The best WinterBoard themes for iOS 9

By , Nov 21, 2015

winterboard-themes-ios-9

Theming has long been a part of the jailbreak community, with designers exercising their creativity by redesigning various elements of iOS. From icons to system glyphs, WinterBoard has the power to transform the aesthetics of the user interface on an iPhone or iPad.

With the release of iOS 9, designers have been updating existing themes and releasing new ones, many of which we’ve looked through to bring you some of the best Winterboard themes for iOS 9 in Cydia. While everyone’s visual preferences are different, here are some of the best-looking themes available, per your author’s tastes.

Veexillum

veexillum-theme

To me, the most outstanding thing about Veexillum is the uniformity it brings to iOS without making all the icons look boring. This is accomplished by using a few basic colors – white, black, blue, green, purple, and others – as backgrounds for the icons, with a logo or symbol unique to that app in the center. This strikes a beautiful balance between the wide variety of branding styles of various apps and the monotony of them all having the same basic color in a theme.

The range of background colors used helps to differentiate apps as well. For instance, iMovie and OneNote are examples of apps that keep the primary color of their official icons – purple – which makes them easy to find while still conforming them to the uniformity of Veexillum.

This theme is simple, beautiful, consistent, and unique, not to mention it has hundreds more icons than most themes out there, all working to make it one of my favorites – if not my top favorite – from this list. You can add Veexillum to your theme collection for $2.49, and it brings over 600 icons and a wide array of UI tweaks to all iPhones and iPads running iOS 7–9.

Flatish

flatish-theme

There are quite a few shadow-based themes available in Cydia, but none of them literally stand out like Flatish, which features icons containing multi-level layers that cast different levels of shadows. The result is fascinating to see and does wonders to help set this theme apart from others of its kind.

The issue with themes of this type – not just Flatish – is that app icons that aren’t themed won’t look so great next to custom icons with beautiful shadows. One solution to this is to hide unthemed icons with a tweak like Apex 2 until they become supported. Still, mismatched icons are always an annoyance.

That said, Flatish is a theme that will have you staring at your icons for unreasonably long amounts of time – the shadows are that cool and intricate. You can check them out for yourself for a $3.99 purchase, which includes support for iOS 7–9.

ayeris

ayeris-theme

Anyone who has been on the jailbreak scene for very long at all has undoubtedly heard of ayeris, the theme I can only describe as “candied” because of its soft blurs and candy-like color palette. While it always takes me a little time to adjust to ayeris after installing it for the first time in a while, it’s one of the best looking themes that stays comfortably close to iOS’s stock design.

Of course, there is more to ayeris than just icons, as it modifies the Home screen dock as well as system glyphs and status bar icons, and it comes with a few tasteful wallpapers as well. If you don’t own it yet, ayeris for iPhone can be purchased for $3.99, with the iPad version sold separately.

Amber

amber-theme

Another shadow-based theme, Amber is pleasantly unique in that it adds a subtle peek of the inside of an app to its icon with a faded screenshot, something for which I developed an appreciation after spending some time with the theme. The result is icons minimal enough so as not to be distracting but detailed enough for one to stop and examine more closely.

What I like about Amber is that it deviates from the traditional solid- or gradient-colored background of most app icons by added a tinted screenshot that truly adds a nice touch to the Home screen. The emblems centered on each icon are well-made and can be quickly recognized and associated with the app and its brand, if you don’t have time to read icon labels (or want to remove them altogether). Amber supports all recent iPhones and the latest versions of iOS, and you can pick up the theme for $1.99 in Cydia.

Echo

echo-theme

Out of the many themes I sifted through in preparation for this article, I was hard pressed to find one with better looking icons than Echo. Although it’s a small theme without a large number of themed icons, Echo is off to a great start with a beautiful color palette and well-made icon centerpieces. In fact, it may very well have one of the best Instagram icons I’ve seen in a theme, as other themes frequently cling too closely to the original Instagram design while simultaneously trying to flatten it and end up failing miserably.

As I mentioned, Echo is currently rather lacking in terms of the amount of revamped icons it contains, but I’m excited to see future updates with more icons themed in this general style, because I certainly appreciate what I’ve seen from it thus far. Echo definitely ranks among my top favorites from this list in terms of aesthetics, and you can own it for yourself and support future development with a $2.29 purchase.

Amor

amor-theme

Themers looking for a minimal solution for their device should look into Amor, a simple theme with colors a tad too bright to be called pastel but still pleasing to the eye and reasonably diverse. The symbols on each app icon are tastefully done with designs matching the simplistic ideals conveyed by Amor, and most of the icons have a subtle but refined fold through them – with half of the symbol or background being slightly darker than the other – occurring either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.

An issue with this sort of theme, as is the case with Flatish and similar designs, is that most unthemed icons are going to stick out glaringly next to the icons that conform to Amor’s visual cues. Again, this can be solved with Apex 2, but anyone strongly opposing a lack of uniformity should take note. That said, this theme is excellent for a minimal, flat look and could help to create a simple UI in collaboration with jailbreak tweaks for altering the iPhone’s interface. Amor can be picked up in Cydia for $1.99.

Amury

amury-theme

Following the aesthetics of iOS without too much of an alteration in design cues, Amury is a great solution for blending themed icons with non-themed ones. Even though it doesn’t stray very far from the traditional iOS look, many of the redesigns in Amury are welcome improvements and fresh new looks at old icons.

Besides looking nice on the Home screen, Amury does a great job redesigning icons within Settings and theming various UI elements, and it comes with several alternative icons, many of which I like better than the default ones you see above. But perhaps my favorite property of Amury is how it redesigns icons while retaining a native iOS look and blending with unthemed icons. You can add Amury to your collection for $3.49.

While this isn’t an exhaustive list that takes every iOS 9-compatible theme into account, quite a number of themes have been looked through before arriving at this list of my personal favorites.

My current setup uses both Echo and Veexillum simultaneously, as the design paradigms are similar, with Veexillum making up for Echo’s lesser amount of themed icons. What’s your favorite theme from this list, or what theme do you consider to be the best all time?

If you’re a theme designer and would like your work to be considered for future reviews, simply add your theme to Cydia ID #464563278 and let me know about it by sending an email to timothy@idownloadblog.com.

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  • Hey Timothy, great selection of themes. Obviously what is best for you might not be for everybody, so get ready for the comments saying “XYZ theme is better than these themes”

    As a non-themer myself, I think you did a great job at surfacing beautiful themes I probably would have never looked into on my own.

    • Bendy

      So glad you finally reviewed themes on here! Themes are such a big part of jailbreaking and the lack of news of themes was very depressing. I hope this becomes a more regular thing!!

      • Erick Reyes

        He didn’t review the themes. Read the author’s name on the top

  • James Bond

    Winter board is only surviving on base of Ayeris. For users Anemone is better than Winterboard.

    View As a user. Not a technician. I don’t know what is does to iOS but it is great to use.

    • I believe all of these themes are available on Anemone as well as WinterBoard, except for ayeris.

      • James Bond

        That’s why I told Winterboard is only surviving because of ayeris.

        Saurik will come with something big for sure. I was only using Winterboard because of it’s stability but anemone is also giving same faith.

      • Alberto Espinal

        Anemone uses less memory than Winterboard

      • n0mar

        I believe that also comes down to a number of things. Maybe if your theme only uses icons and no UI elements, there would probably be not much difference. If you’re theming almost everything in iOS, Anemone is most likely more optimised for that (also WinterBoard doesn’t really have that capability)

      • the hood

        Very true.

      • Rafael Romero

        Good list, i really suggest everyone to check my upcoming theme “Omega” coming soon! Check this preview!

    • this isn’t rooted in any sort of reality. Ayeris is long passed it’s prime. Hundreds of new themes have popped up and they all support Winterboard. Anemone and Winterboard can both exist without one being the loser. IMO, Anemone is all hype.

    • Yeah Winterboard honestly always was and forever will be complete crap! It is a resource hog, it causes tons of conflicts and lacks any type of real interface.

      Anemone however runs great, has the convenient option of previewing your homescreen (no more respringing to see how a theme looks) and the devs are very actively updating the tweak (usually every night with their nightly repo).

      I loved Winterboard for many years, as it was the only option for themes, however the tweak is ridiculous to even think about installing now that Anemone is here.

      About damn time for iDB to stop poorly recommending it!! Throw Springtomize3 into that category as well because besides the ease of access to all the tweaks in one spot, many other tweaks that do the same function run much better. Also it’s not like the A3Tweaks devs are gonna push out more than maybe 2 updates for it! ha

      • $@//

        Can you name the tweaks that do the same things as Springtomize3 because i’m intrigued……..

  • stevefe84

    Great article. Could you share the wallpaper with us?

    • I knew someone was going to ask me that. https://www.dropbox.com/s/urz6k6nivocmh7g/wallpaper.jpeg?dl=0

      • mrjayviper

        that’s from a cyanogenmod theme but he probably got it somewhere else. I believe the non-blocky source is a Google wallpaper.

    • Eliijah Moss

      Here are some more like it. I like these. You can get these wallpapers from the iDevice wall app from Cydia. Daily wallpapers are included.

  • Christopher Shaun

    What I feared when reading the heading is true. You omitted the theme 0bvious for IOS 8/9. Quite frankly in “my” opinion this list is incomplete without it. I suggest that everyone at least looks it up on Cydia.

    • Not my style at all, but I might consider it for a review article.

  • Merman123

    I feel old. Themes don’t appeal to me anymore. If this is the “best of” then I’m best to not be messing with themes haha.

    • John

      Nope. Don’t feel old (unless I should too), I stopped jailbreaking years ago because all I did was theme now that I use iOS for work, I’ve appriciated the finer details of iOS 8/9 much more.

      • diggitydang

        Like what? I’m curious. Is there stuff you don’t know about when you jailbreak?

    • mrjayviper

      I have an LG G3 if I wanna theme my phone to the max. My 6s+ is stock/unjailbroken. all I needed on it was f.lux which was available a weeks ago

      • h4nd0fg0d

        I believe that the f.lux file can still be used. Someone posted it a few days back.

      • mrjayviper

        as long as you have the “source code”, you can install it.

  • You missed out the amazing Muze!

    http://www.macciti.com/pages/muze/ss/1.jpg

    • Not bad, I might have to review it soon.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah do more on themeing, thats the biggest reason i jailbreak. And it a part of the jailbreak community that idb tends to lack in content on. Maybe some tutorials on how to theme individual app icon with multiple theme would be cool to see. Just an idea. Plus by the amount if post i think theme articals would be a hit!

    • Agreed, I’m rocking muze too , it’s up there with the best.

  • Hassan Sanie San Shaheed

    Great article. I like this type of stuff. Keeps me updated on the different themes out there I’m missing out on. Keep it up! Thanks

  • leart

    waiting to see something to be a little close to jaku theme, the best theme ever..

    • Furrnace

      I used to love this theme. It seems like it wouldn’t fit with the iOS 9 flat feel, but if someone came along and gave it a fresh look, maybe I’d get it.

  • Hotrod

    I’m not sure if this was a weak selection or do they just seem so bland & similar because the same wallpaper was used

  • Guy

    Really loving selection

  • Alberto Espinal

    Ace el Cap and Ace 2

    • TheRaptor15

      Hello Alberto, Can you share the wallpaper you are using? Is there a PSD file available for Ace el Cap? Then i can create my own themes.

  • Luka Kajtes

    Check out Looka theme for iOS 9… Its awesome!

  • Jayy

    Right now i’m rocking with the “Ace El Captain” theme

    • Bradley Hines

      Link to wallpaper?

      • Jayy

        Here ya go!

      • Bradley Hines

        Thank you!! Greatly appreciated!

      • Jayy

        No problem!

    • h4nd0fg0d

      Like your style.

      • Jayy

        Thanks!

  • stylesbeyond

    same old boring styles no one has any creativity these days they all look the same

  • Chris Coleman

    Great selection, I’m currently using PlayDough which I think deserves a look.

  • stylesbeyond

    rather stick to my own personal theme than the same tired looking ones

    • Chris Ryan

      ^^ fugly 😛

    • wswalex

      not bad man! share it 🙂

    • GrandMasterB

      LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. Please Share 🙂

  • Chris

    Veexillum looks damn good.

  • Roy Chang

    I don’t agree with this list! XYZ theme is better than these themes

  • I’ve been enjoying Soft Remix for a couple years now. It’s always jarring to be off-jailbreak and see the “real” icons – and then jarring again to get on jailbreak and get back to Soft Remix.

    Thanks for the post – I like these roundups because I don’t go looking for themes these days, but I do like to “window shop” from time to time.

  • n0mar

    Using indigo

  • Bring back dreamboard themes. They were the only themes I thought were worth it.

  • ahmed

    I’m currently using Lasso and loving it so far

    • Lee Pattison

      His other theme Laguna is one of my all time favorite iOS theme.

  • loorey

    Muse with Raspberry and Opennotifier..

  • James Bond

    I don’t want to be that guy but iDB is partial to some some developers. Legendary Developers I should say.

    Like Springtomize. They never suggest HideMeX

    In the post of Pegasus, Jeff added Videopane which was un necessary. Videopane is so different than Pegasus. You have to admire new guys and their talent.

    Now a days Anemone is better, deserves a Whole New Article.

    Many other tweaks are going unnoticed or being ignored. Old is gold but you have to admire new guys. *sorry if I am wrong, personal thoughts *

    This article is great though.

  • Irvan Tristian

    The best winterboard themes is Gunni-8 as well as its font.

  • ricky_nguyen

    What about Ambre iOS 9 or even Primo iOS 9!

  • Mark S

    Thanks for the review. Too bad so many of the themes all look the same. No real stand out other than Ayeris and Flatish. The others all knock offs of these two.

  • DtownBlogger

    Imo Muze is one of the best themes out there!

  • (JailbreakQA) King Shoot

    Article should be renamed to “Best Anemone themes of iOS 9”. Winterboard is dying now that a superior theming platform is out. The only reason people use it at all is because they didn’t hear about Anemone yet or because of ayeris (gee, thanks surenix).
    The future of theming is bright with Anemone. It has a superior, easy to use UI, uses less resources, has almost no conflicts and if you ever get problems you’ll always get an immediate response from support.
    I understand Winterboard (and SummerBoard before it) have been with the jailbreak community for years, but it’s time to more forward.

  • h4nd0fg0d

    Big on Amber, my current. Along with Anemone overlays. Also strictly using Anemone for first time on 9.

  • J C

    They pretty much all look the same…

  • Zain A

    The real question is what wall paper are you using?