Personalizing the BlackBerry 6 experience using BlackBerry Theme Studio

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The new BlackBerry® Theme Studio 6 Public Beta 2 is now available for download on BlackBerry® Developer Zone, providing extensive support for new (and upgraded) BlackBerry® smartphones with BlackBerry 6 OS, as well as robust import functionality for theme projects created using previous versions of BlackBerry Theme Studio.

This beta release supports theme development for all BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry 6, that are currently in-market, as well as simplified theme export for BlackBerry App World™ in order to quickly submit your BlackBerry 6 themes.

In addition, the Import feature has been expanded to allow for importing previous theme projects that targeted devices running versions of BlackBerry Device Software prior to BlackBerry 6. For instance, if a theme project was created in BlackBerry Theme Studio 5.0 targetting the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9700 smartphone series, you can follow three simple steps to import your theme settings from that project (such as icons, menu/dialog background patterns, fonts, and so on) to a BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone series project in BlackBerry Theme Studio 6:

1. Create a new project in BlackBerry Theme Studio 6:

2. Import the old project (created using BlackBerry Theme Studio 5.0):

3. Export the project for the applicable BlackBerry smartphone:

Due to many changes to the base themes in the BlackBerry 6 OS, the Import feature can significantly reduce your effort by leveraging all previous settings that apply to the BlackBerry 6 theme. There are a notable set of theme items that are unique to BlackBerry 6, such as home screen banner, notification and application trays, and calendar icon (digits now appear in the calendar icon based on system date) that will still require configuration after the import, but the import capability gives you a big head start.

For best results during an import operation in BlackBerry Theme Studio , the most important consideration is the device screen size of the source theme project. For example, you can import a theme project targetting the BlackBerry® Tour™ 9600 smartphone series to a theme project targetting the BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone series, due to similar screen sizes. The easiest way to determine this by using View > Change Face Plate menu command.

Finally, the user interface for Theme Builder has been refined even more with intuitive views, tabs and icons used throughout the tool in BlackBerry Theme Studio 6.0 Public Beta 2. Also, the Background Wizard has been enhanced, making it easier than ever to create things like date-based wallpaper changes:

If you haven’t installed BlackBerry Theme Studio Public Beta 1, you can read about the many other new features on the beta page, including a redesigned user interface, easy Background Wizard, and batch import of graphics.

As we approach our final release candidate for BlackBerry Theme Studio 6, we would love to hear your feedback on your theme development experiences so far. Please provide us any bug reports or feature suggestions for BlackBerry Theme Studio 6 using the “Report Issue” option in the Help menu. Download the BlackBerry Theme Studio 6.0 Public Beta 2 now, and happy theming!

About Rajeev M.

Rajeev joined Research In Motion (RIM) in 2008, bringing six years of development experience in the realm of mobile and software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps. As part of the Developer Relations team, he works with ISVs developing consumer apps, imparts wisdom on rich media app development, and likes to predict the next four-letter tech buzzword. He wields a new BlackBerry theme every week and socially connects on BlackBerry Messenger to rant on movies, music and games.

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