Themes have been a part of Samsung phones for a while now and they make it easy to change up the look of the UI. The Theme Store has tons of themes to choose from, many of them being free. A new change coming with the Android Pie update will limit the amount of time you can use free themes on Samsung devices.
According to a pop-up message in the Theme Store, Samsung will be limiting free theme usage to just 14 days with Android Pie. That means you will only be able to use a free theme for 14 days. After that, the theme will automatically be reverted to the default. Samsung will notify the user of this change 1-day and 10-minutes before it occurs. These notifications will come with suggestions for other themes.
Samsung says they want to make sure talented theme designers get reimbursed for their work. Apparently, they don’t know it’s possible to make paid themes. If the designer wanted to charge for the theme they could have done it themselves. This will essentially force designers to charge for their themes, otherwise, it will be impossible for a user to use the theme longterm. And, of course, Samsung gets a cut from theme sales.
This is a very strange decision. Again, keep in mind that these are free themes. There is no way for the user to purchase the theme or “unlock” a full version. You may find a free theme that you really like and once those 14 days are over you will no longer be able to use it. As a strategy to increase theme downloads and profits, this is pretty aggressive. Users are going to hate the change and we don’t blame them. It appears not everything about Android Pie on Samsung devices is going to be good.
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