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Get started with Themes on the HTC One M9

A new Themes app on the HTC One makes it super simple to change the font, sounds, colors, wallpapers and icons on your favorite device.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
3 min read
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Jason Cipriani/CNET

During the HTC Mobile World Congress event where the HTC One M9 was announced, one of the key features demonstrated on stage was the ability to personalize the device with a new Themes app.

This app allows you to skip out on deciding which Android launcher, and its accompanying icon packs, you like the most (though you can surely still use them) and makes it possible to change the entire look and feel of your One with little effort.

To get started with the app, you first need to know where to find it. As we previously covered, there are some theme-like options in the Settings app under Personalize, but that's not where the Themes app calls home. In fact, it's just like any other app installed on your device -- sitting in your app drawer. (You can also access theme settings through the path outlined above, but it's far quicker to open the app directly.)

HTC Themes app, with theme options, preview and applying. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Upon opening the app, you're greeted with a mixed bag of recommended and newly added themes to the collection. Some of them were developed by HTC itself, while others come from fellow One owners.

Selecting a theme will tell you who designed it, as well as bring up more screenshots (which you can then open full screen), in order for you to get a better idea of what the theme looks like. Tap on the Download button if you think a particular theme is a keeper. Once downloaded, the button will transform into an Apply button. You'll then be asked to confirm your choice, and reminded the new theme will even change the device sounds. If you confirm, a few seconds later the theme is applied.

Sliding out the menu drawer on the left side of the screen will reveal more options for you to customize. Icons, fonts, sounds, wallpapers and Dot View can all be individually changed outside of the all-in-one theme packages.

The same process as found when selecting, downloading and applying a theme is applied to the respective subcategories. It's super-easy.

Examples of the process to create your own theme on the HTC One. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Having the added ability to fine-tune your preferences leads into the next tip, which is creating your own themes. At any time within the Themes app, you can select the "+" button along the top of the screen to begin the process.

You'll need to select a wallpaper, whether it's from a theme you've downloaded or a picture in your Gallery. It's important to remember, the accent colors of your theme are based on the photo you select as your wallpaper. So if you pick a bright pink and green wallpaper, expect those two colors to dominate throughout various screens on your device. The more themes you've downloaded within the app, the more options you're going to have during this process.

After selecting a wallpaper, you'll be presented with some theme combinations the app put together for you. Scroll down to view more options, and when you've found one that's close to being ideal, tap on the Edit button at the bottom of the screen. The following screens are where you can change and customize every detail of your personal theme.

When you're done, save your work and give it a name. Depending on how picky you are, the process is really simple.