It feels like we have been waiting forever, but the public beta of SweeterHome2 is now available for download. SweeterHome2 is an alternative to the standard Android home screen that offers unprecedented levels of customization. The latest version works with Android 1.6 and Android 2.x, while Android 1.5 is unsupported.
Register for the beta and let us know what you think. I’m excited to see the custom creations that users will create. We held an Android home screen contest last year and I think we will revisit the idea if people are up for it.
Highlighted new feature since Sweeter Home Preview 1 include:
- Integrated Server-Based Theme Sharing makes finding and sharing themes easy
- Android Widget Support
- Tag Trays is a collaborative tagging system that helps keep your apps organized.
- Search Widget Support
- Editing improvements, including previews during editing
- Major performance and stability improvements
Our friend Lemon from Sweeter Skins has uploaded a quick video tutorial for new users.
Lemon has also posted some quick tips for sharing your custom skins:
Attach a screen shot from your live theme to your upload. This is actually very simple to do but not many people are doing it. When you’re in your active theme (ie: not in edit mode) set it up looking it’s best, then hit the menu button > More > Screen Capture. There you’ll see an option to ‘Use as Preview for upload’. Make sure that is selected, then click save. The next time you upload this theme it will use that image as the preview. It’s good way to make sure your theme look it’s best at upload, and will guarantee you downloads.
If you’re building to share with others, then think about content. Not everyone has the same widgets installed that you do, so maximise the use of the internal widgets (like SMS). If you have many widgets in your theme, those are going to be mostly avoided or replaced by your users, so consider leaving them out in the first place.
Embed and lock Custom Trays. The content in any Custom Tray will not be shared unless you set Embed to Yes. Also once your Custom Tray is set up consider locking it, so your users don’t accidentally drag the apps out of the tray. Custom Trays are also the only trays to receive icon replacements using apps like Better Cut, so if you want your users to experience your custom made icons then use a Custom Tray.
Share through a blog or forum. You can upload your SLX theme file from your SD card to the internet. Wanna get fancy? Link using the sweeterhome:// protocol (instead of http://) and the theme will launch to Sweeter Home right from your phone browser. (Test by visiting this post from your phone — click here: DarkRisingStars)