How to get started with Themes on your HTC One M9

htcone themes
Credit: Florence Ion

Everyone wants to be an individual, but how do you express yourself when everyone else’s hot new phone looks like yours? You theme it.

You might already use one of the many third-party launchers available in the Google Play Store to customize your device’s interface, but if you have an One M9, you can do it more easily with HTC’s new built-in Themes app. It’s easier to use than most of the other skinning applications out there, and it lets you customize your wallpaper, icons, sounds, fonts, and interface trimmings. The Themes application is a pretty powerful tool, and though getting started with it might seem a bit daunting at first, the payoff is worth it—especially if customizing your phone is already a hobby of yours.

Getting started

htc theme

What theming does to your HTC One M9 (or other compatible HTC device).

The HTC Themes search engine functions a lot like the Google Play Store: you search for a keyword or phrase and then peruse through the results. If you like something, you download it and then apply it. It is all pretty self-explanatory.

themes

Looking for a theme? HTC’s Themes app has plenty to recommend.

Themes—and other elements of themes, like wallpapers and icon packs—are divvied up by several categories. Each Theme also features its own landing page with information about its designer and how many people have downloaded it.

themes landing page

Each Theme has its own landing page so you can preview it before you download it.

Keep in mind that Theme packages differ and not all come ready with notifications sounds, accent colors, and icons. Fortunately, any piece of any theme you download can be used interchangeably with other theme packs.

Customizing a theme and making it your own

You don’t have to like everything about the theme pack you chose—in fact, it almost seems like HTC encourages you to go your own way with all the customization options it offers.

In the Themes app, tap on My Themes, and then My current theme to view the individual elements of the theme in use.

customizing the theme

If you don’t completely like a theme, you can tweak individual elements of it until it looks how you want it to.

From here, you can see what the Lock screen and Home screen wallpapers look like, which icon pack is in use, and whether there are custom notification sounds.

choosing a font

Don’t like a font? Change it.

Tap on the element you want to change. Tapping My Fonts, for instance, will let you choose a different font for Sense 7 based, selecting from any of the fonts from the theme packs you’ve already downloaded. When you’re ready, tap Apply, and voila! 

Creating your own theme

The HTC Themes app can conjure up a custom theme based on a wallpaper of your choosing. It’s like magic!

create a theme

It’s time to make some magic happen.

To begin, tap the Plus icon at the top of the Themes app, then select a wallpaper from your Gallery or snap a picture with the camera. I used a wallpaper from the Lumos icon pack. Then, you can filter the photo and crop it to make it appear the way you want as a background. When you’re ready, tap Done, which will take you back to the initial customization screen. Tap Next to move on.

stylize theme

Once you choose your wallpaper, the Themes app will ask you to style it.

From here, HTC will present several different styles it figured would match your new wallpaper. Scroll down to see your options. After you choose one, you can customize each individual element to your liking before tapping Next.

what the theme looks like

I love exploding pink things.

When you’re all finished, you can name your theme something special—I named mine, “Flo’s dream world of exploding pink things.” After you save it, the theme will be automatically applied to the interface.

Setting up your profile page

mythemes

Everything you need to know about my themes in my profile.

You can express yourself with your own HTC Themes profile. In the Themes app, under My profile, you can set up your own profile page complete with a photo and a small biography. Eventually, your profile will tally up any themes you’ve submitted to the store and any designers you follow.

Using the web to create your theme

htc themes online

You can actually create your own custom themes online.

Don’t want to bother with the Themes app on your phone? You can use HTC’s online themes maker to go through the app’s customization process on your browser. The online themes engine actually offers a little more control over things like the color palette and which wallpapers appear in the application drawer and on the Lock screen. You can also preview more parts of the interface online, and choose header images for various screens.

When you’re finished creating a theme with the online wizard, you can publish it to share with others. Give it a name, a short description, and some keywords to describe it all. When it’s published, it’ll show up in your profile as a theme you designed. 

Bookmarking a theme for later

bookmarks

Bookmarks are a great way to keep track of themes and things you might want to try on later.

Maybe you don’t want to switch to a new theme just yet but you want to bookmark one for later—you can do that! The Themes app lets you bookmark themes, icons, sound profiles, and anything else in the store so you can get back to it later.

This story, "How to get started with Themes on your HTC One M9" was originally published by Greenbot.

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