Back in the days of CyanogenMod 9 in early 2011, Cyanogen introduced CTME, their own theme engine. This theme engine allowed system-wide themeing and UI changes, to an extent that no one had managed to successfully implement before. The best part? It was universal, so you could upload and download themes from the Google Play Store in a similar manner to how you can today with Substratum. However, 6 long years and 2 changes in owner later, the engine is finally going the way of the dinosaur.
The team behind LineageOS, the spiritual successor to CyanogenMod, have started removing all the theme engine code within LineageOS itself. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention; CyanogenMod 14 (which later evolved into LineageOS) had no sign of the theme engine to be found anywhere, indicating that even then the team had buried the hatchet with regards to that particular venture. It seems that despite all the hopes of praying users, CTME is going for good.
But wait – is this a bad thing?
Not really. Aside from pure nostalgic value, this theme engine was adding no benefit to LineageOS whatsoever. Furthermore, the vast majority of CTME themes in the Play Store are projects that have long since been abandoned, and the few remaining fighters struggle to muster the strength to spit out sparse updates. Furthermore, Substratum has effectively filled the vacuum left behind by CTME, and effectively so; to the point where due to Google's implementation of the Overlay Management System theme engine in Android Oreo, you can now install full system themes in Android Oreo without root. Given that Google has implemented this feature, it may also be a feasible idea that Google plans on making themes a part of the Android experience – after all, they did add a dark theme to the Pixel 2. Regardless, don't feel too sad about the death of CTME. Themeing is stronger than it's ever been before.
What do you guys think? Do you miss your old Cyanogen themes? Let us know in the comments.