Now this is some truly bad news to end the day with. During a recent interview with CIO.com RIM’s new VP of Developer Relations, Alec Saunders, revealed the time frame for an update to the Theme Studio software to allow developers to make themes for BlackBerry 7 devices. Sadly it appears that we will have to wait until mid 2012 before we see custom themes hit any of the BlackBerry 7 devices.
Another interesting tidbit for BlackBerry developers: Though a compatibility issue with the new “Liquid Graphics” engine in the BlackBerry 7 OS has kept RIM from releasing BlackBerry Theme Studio tools for the latest BlackBerry OS, Saunders says these tools will become available mid-2012, he says. (RIM has an internal theme building tool, which is how the company built the custom “Porsche” theme used on the new, limited edition BlackBerry P’9981 device, but the tool is not available to developers outside of RIM, according to Saunders.)
I am actually pretty shocked that RIM hasn’t been able to make this happen sooner, especially due to the fact that BlackBerry users tend to really enjoy theming their phones. Personally I am a huge theme fan and usually go through a few a week as I look for something new and exciting. We feel bad for all those Theme developers that make a living off themes for BlackBerry and will now lose a huge amount of time with no products for the latest BlackBerry devices to hit the market.
In a time when RIM is facing drastic drops in stock value, and it seems like more and more faithful BlackBerry users, including myself, are being drawn away by what other platforms can provide a new Theme Studio 7 could have helped to keep eyes from wandering for a little while longer. Please share with us what your thoughts on this is, and don’t be afraid to be angry about it…. we don’t blame you in the least!