The Themer Blog

A Smarter Themer: Major Upgrade to App Drawer & Categories

Dec 18 2013 | 06:14 PM

If you've upgraded Themer Beta to version 1.22, you'll notice some exciting changes. The most obvious is a complete redesign of the app drawer. White and sleek, it's translucent so you can just make out your theme peeking through. Three default tabs--"Categories", "Apps", and "Favorites"--add organization and flexibility.

The "Apps" tab now scrolls vertically, your icons immediately visible with a quick finger flip. Clicking on the tab itself gives you the option to hide bloatware and rarely-used apps. You can also dramatically re-imagine your app drawer appearance by changing background transparency level, background color, icon text color, number of columns, and the size of your icons.

Swipe to the right from "Apps" and your "Favorites" tab is largely unchanged. Swipe left to "Categories" and you'll start to see what makes v1.22 so great. All of your apps are now auto-categorized. Click the category name or icon to expand each card. Start clicking around to discover even more new functionality:

  • Most Used & Recent" is an automatically updating and changing list of eight apps.
  • Hide (or show) individual categories, either by pressing that category's overflow or by clicking on the "Categories" tab dropdown.
  • Move around the category cards by long-pressing the small icon next to the category name.
  • Manage which apps show in which category by clicking the overflow and pressing "Manage".

You can customize your app drawer even further by adding tabs. Click the "+" icon and choose which Smart Category deserves it own tab in your newly personal--and significantly more useful--app drawer.

App categories become extremely important because themes will no longer include folders with generic icons. Rather, they will include direct access to your Smart Categories--the very same categories in your app drawer. For example, download the popular "Tiled" theme, swipe to the "My Apps" homescreen and click on any of the icons. What appears is a category card. It looks and feels like a folder, but it's smart, automatically updated with newly downloaded apps. You can place your own Smart Category icons on the homescreen by long-pressing the desktop and selecting, you guessed it, SMART CATEGORIES.

The holy grail of Android theming is to create homescreens that provide beauty, functionality, and personalization without sacrificing usability. We expect that if you use the new Themer Beta for more than a few days, you'll find Smart Categories so usable you won't be able to go back.

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