From the WPCentral Forums...custom themes!

We mentioned yesterday that we're opening a theme area on the site for those using the WP Hacker program to make custom Start screens/tiles. In turn, we're hoping to see some creations come out that would wow-us a bit and luckily someone took us up on it.

Forum member Saljen has posted up five themes so far, including the one you see above aka 'Glass'. The others are just as fancy, specifically Wood, Steel, Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2. Not bad, not bad at all! In fact, we're gonna try and load up Glass here in a few minutes.

Oh and Saljen gets bonus points for creating a custom WPCentral App tile. Anyways, feel free to add your creations for others right here.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I totally understand that people like to customise their phones but the beauty of WP7 is the metro interface.
    The faux 3D glass effect (as loved by Apple) it so long in the tooth. It just looks outdated now and seeing it applied to the WP7 UI here (as nicely as it's done) takes something clean and fresh and makes it look old and dated.
    I like the idea of the tiles making up a picture but the pitfalls are obvious, the text gets illegible and icons are 'lost' in the background image. Something more abstract or faded back might work better as a background image.
    Sorry Saljen, don't mean to be uber critical, they are all nicely done (and the image crops are good) I just don't think it works on the WP UI.
  • Agreed. Metro is the USP of WP7 but having options to customize dont hurt. Consumer love ability to customize (think Android) :)
  • Completely agree, and I was going to post something like this. The beauty of Metro is simplicity, and this simplicity is completely lost to these themes. I appreciate the effort, but IMO, in doesn't work at all, and makes the interface look outdated and unoriginal.
  • Re: Images as backgrounds, WPHacker added a transparency effect to make the image as full/transparent as you want. You just move the slider so you could have an image very faint, almost ghost like. As to not liking the themes, to each is own, but I like encouraging this kind of creativity around here--builds a fun community.
  • As podsnap said above, i still prefer the solid colours of the default WP. The tiles with game graphics look absolutely awful IMO, just a mess of colours.
    Some will love what you're doing of course, but for me, I have to say, it's just not aesthetically pleasing on the simplistic metro interface.
    Keep up the good work for those that like it.
  • I don't really like these themes (podsnap said it all), but I think a monochromatic background image could be quite nice (something like this: Integrated to the default tile background with a very low contrast, to preserve readability.
  • It jsut cannot get uglier than this. The default metro look is so good. Totally agree with podsnap.
  • Well, I think it's a cool start considering it's been 24hrs. Give it some time and let the craft grow. Only downside to this I see is that Live Tiles don't work--not even for Messaging, which is a bummer. Other than that it's kind of fun to tinker.
  • Killing the Live tiles Daniel?, it just gets worse, that's the biggest uniqueness windows phones have. Why would anyone wish to change the look of the phone and kill it's unique functionality ?
    I must be old. LOL
  • I'll just say it's a start--consider this a beta of this process. You have to give WPHacker and people some credit here for doing this--it's a pretty big deal. Sure, it's not for everone, but I'm all for letting peole have fun with their phones. I'm sure half the people's Lock-screen wallpapers here are pretty hideous and ugly too :-P
  • Yeah but whatever lock screen wallpaper you have, ugly or not, doesn't break the functionality of the phone. Each to their own.
  • Don't get me started on lockscreens. :)
    I make one very month and add a calendar to it for more at-a-glance functionality
    I also applaud WPHacker's efforts but am not a fan of losing the core functionlaity of the main screen. If he can add a tweek to allow me to simply change colors slightly he'd be the man.
  • Yea, I saw this yesterday (posted it on PPCgeeks), it looks very cool but, it kills the live tiles...
    What's the point of WP7 ?
  • Yea, I saw this yesterday (posted it on PPCgeeks), it looks very cool but, it kills the live tiles...
    What's the point of WP7 ?
  • Yea, I saw this yesterday (posted it on PPCgeeks), it looks very cool but, it kills the live tiles...
    What's the point of WP7 ?
  • ugly!!!! the defaut themes are much better. The OS needs just more colors that's all! 
  • All we need is a simple way (with a preview) to change the default colors of everything (including the background). These examples here are just ugly and do not match the metro style.
  • I'm fine with the solid colors.  I think I'd rather have the ability to select an exact hex value for tiles and background but not really much more than that.
  • Before everyone freaks out and say it's ugly I think it is a matter of time before some theme looks good (the ability to create themes with a plain color (different from the based colors) is already a step foward.
    I don't really like the themes that has been created but I have already some ideas (will test when I can buy a token) and release them.
  • Awful, awful, awful. A fake glass effect that removes live tile functionality? Congratulations, we've just made an (even poorer) poor man's iPhone!
  • These themes make WP7 the UGLIEST UI on any platform. Then on top of UGLY, you lose functionality? Really??? To each thier own.
  • Guess some people have lots of free time. And they will never, ever be satisfied. There goes Windows Phone's simplistic innocence. Was nice while it lasted.
  • i dont think that its such a bad thing the tiles i mean of course but the functionality i agree on i mean personally id love to have a black tile theme i could use on a white backdrop with white letters in the tiles and black text within apps just because it looks a little more professional than a bright blue green or red theme dont get me wrong i think the colors are gorgeous but their arent enough color options theres many nice colors microsoft can add that wouldnt throw off the look of the themes but i can wait :) come on apollo do your thing one small step for windows phone one giant leap for mankind :D
  • ugly!!! I repeat!! 
  • I agree with what almost everyone has posted so far, the default theme looks better than the samples designed by Saljen. However, tinkering efforts like this are absolutely needed for the platform to grow. Microsoft dev team cannot think of everything, and efforts like this are necessary to generate new & creative ideas and to push Microsoft to continue to make meaningful improvements to the OS. Also, these samples does not trump the default themes, but who's to say Saljen or someone else won't put together another set that will totally wow most of us, or that the Hacker program won't add a twist to this thing that will totally make sense. This kind of effort have my full support. They've already demonstrated to MS that folders can be implemented. I can't wait to see what's next.
  • God, you guys are hating on a guy who's in the midst of developing something. Give the guy some credit and let him finish his work before we pre-judge him...
  • Asthetics can sometimes be the name of the game.  If you look at companies like Ford, GM, and Toyota - you would be surprised of the number of owners who have made $20K to $30K+ purchases based on simply "what the car looked like in the parking spot".  Themes are a Windows tradition and users have always had the option of turning on or off the feature.  A majority of WP owners used to be iPhone, BlackBerry, and Droid owners.  If a more unique look and feel on WP can help Microsoft rescue these phone owners from the dark side - that's a good thing.
  • I can't believe some guys are trying this stuff.... IT'S HAS NO TASTE AT ALL
    I would never ruin my phone installing this crraapp!
  • I can't believe how many WP users are so against just having the choice for customization. And I say lets wait on claiming this breaks the live tile features. This is just in its infancy and i believe the developer said they are working on the live tile issue