When it comes to themes, as I’ve previously mentioned, I’m a functionality guy. I prefer themes that get me shortcuts to my most used apps so I don’t have to go searching through the menu. With shortcuts, I can flip from BBM to SMS to FaceBook to Twitter and back in a heartbeat. It’s one of the things I love about my BlackBerry. Yet BlackBerry users use themes for many different reasons.
Some people use themes to change the layout of the icons. That was key back in the days of BB OS4 and BB OS5. My first theme was a Crossbar theme. I changed my Pearl 8100 from having 6 icons across the bottom to having 10 icons I could scroll through in the center of the screen. I loved it and immediately understood why people loved themes.
Still, other people use themes to show off their passion for a sports team, company, or hobby. That’s what Dubstep is about. I’ve hit the age where keeping up with trends is becoming harder. It happens to the best of us. So, when I first downloaded Dubstep, I really wasn’t sure what Dubstep meant. Themes often have clever names (8-bit, crossbar, etc.) and so I tried to use my brain to figure what it meant to the theme and how it worked. Turns out, I was off base.
Dubstep, as I found out in my research, is a dance style that reminds me of breakdancing, but without the backspinning, handstands, etc. The music of Dubstep has a very particular set of rules as many music styles do. Ska, for example, is made of up beats and off beats. Wikipedia and YouTube helped me out on Dubstep. Once I understood Dubstep, I understood the theme.
The Dubstep theme, by BerryGlowDesigns, is what is considered a Zen theme. It’s a throwback to OS5 where there are no panes (thank you!). There are six customizable icons at the bottom of the screen which are relative to the first six in your menu. Working your way up the screen is where Dubstep becomes highly useable.
Scrolling up from the left-most icon takes you to the speaker icon which is a shortcut to your sound options. While I mostly (99% of the time) use the Q button to switch from normal to vibrate, it’s nice to be able to quickly access that menu.
Scrolling up from the right-most icon highlights your signal meter and is a shortcut to Manage Connections. This one is a must for me. I’m often turning my radios on and off as I switch UMA to 3G so as not to connect to random WiFi networks.
Finally, scrolling up from any of the middle four icons takes you first to the clock for a shortcut (it took me a while to notice that middle stop) and then to a bar where your notifications show up. Clicking on the bar opens your unified messages inbox. I love my unified messages inbox. I have everything pour in there so that I’m not having to open this inbox for that email, and Twitter for my feed, etc. However- M does the same thing. When there is already a faster shortcut (pressing M is faster than scrolling and clicking), I don’t see a need for that version. What I would have rather seen is that to open a today screen, showing upcoming calendar events (not messages, I’ve got that covered).
Dubstep wasn’t necessarily built for functionality. As I mentioned, Dubstep is about showing off your Dubstep pride. It’s visually appealing to me. Check out the screen shots. There’s a beautiful background of greys, turquoise, and a splash of red. It reminds me of a graffitied wall. In the center are the words “We Love Dubstep,” with Love in red and the others in white. That makes sense for the theme. It’s about Dubstep.
Funny side story- I was having a conversation with a co-worker (he still rocks a 9530; yes a Storm 1) about two days after obtaining the theme, and he mentioned Dubstep, looked at me a second and said, “You know what Dubstep is?” I snapped up my Berry and flashed the screen. He gave me knuckles. Thank the Dubstep theme for that one.
The most impressive part of the theme I’ve saved for last. It’s the transitions. I like transitions. They make interacting with the device more fun. The problem I’ve run into is that typically, transitions will slow down my Berry and make using it less enjoyable; Not so here. The transitions, which take form of fly in from center, fly out from center, and drop in from top, are quick and painless. I *knew* it could be done! They are fluid and great for showing off to non-believers.
My overall take; I am able to use Dubstep as a daily driver. It’s not my *perfect* theme, but there is enough functionality for me to be able to get what I want done quickly, often without looking. The transitions and colors make it awesome for showing off and if you love Dubstep, people will know it by your Berry.
Dubstep, by BerryGlowDesigns, is available in AppWorld for $2.99 which, for me, is where premium themes should be priced. If I’m passionate about something, I’ll shell out $3 to let people know and support my habit… er, hobby.