As smartphone manufacturers pay more attention to UI design, the value of theme beautification gradually decreases. As one of the hottest topics, “theme beautification” once gave Android a sense of superiority that the iOS party did not have. For a long time, Android smartphones can freely change the lock screen interface, status bar, mobile phone fonts and icon packs according to their own preferences. However, for iOS smartphones, if you do not choose “jailbreak” to crack the mobile phone system, you can only change the wallpaper. This stems from the extreme control of iOS by former Apple founder, Steve Jobs. In his opinion, the iOS system should be closed and secure, and any opening will affect the security and stability of the system.
But as the iOS system continues to update and becomes more open, users can freely change the theme icons after iOS 14. At that time, many netizens played new tricks on their iPhones. However, nowadays, more people are starting to return to the default theme. Some users even claim that the default themes come with the best beautification.
However, why are users no longer focusing on theme beautification? Let us take a look at the top three possible reasons why theme beautification is losing relevance.
Theme beautification – what went wrong?
1. Balance between “beauty” and “utility”
Today, people consider smartphone beautification as a way to pursue individuality and beauty. However, in the initial human-computer interface design, the default theme is to pursue the unity of beauty and functionality.
When Apple was exploring the form of human-computer interaction in the graphical interface, the balance between “beauty” and “practicality” was the focus of designers. Apple’s “Mother of Icons” Susan Carre, who designed the command key symbol, trash can icon, paint bucket tool icon, lasso tool icon, floppy disk save icon and other elements on the Apple keyboard, once mentioned that the reason why it can be designed. According to her, this is possible because of her “zero technical background”. She can design things that are easy to understand from the perspective of an ordinary user.
“Computers are supposed to be friendly, so I wanted to inject some friendly, funny and common sense, easy-to-remember images.” Susan Carre once summed up her principles when designing interfaces for Apple. On this basis, Apple made people understand the different meanings of those virtual world default icons.
2. Default theme remains active for a long time
From another point of view, the default is usually not ugly and it is something that many people can use for a long time. Relative to the beautification theme that users soo get tired of, the default theme retains its appeal.
For example, the well-known iPhone 6 wallpapers “Flowers in the Dark” and “Snow Mountains and Milky Way” are real flowers and natural scenery. However, in order to make the photos look clean and beautiful, the photographer spent a lot of money. It took time and effort to capture the near-perfect look and feel.
Another example is the famous Apple Watch’s dynamic dials, such as butterfly flapping, jellyfish swimming, flowers blooming, and flames burning. All of these required a lot of time to shoot with high-speed cameras. The blooming process took 285 hours to capture more than 24,000 time-lapse photos. There is no way a custom theme will beat the beauty of default themes.
3. From “more tricks” to “less tossing”
Android brands have made a lot of attempts to beautify the theme of their smartphones. However, the beautification of the theme comes at a cost, it affects the smartphone’s performance. The theme launcher comes with multiple packs that could significantly consume the phone’s memory. This will eventually affect the overall performance of this device.
These beautification apps not only need to occupy resources, they also need to stay running in the background. This means that it requires enormous resources to run seamlessly. Although the hardware upgrade has increased the memory limit of Android phones, the concept of “theme beautification” affecting the performance of mobile phones still exists in the hearts of some brands.
However, later, with the rise of Chinese mobile phone systems such as MIUI, Flyme, ColorOS, etc., the built-in theme store of mobile phones has become a trend, and “one-click beautification” without tossing has become an important reason for many people to choose Chinese Android phones. This is more attractive because most of the brands provide payment under the premise of free themes.
However, beautification themes also have their own problems. Some themes are amazing at first glance, but become boring after a long time, especially those deeply customized various anime and game themes. When user preferences change constantly, they start to look for other themes. However, there are more customized themes in the theme store.
In the process of users’ constant tossing, manufacturers’ emphasis on the system interface is now putting Android’s default theme on the fast track.
Who defines a good-looking theme?
When users have a new website, they will want to design the website to look and feel like other popular websites. The same thing works for smartphone themes. Obviously, the iPhone is the design “example” of the past. Its default design has influenced the design of Android phone manufacturers. For today’s Android manufacturers, the default theme design is way past the “gorgeous” stage. It is now at a point where it balances “beauty” and “practicality” that Apple follows. Android manufacturers now pay attention to details and focus on those in human-computer interaction.
Whether it is a mobile phone or a PC, it will take a long time to choose a good-looking wallpaper or a good ringtone, and it will take a long time to change it again. After changing it, you have to adapt to the change. Sometimes this is not a good thing, such as when the ringtone changes, the user may think that someone else’s phone is ringing. Gradually, many people are now willing to remain in the default state.
In the final analysis, although the technology of beautifying themes is improving, the default theme is also advancing with technology. Better default themes are becoming more attractive, but beautifying themes are no longer as popular as in the past. Times are changing, and all manufacturers are changing.