Google ‘Holo’ theme mandatory for Android 4.0 ICS, Xperia to keep UXP skin though

by XB on 4th January 2012

in Android, Firmware

ICS ScreenshotThere was an interesting post over on the Android Developers Blog last night, where Google confirmed that any device that is running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with the Android Market installed, will have to have the Holo theme installed. However, before Xperia owners jump for joy thinking they can run stock ICS, we should point out this doesn’t affect the manufacturer’s use of skins like Sony Ericsson’s UXP framework, HTC Sense or Samsung Touchwiz.

This Holo theme consists of UI widgets and other design elements targeted to app developers. Basically, app developers can call on the default Holo theme if the DeviceDefault theme (in this case SE’s UXP) is not present. The main reason for this mandatory inclusion is to maintain consistency between the user interface and apps. By separating the themes, the other theoretical benefit is that manufacturers such as Sony Ericsson should be able to push quicker updates to new platform versions.

We’d love to see Google extend this to cover the stock home launcher but unfortunately we can’t see this happening any time soon, mainly due to the ‘open’ nature of Android. Our best bet is for Sony Ericsson to provide the stock theme as an alternative to UXP, although that’s just as unlikely. Thank goodness for CyanogenMod!

  • Anonymous


  • hmm i thought SE will provide Vanilla version of ICS along with SE stock version ??

  • Anonymous

    Please stop posting this uninformed crap as fact.

    The truth is, Holo and Holo Dark NEED to be included, as they are referenced by the Android SDK.   There were the same requirements based on honeycomb too.

    This is nothing new, and no suprise either.

  • Jan

    this is new to me cuz im n00b okay?

  • i’m a gamer

    looks very good on my xperia play cause :

    I’m in love with my beautiful xperia play

  • Aldijed

    I don’t really understand this if Sony keeps the UXP?  So basically apps, menus, icons, and widgets will have to follow this Holo theme while the home launcher is still Sony?  Or does it basically mean that developers and manufactuers will have to keep everything they make follow certain design elements of google’s holo theme? 

  • Aldijed

    Never mind, the Android Developer Blog explained it much more clearer.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah I really hope SE includes the default launcher too !!and I would love to see SE have a special developer release that is just a plan Vanilla release without any other included apps, just Vanilla but with all SE special features enabled ( like SE camera interface to access all SE features ), the rest can be installed separately from SE section in the Android Market.. like Facebook inside Xperia.. 

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  • Malcolm Odita

    Vanilla pictures app and SE stock pictures app only

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