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Google: Android 4.0 'Holo' theme to be mandatory on all devices with Android Market

Zachary Lutz

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Google is rightfully proud of its native theme in Ice Cream Sandwich. Dubbed Holo, it's intuitive, functional and -- dare we say it -- downright sexy. Now, in an effort to provide all users with a consistent interface, the company is making the theme essential for all Android 4.0 devices that come bundled with the Android Market. That's right, the stock, undiluted experience. Don't be alarmed, though, because manufacturer customizations aren't going anywhere, and the changes aren't terribly drastic. In fact, for users of Sense, TouchWiz and the like, Google is issuing architectural mandates that will make it dead simple for independent developers to create apps that fit nicely into these customized environments, complete with the proper widgets and colors. In other words, app designers may effortlessly choose between Holo or the manufacturer's default theme when considering the software's interface -- although, we'd really love to see this decision extended to end-users. Meanwhile, it seems terribly unlikely that Google's new mandate will bring choice to the home screen, keyboard and dialer as well. We can only hope, right?

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