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BlackBerry Themes & Animated Graphics

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Retired
Posts: 179
Registered: ‎07-14-2008
My Device: Not Specified

BlackBerry Theme Studio Webinar Follow up

As discussed on the Developer Blog we are creating a forum post to cover all of the questions from the BlackBerry Theme Studio webinar hosted on Tuesday this week.  Dale, Mark and Jason and I will be following this thread answering questions from the webinar and answering new general questions that come in.

 

If you haven't had a chance to view the webinar please check out the archived version here.

 

 

Mike Kirkup
Director, Developer Relations
Retired
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-21-2008
My Device: BlackBerry Curve 8900

Re: BlackBerry Theme Studio Webinar Follow up

Folks - thank you for attending the BlackBerry Theme Studio webinar and for all of the great questions! We were happy that so many of you came out and participated. We had several hundred questions come in and have been working our way through them.

 

Here are the first batch.  

 

I am very interested in getting the full video can you please say the full download link? or email it to me? Thanks in advanced this tutorial is much appreciated        

 

The webinar is now available at http://webcast.streamlogics.com/audience/index.asp?eventid=99886285 

 

Do you offer SVG coding resources or recommend any?

Thank you for the suggestion on future tutorials. We currently have a number of SVG resources on the BlackBerry Developer Zone. Please visit http://docs.blackberry.com/en/developers/

 

How can I get my theme featured in the App World?    

To learn more about how to get your theme or application featured in BlackBerry App World, please email appworldfeatured@rim.com

 

 

When are apps and themes going to reach the $.99 price point?              

Themes and Applications are currently priced at $2.99 and higher. We came to this pricing structure after extensive consultation with our developer community. There is no timeline established for introducing a $0.99 price point as of now.

 

If I shot the photos in a theme myself, what is considered acceptable proof of ownership?       

RIM has a digital rights agreement which you will need to fill out in order to distribute your theme on BlackBerry App World. Upon submitting your theme, the Store Front Management team will contact you with the appropriate form to fill out.

 

Is there a special formatting that flash files need to undergo in order to be imported into Composer?

Not particularly although you may find better success by exporting to previous Flash versions, since the newer Flash versions tend to rely more heavily upon ActionScript which we don’t currently support. The Composer User Guide contains a section entitled “Importing Flash content”.

 

When I bold the font of the active button, most of the time, it turns into ellipses... on my BlackBerry. Is there a standard size you recommend for buttons or button images?

Unfortunately, there is currently a device limitation where all of the buttons are currently sized based on the properties of the font in the normal state.  If you decrease the size of the font in the highlight state by 1-2 pixels to see the bold styling.  Keeping that same limitation in mind, the best practice would be to keep the dimensions of the 5 buttons states equal and match them to the size of the background of the normal state.

 

So will we be able to charge money to download our Themes? And if yes, does blackberry take a Cut out of the profit?

Themes can be distributed for free or sold commercially on BlackBerry App World.  Vendors will keep 80% of the revenue, while 20% will be retained by RIM to pay for the costs of distributing and managing the transaction.

 

Is there going to be a fix for the dial pad being cut off in custom themes?          

To reduce the impact of the dial pad being cut off, you can make the application banner shorter.

 

Can you state the link where this webcast will be downloadable from.? Thanks              

The webcast is posted at http://webcast.streamlogics.com/audience/index.asp?eventid=99886285

 

The majority of the tech support questions I get are relative to App World more so than my theme (ie download errors, refunds) is there a specific support email or website that I can refer my customers too for these questions?    

Please refer your customers to the BlackBerry App World support page, located at http://na.blackberry.com/eng/support/blackberryappworld.jsp

 

 

have memory leak issues been addressed in the new theme studio?   

We have optimized the amount of memory used by themes in the 5.0 handheld software.  For example, activating multiple themes used to consume additional memory, it no longer does. 

 

If there are specific memory issues you are experiencing, please report the bug using the BlackBerry Developer Issue Tracker

 

Where's the best place to understand Composer and get video tutorials on this application?   

A Composer user guide ships with BlackBerry Theme Studio. From your start menu, click Programs -> BlackBerry Theme Studio 5.0 -> Documentation

 

Retired
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-21-2008
My Device: BlackBerry Curve 8900

Re: BlackBerry Theme Studio Webinar Follow up

If you include a ringtone in a theme, will the end user be able to still customize their ringtone preferences or is the theme ringtone the only one that can be used?               

The user is able to go into their sound profiles and change it to whatever they like.

 

What are the typical time frames for approval of vendors? And on approvals of applications?  

We target the approval of vendors within 3 business days and the approval of applications and themes within 15 business days.

 

Is it possible to include the actual date in the calendar icon?    

This is not currently possible. Thank you for your feature suggestion. We'll take it under consideration for a future release.

 

When will see a visual SVG editor for Hidden and Scrolling Docks in Composer?             

Thank you for your feature suggestion. We are currently planning out our release schedule and will take this under consideration

 

If we send out an "upgrade" on an app/theme, do we get charged for a "slot" on our app world for the first $200 dollars?               

Yes – each submission, whether it is a new application or a new release goes through our vetting process and hence counts against the 10 slots that are associated with the first $200 dollars.

 

Will there be an option to add a today text area background that only shows up when the today text area is highlighted?               

Thank you for your feature suggestion. We are currently planning out our release schedule and will take this under consideration

 

Can you change the key sounds from BlackBerry Theme Builder?            

The only thing you can currently change is the ringtone.

 

Are any of the currently provided themes available as a starting point for a redesign starting point?

All of the themes on the existing devices are the starting point for all Theme Builder design.

 

Do custom themes have a higher memory footprint than the default theme?   

It depends what you are doing with your custom theme.  In some cases it could be a smaller memory footprint.  It depends on the size and number of extra resources you are using.

 

what exactly are .pme and .pmb files and how/for what reason can they be used in a theme? 

These are binary versions SVG files that are used for rendering in the browser and within applications.  They are not used directly in a theme.  SVG files are.

 

Will it be possible, in the near future, the $200 will not be applicable for theme developers who submit "free" themes?

Thank you for your suggestion. All themes and applications go through a testing and review process. The submission fee helps to cover those costs.

 

What percentage of the Vendor's retail price does RIM receive as commission?             

Vendors will keep 80% of the revenue, while 20% will be retained by RIM to pay for the costs of distributing and managing the transaction.

 

my simulator doesn't populate the gradients or images that I choose.  Does that mean my files won't have them went I save the cods? 

Gradients and images can only be used as a cursor in BlackBerry Device software  4.7.0 or greater.  If you are previewing the theme on a BlackBerry smartphone or simulator running software versioned 4.6.1 or lower the gradients and images will not be included with the theme.  You should see a warning message in Theme Builder to this effect after you preview or export the theme.

 

What is the percentage does the vendor receive from theme sales on AppWorld?        

Vendors will keep 80% of the revenue, while 20% will be retained by RIM to pay for the costs of distributing and managing the transaction.

 

When will RIM allow App World to inventory non App World installed applications? Maybe import them into App World on the device.  

Thank you for your suggestion. Currently, BlackBerry App World’s “MyWorld” feature is designed to help users manage applications that have been downloaded directly from App World only. We’ll pass your feedback onto the BlackBerry App World team for consideration in a future release.

 

How do you create an OTA downloader?

To create a OTA theme that you can download, go to File->Export and select Publish for Web (OTA) and click ok.  You can then load the resulting files on a web server and browse to the jad file to download it.

 

As it stands, Theme Builder still has a few bugs in it that were not addressed in the latest build. Is there an expected timeline for an updated release?           

We are currently planning our release schedule and do not have a release update at this time. Keep visiting www.blackberry.com/themestudio for the latest product information.

 

Can a website's mobile launcher be incorporated into a theme and how?          

The easiest way to do this would be to add the mobile launcher as a third party application in Theme Builder and then provide the mobile launcher as part of the theme download or as a separate download.  The launcher can be included in the theme download by adding the RIM-COD-URL-n and RIM-COD-Size-n entries to the JAD file.   A word of caution regarding bundling the application with the theme however.  If the user deletes the theme, they will also delete the launcher.

 

is there any way we can make users to enter a Authorization Code in order to use the theme?

Thank you for your feature suggestion. We are currently planning out our release schedule and will take this under consideration

Any thought to giving more advanced theme feature web seminar in the future              

 

is the demonstration online to download??         

The webcast is posted at http://webcast.streamlogics.com/audience/index.asp?eventid=99886285

 

 

Will there be a method of allowing a customer to "trial" a theme? In the same way they can apps.

Thank you for your feature suggestion. We are currently planning out our release schedule and will take this under consideration.

 

Are default icons fair use for themes sold in app world?             

For more information, please refer to the BlackBerry App World Vendor Agreement. In a nutshell, the vendor needs to follow the Branding Guidelines when using the default icons.

 

Can you resize the incoming call's contact picture to be the same size as the background? if so how?

This is not supported in the current version of BlackBerry Theme Studio.

 

Is there a way to "stretch" the calendar entries to give all of the subject and location?              

Unfortunately at this time there is no way to customize the spacing between the date, subject and location.  Nor is there a way to specify which columns should be visible.  We will be looking into this for future releases.

 

Will there be "better" composer help files and tutorials?          

A Composer user guide ships with BlackBerry Theme Studio. From your start menu, click Programs -> BlackBerry Theme Studio 5.0 -> Documentation. We are currently planning out our tutorial and blog schedule. Stay tuned!

 

Do you still have to use the old simulators that previously came with plasmic to test themes?  BlackBerry Theme Studio is fully compatible with the BlackBerry smartphone simulators. You can download these simulators from www.blackberry.com/developers/simulators. You can also test your themes right on a BlackBerry smartphone user BlackBerry Theme Builder’s new Preview Theme On BlackBerry feature.

 

Are you going to have any tutorials on animation SVG''s like the ring SVG example available on Blackberry website?  

We are currently planning out our webinar, tutorial and blog schedule. Stay tuned!

 

Are you planning on re-intorducing icon style themes?               

Thank you for your feature suggestion. We are currently planning out our release schedule and will take this under consideration.

 

How can i minimize icons for my screen?            

You can bring them into your favorite image editor and scale them down. For more information on this, check out our blog on using Theme Studio with Adobe Photoshop, located here.

 

Is it possible to integrate 3rd party apps as an overlay in a theme like a weather app?  

We’re not sure  what you mean by an "overlay".  You can integrate the icon and how it renders on the homescreen.

 

can we use icon from other model phone ie: google or palm     

For themes to be distributed in BlackBerry App World, the Vendor of the theme needs to verify that they have permission to use the images, sounds and subject matter in that theme.  For example, we will look for the rights that a vendor has received from Google to use their symbol within a theme.

 

I was glitching when the cost came up. what is the buy in, and for how many app are included?              

Not a 100% clear on the question here, but when you pay the $200 dollars you are paying for any submission you make – a new application or a new release. This price tag includes the vetting that each application and release undergoes and all registration costs. As well – there is no extra charge to be featured – this is also currently included in the $200 dollars.

 

Retired
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-21-2008
My Device: BlackBerry Curve 8900

Re: BlackBerry Theme Studio Webinar Follow up

If I am just creating the theme for myself, can I do that or do I have to submit it for purchase?

BlackBerry Theme Studio is a free download from www.blackberry.com/themestudio. Users of BlackBerry Theme Studio can use the suite to create themes for their personal use or for commercial purposes. You are not required to submit a theme to BlackBerry App World.

 

Can you write code in the svg file to work with your applications/icons?

Currently there is no support for code or javascripting within the SVG for themes.

 

How do you set the theme to allow users to change font sizes?  My current theme doesn''t seem to allow users to change the font size.    

If you want users to be able to set the fonts from the Screen/Keyboard options then you should not change any of the default fonts in the controls section.  Any font changes here will override the default and will not be changed when the user changes it on their device.

 

What kind of proof do you need that I created my own artwork?            

RIM has a digital rights form that you will be required to fill out verifying that you have the rights to distribute the images, sounds and subject matter in the theme.

 

Are you going to do a webinar in a little more detail on creating things and animations in composer?

We are currently planning out our webinar, tutorial and blog schedule. Stay tuned!

 

can composer only convert swf to svg when it is saved as a bitmap?      

Vector content should convert too. The existing limitations can be found in the Composer User Guide, in the section entitled “Importing Flash content”.

 

Can you edit a pre-existing theme using the jad file?    

Once the Theme is compiled into a JAD or ALX file, it cannot be re-opened and edited in BlackBerry Theme Builder.

 

The threaded SMS of the 5.0 OS does not preview in Today themes.  Will that be resolved in the future?          

It is a known issue that we are looking to get resolved. If you encounter other issues, please feel free to report them using our BlackBerry Developer Issue Tracker

 

Is there a default price on themes? and what should we base the price of our theme on?

BlackBerry App World pricing starts at $2.99 and the price can be modified later if you would like to test various price points.

 

1 thing i have noticed with the hidden today is that in previous version SMS/MMS would show in there, however now with theme studio that is not the case. is this a bug or a feature change?            

It is a known issue that we are looking to get resolved. If you encounter other issues, please feel free to report them using our BlackBerry Developer Issue Tracker

 

Can you change the color and or flash patterns of the LED''s based on different events (calls, email, BBM, etc)?             

Currently, this functionality is not available in BlackBerry Theme Builder. 

 

One thing i have noticed with alot of end users, is when Theme studio was released the ability to change the wallpaper on the application screen was lost. for example if i change my wallpaper on my homescreen, it would change the application screen, but now with theme studio it only changes the homescreen. is this a bug or a new thing in theme studio?

The new functionality of Theme Studio actually mirrors the behavior of the Precision Zen theme that ships with BlackBerry handheld. 

 

How do you change the colors in the calendar?               

Currently you can only affect the global background color through the Theme Global Items section in Theme Builder Inspector.

 

what are the chances that we''ll see something like the ability to do a flip clock or analog clock like on some HTC devices (ie: Hero Sense theme)?             

Thank you for your feature suggestion. We are currently planning out our release schedule and will take this under consideration

 

piggy backing off the answer about proof and becoming a vendor as a freelance designer, do you have to have any type of business license or can a soc sec# be validated?

Not sure I understand the question here, but it is mandatory for all vendors to either provide us proof of incorporation or a Notary Form proving who they are.

 

Fonts -- with custom fonts, I have a hard time getting new messages to bold in the message list. Suggestions?

                Some fonts may not support the bold style such as the XFont that are designated with the XF icon. Try choosing a BlackBerry font such as BBSansSerifSquare.  Other TrueType fonts that do support bold, potentially don’t look distinctive enough.  Unfortunately, you will need to experiment with the various fonts until you get the desired effect.

 

Is a privately owned theme site qualify for application with blackberry app world?       

Private individuals can sign up to become BlackBerry App World vendors. For more information, click http://na.blackberry.com/eng/developers/appworld/

 

Would RIM interfere in removing themes that really make their BlackBerry product home screen look substantially ugly?               

Information about RIM's policies regarding  BlackBerry App World submissions can be found here.

 

I''ve got an idea for a dynamic theme idea but I have no clue how to code the svg. How can I get help?

Take a look at the samples included with BlackBerry Theme Studio. Also have a look at the SVG material on the BlackBerry Developer Zone

 

can you use more than one version of your theme for several devices as one submission or is it considered as to submissions?   

If it requires a new version or a new COD file – then it will be considered a new submission. We do offer the ability to support multiple devices via one submission though.

 

Can you create an animated banner?    

Currently you cannot animate items in the banner. We’ll take this into consideration for a future release.

 

Is there any chance we will see the removal of the classic "com_plazmic_theme_" before the theme name cod''s and jad?      

Thank you for your feature suggestion. We are currently planning out our release schedule and will take this under consideration.

 

is there a manual or theme building guide available online? ..more then just the help option.

Theme Builder and Composer user guide ship with BlackBerry Theme Studio. From your start menu, click Programs -> BlackBerry Theme Studio 5.0 -> Documentation. Also check out the video on www.blackberry.com/themestudio

 

How soon before or after a new device is released will a simulator or a necessary update to the theme builder be available for it?

We make every effort to provide simulators and Theme Studio updates as quickly as possible following the release of new BlackBerry smartphones. The time may vary depending on the release, however. Please visit www.blackberry.com/developers/simulators for the latest updates.

 

what is the best way of implementing a scrolling screen which is interactive  like how google maps work?        

The best way to implement a scrolling screen is to create a grouping of your interactive map images and create a grid of hotspots that are overlayed on top of this.  Then move the grouping based on which hotspot in the grid has focus.

 

When I remove a theme does that increase the number of slots I have to upload a new theme?             

When you remove a theme from your device you are just freeing up memory.  So if you have enough memory to upload a new theme that fits in that memory then yes.

 

Where can we get the wallpapers from the new advertising campaign that you used in your sample theme?   

This theme is not currently available for public use. There are sample themes that ship with BlackBerry Theme Studio. To access these samples from your start menu, click Programs -> BlackBerry Theme Studio 5.0 -> Documentation

 

Is there any way now or in the future to store lots of themes in card memory instead of taking up precious app memory               

Thank you for your feature suggestion. We are currently planning out our release schedule and will take this under consideration

 

Is Blackberry going to have any tutorials on custom SVG, such as the animated ring?     

Thank you for the suggestion on future tutorials. We currently have a number of SVG resources on the BlackBerry Developer Zone. Please visit http://docs.blackberry.com/en/developers/

 

Will the next release allow for custom menus that allow user size changeable fonts with the default font?      

Thank you for your feature suggestion. We are currently planning out our release schedule and will take this under consideration

               

will there be a future theme builder version to change more then whats available now?  such as contacts SMS look ect..               

Thank you for your feature suggestion. We are currently planning out our release schedule and will take this under consideration

 

can you resize the contact picture in the incoming call screen?

Unfortunately, this cannot be done in the current version of BlackBerry Theme Builder. We are currently planning out our release schedule and will take this under consideration

 

will we be able to set custom icons for third party apps?             

Currently there is no way to set custom icons for third party apps. We are currently planning out our release schedule and will take this under consideration

 

how do i use the new form components like textfield etc          

The xform controls are not used within themes.

 

Will you post a transcript of this Q&A session?

The webcast is posted at http://webcast.streamlogics.com/audience/index.asp?eventid=99886285

 

Is there a way to link blackberry app world to my theme site?  

BlackBerry App World cannot currently link to third party theme sites

 

When can we use AppWorld without PayPal?  

PayPal is currently the exclusive payment method for BlackBerry App World. However, additional options are currently being investigated. Stay tuned!

 

I''m continuously get Themes that are not what I hoped for. What about Demo''s of Themes so others don't get as upset as I do for wasting money?        

Thank you for your feature suggestion. We are currently planning out our release schedule and will take this under consideration

 

whats the difference between bb palette 8 and 24 (loading time differences) 

It should be minimal changes to load time for 8 and 24 bit  images.  Just a slightly larger size, so a slightly longer load.  It depends on how many of these images you are using and their size.

 

What about saving your icon layout/positioning from theme to theme? And what about a Windows  app that lets you quickly arrange your icons? It's frustrating and time consuming to do it on the device. 

We are looking to try and solve this problem.

 

Are there plans to add additional payment methods besides PayPal?   

PayPal is currently the exclusive payment method for BlackBerry App World. However, additional options are currently being investigated. Stay tuned!

 

why is the largest icon you can have 80 by 80?  

This currently pre-determined by the theme on the device.  So for the Bold, the largest icon is 80x80.  This is different on each different BlackBerry Smartphone.

 

For the gradient question I meant on things like focus icons.

There is no dithering option for them. Currently there is not a dithering option for the icons. 

 

how much money on average are your top vendors making a month?   

Due to privacy concerns, RIM does not disclose financial information about our BlackBerry App World vendors.