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This is an adaptation of a comment I made to the Android Police story linked below regarding the rumored changes to the Necus program.

Updated with sources to back it up.

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The theme support mentioned sounds a lot like the implementation Sony Ericsson submitted to AOSP Gerrit a year or two ago. I can't find the link now but it was back when T-Mobile had just released their own implementation (https://github.com/tmobile) that soon after became the base for the theme support in CM. That implementation was also submitted to AOSP Gerrit and endorsed by cyanogen (+Steve Kondik) as a better alternative since it allowed users to customize the theme themselves, unlike the Sony Ericsson implementation.

However, +Dianne Hackborn said that the Sony Ericsson version was closer to what they wanted so the other submission was abandoned and T-Mobile ceased any major development on it soon after that. The T-Mobile implementation was picked up by CM and was updated to work with ICS and JB by arcee. From there it spread to many other ROMs.

I had hoped to find the link to the Gerrit change but I have had no luck this far. If someone finds it, it might provide some more insight into how this will work.

http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/10/03/rumor-evidence-mounts-that-an-lg-optimus-g-nexus-is-coming-along-with-a-nexus-phone-certification-program/

UPDATE: I was able to find the change I was looking. It's linked below. It does seem theme by users isn't totally out of the question in the rumored Customization Center as Dianne said it had been a goal since Android 1.0. We'll just have to see.

https://android-review.googlesource.com/#/c/20980/

There are also several changes in AOSP Gerrit regarding the Sony Ericsson implementation. Most of them are not yet merged but that could simply mean they moved to develop it internally.

https://android-review.googlesource.com/#/c/39980/

https://android-review.googlesource.com/#/c/39981/

https://android-review.googlesource.com/#/c/39982/

https://android-review.googlesource.com/#/c/32410/

https://android-review.googlesource.com/#/c/32411/

https://android-review.googlesource.com/#/c/39928/

https://android-review.googlesource.com/#/c/39929/

https://android-review.googlesource.com/#/c/39926/

https://android-review.googlesource.com/#/c/39927/

https://android-review.googlesource.com/#/c/36940/

UPDATE 2: The first iteration of Sony Ericsson's change has some more comments on it.

https://android-review.googlesource.com/#/c/19337/
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