Arguably one of the biggest web-design buzz words from 2011 into 2012 has been the word mobile. Mobile web-design, mobile user interfaces, mobile screen sizes -- and mobile apps. With over 500,000 mobile apps currently in the Apple App Store, apps have officially taken over. These applications have become an undeniable part of our future. The surprising part of this explosion (from a design perspective) is how few resources are currently out there to help designers and developers make awesome apps. In this article we're going to take a look at that, and at the birth of a new resource: the iPhone application theme.
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From HTML, to Wordpress, to Mobile?
From the earliest days of the internet explosion we started seeing pre-made HTML templates. Then, during the era of the blog and CMS, we started seeing Wordpress and other themes that could help just about anyone launch a website in a matter of hours.
Now that we’re standing at the beginning of the mobile app explosion we are starting to see the same trend apply to application themes. Custom design and development is giving way to pre-made and easier to customize templates that bring down the barrier to entry.
What Makes an App Theme?
In a lot of ways a mobile application theme is just like any other template for Wordpress or other development platforms.
Many of these mobile templates include complete designs with sliced images, sample code, and essentially everything except the most basic back-end functionality of the app. With some of these templates it’s possible to literally download and install them within hours. And, since we are still on the earlier side of this trend, it is really just a matter of time until these app themes and templates are just as popular as other themes.
Another feature touted by many of the new mobile themes is an included source PSD file (we include these at MediaLoot)that makes it easier to customize. This is basically a nod to the more professional application designers/developers who will require customization but still want to benefit from the pre-made resources.
Complete App Themes & Templates
I’ve put together a little roundup of some cool iPhone UI and icon kits as well as a few complete themes to help you build an awesome-looking and awesome-working app while saving you time designing and coding.
This first group of resources is the more complete ready-made type of app theme. They are a pretty varied group but similar in that you still have customization options for the pre-made template. Some are for more general app uses where as the Story Book Template is an example of a theme for a very specific type of app. Check them out-
Wallet: iPhone App UI Theme
Notetool iPhone App UI Kit Psd
iPhone 4 GUI Psd (Retina Display)
Wood iPhone App UI Theme
Story Book iOS App Template
iPhone Interface & Icon Kits
Whereas the group above is more like Wordpress themes for app development, this group is more like an awesome tool kit for you to use while designing your app. Instead of the set theme you need to customize this group is a nice selection of app UI/icon kits you can use as you need making your stuff look cool and making you feel cool as you save yourself some work. Some of them are even free. Take a look, below-
iPhone Psd Vector Kit
Surface iPhone UI Kit
App Icon Template
Fresh iPhone UI Kit
iPhone and iPad App UI Kit Psd Vol1
What do you look for in a great iPhone app theme or UI kit? What are some difficulties you have encountered while using one? Have you found some other cool themes or templates? Share your experiences, preferences, and predictions for the future.