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RIM Nixes BlackBerry Theme Studio 7 & Recommends Cascades for BlackBerry 10


I have been hearing rumblings about this since late last year when we first heard of Theme Studio 7 being on and off. Tim Neil has finally dropped the axe on BlackBerry Theme Studio 7 after months of missed releases. He said that they decided not to release Theme Studio 7 because the final product did not “address theme developers needs or asks” and “feedback from our theme studio beta testers showed us that the quality of the tooling would not be acceptable.”

Tim has also confirmed that BlackBerry 10 will not be getting any theme tools and theme support will not be in BlackBerry 10. RIM decided this because of the focus on the BlackBerry 10 flow user interface that will have a consistent feel in iconography and settings.

To wrap things up Tim Neil highlights that Theme Developers should look at Cascades to “unleash their creative talent on BlackBerry 10 to create stunning UI animations in apps.” That may actually be a good idea for developers to make more money but the pure graphic design theme developers will probably not be happy. Either way this was more or less inevitable but its sad to say that this is the end of the road for BlackBerry themes. Here is to hoping devs make some slick custom interfaces using Cascades.

12 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. As I see it this is a really bad move…

  2. Like it or not, they just can’t afford making one and trying to launch a new OS and reshape/redesign the whole company.
    Don’t get me wrong I miss those fun themes on my OS 5 bold 9000 phone (which never worked right and froze my phone btw…) but hey, this is their refocus and regroup. (and retreat if I may add in the theme business for now).

  3. Its too bad they couldn’t put the resources towards doing themes right for BB10 as themes have been a nice differentiator for the BlackBerry platform.

  4. It’s things like this that worry me about BB10 and all things Berry

  5. I think this actually a good thing. Themes done in cascades will be the best!

    • Didn’t you read the article? NO THEMES at all! People can build great looking apps with Cascades, sure, but being able to Theme the BlackBerry UI is dead… :(

      • Right, My bad. It’s a shame Blackberry has to give up their competetive advantage to Android. RIMM seems to have the 2 steps back to move forward mentality. First they reduced the convienence key – (very useful for getiing to apps quickly) to 1 and now they eliminated it altogether in BB10. Then they will get rid of the trackpad in BB10 – I found the trackpad very useful for selecting text and scrolling. Now they get rid of themes completely – Themes offer the BB user a choice to give the OS a different look than the stock OS.

        • I have a different take on this. RIM probably doesn’t have the time to get this done right. They can’t guarantee to have a good or stable product so they canned it.

          RIM is telling theme devs to write apps instead using Cascades. There probably aren’t a lot of those dedicated theme devs around now that BlackBerry has lost a lot of market share — at least it’s not a big business.

          This is the new RIM folks. To get things done right, sometimes you have to say no, especially if you can’t make it perfect. This is one of those things, sorry to say.

          Personally, I’d rather have a stable platform that is also consistent and easier to support.

  6. For me it was more that people had been waiting on it only for it to get dropped altogether. How many resources did they use working on TB7 and then it’s “sorry, it’s not good enough”? It’s these types of decisions that keep me concerned.

  7. Doesn’t worry me. I want them focusing on refining the new OS above all.

  8. Themes are waste of time and space. Half of “so call” apps on Appworld are all crap themes. 90% are fugly too.

    good that RIM got rid of themes.

  9. I just hope RIM hasn’t totally given up.
    It doesn’t make sense to focus on themes right now, but it’s great to be able to tune your OS to make it work the way you want it to, without breaking the basic functionalities.

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