Pootermobile was kind enough to give me an exclusive first look at his newestupcoming theme, Cadencia. While continuing to work towards BB7 themes though the “officially unofficial” workaround, Pootermobile has not forgotten the large base of OS5 and OS6 users. This time around, the theme focuses on being uniquely wallpaper friendly and functional. First, let’s take a look at how Cadencia looks.
As far as looks go, Cadencia isn’t about what the icons look like, what the color scheme is or such. It’s about showing off your wallpaper and it’s fantastic if that’s what you’re looking to do. The general look of the theme will not distract onlookers from your background. As an amateur photographer, I love that about Cadencia. My 9780 becomes a way to show off my work. For others, it’s a way to show off their favorite BB based image such as Pootermobile’s recent BlackBerry Squadron wallpaper. Still for others, maybe it’s about having the family photo to look at, the favorite band, video game, (insert what you like here). The point being, Candencia lets you show off whatever you feel like showing off without being intruding.
The first thing I noticed about Cadencia is that it drops the panes of the stock OS6 theme. I understand the concept of the panes, and they work well on the PlayBook, but I have been ever so happy since Theme Builder 6 came along so we could get rid of them. Instead of the panes, Cadencia has a row of six standard-sized icons in a charcoal grey banner across the top of the screen. Naturally, those icons reflect the first six in your all app window. Just above the icon banner is the date, dead center at the very top in white font.
At the bottom of your screen, Cadencia places a translucent mini-banner featuring the following icons from left to right: The clock, BT, WiFi, BIS, Connection type (UMA, 3G, EDGE, etc), Ring profile (Vibrate, Silent, Loud, Normal, etc), Signal Meter, Battery Meter, and finally a new icon that looks like a Tic-Tac-Toe board; more on that icon later. Just above the mini-banner is where your notifications appear. Email, text, Twitter, BBM, etc.
In between the top banner and bottom mini-banner is nothing but large space for your favorite background. The stock image that comes with the theme isn’t anything fancy and it’s begging to be replaced with your favorite. Yes, Candencia is very image friendly, and it gets even more so when you get into the functionality.
For those of us who prefer to keep our available homescreen icons for our apps and use shortcuts for everything else, Cadencia offers two homescreen hotspots. In the mini-banner at the bottom, the Ring Profile icon a shortcut to Profile selector; always helpful for a quick change of volume. The Signal Meter icon is a shortcut to Manage Connections which for me is key. I jump from WiFi to cell quite a bit so being able to jump into Manage Connections without taking up a homescreen icon and without having to switch to my all apps screen is a huge bonus.
Cadcenia also brings with it Pootermobile’s quick, painless transitions. Apps slide in left from the right side and exit stage left. The transitions are clean and make the device look sharp as the apps flow across the screen.
Now, about that Tic-Tac-Toe looking icon. If you thought that Cadencia was a wallpaper friendly theme already, you’re in for a surprise. Clicking that icon slides the six icons off screen to the left and sucks the banner upwards leaving nothing on the screen but the date, your wallpaper and the translucent mini-banner at the bottom. That means that pretty much your whole image is available for viewing. Want to see your icons again? Click the icon. There is a subtle difference in the icon between the two views. When you have the icons showing, the icon will have a red line through it telling you, “Click me to get rid of the icons,” and has no red line when the icons are gone saying, “Click me to show your icons!”
For some, that’s going to be a major positive. Some may think that it would be a bit of work every time you want to open an app. Scroll down, show apps, scroll up, select app; not the fastest route in the world. Of course, that’s an extreme example. There are easy ways around it. One, leave your most used apps open and use app switcher. Two, use the “m” shortcut to open Messages where Twitter and other notifications show up. In my opinion, leaving heavily used apps open and using app switcher would be the best solution if you want to keep your icons hidden as much as possible. If the banner would instead hide and show based on a keyboard shortcut (say ‘x’ to hide and ‘z’ to show), I think that would perfect theme’s usefulness for being absolutely wallpaper friendly.
I’m proud of my work in photography and I like to be able to share my current work with people. Cadencia is awesome for that! I love BlackBerry, and I love to show off RIMpire, Let’s Rock and Roll This!, BlackBerry Squadron, and other BB related images. Cadencia is awesome for that! As awesome as Cadencia is for showing off images, I wish it had a quick way to access the photo folder to changes images. Add that and a keyboard shortcut for hiding/showing the top banner and Cadencia would be a 9.9/10 for me in functionality. As it stands, I’ll give it a solid 9+. If you’re looking for a great way to show off images, check out Cadencia in BlackBerry AppWorld or on MobiHand when it drops (possibly this week!) on the scene. Great work, Pootermobile!