themes were a part of what made BB unique. And now they wanna be just like the competition. What a joke. Might be Android time. :(