Samsung just locked down Free Themes on Galaxy devices

Chris Burns - Nov 16, 2018, 10:19 am CDT
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Samsung just locked down Free Themes on Galaxy devices

In an update this week, Samsung notified some Galaxy smartphone users that they’d no longer have access to unlimited free themes. Instead, with their update to Android 9 Pie, users will be limited to fourteen days of any one free theme. This is not an optional rule change, and it’ll affect all developers.

While this update occurred on some Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphones, it’ll occur on all Samsung devices in the coming weeks (and maybe months?) The update came to some users earlier this week and quickly appeared on a number of devices – as shared by users on Twitter, other social networks, and our tip line.

According to Samsung’s update, “Free themes will be usable for fourteen days once applied and the Home screen will automatically change to the default Touchwiz theme (no theme theme) when the usage period ends. Before the Home screen is changed to the default theme, we will provide two prior notifications to help you change the theme beforehand.” These notifications will occur once one day before the change, and another time 10 minute before the change.

These updates will include “suggested themes” – not entirely unlike an advertisement – so users wont be without options up front. These updates will not automatically include a way to continue using the free theme. These updates will force the user to switch to a different theme, or to switch to no theme at all.

Samsung is aiming to drive more users toward paying for themes – that much is obvious. A move like this was also likely planned to make users switch themes and take the time to explore additional developer creations. What it wont do is work.

Instead of driving more use of this theme engine in Samsung devices, the change will drive users away from using themes at all. OR it’ll drive users to head to the Google Play app store where they’ll find Android Launcher apps with free themes without time limits – it’s too easy not to do if users want themes.

Have a peek at our recent list of launchers – from March of this year, but still very much a top list of launchers for Android. It’ll change the way you run Android, in a good way – even if you’re not on a Samsung device affected by the news above!


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