bPhone gives BlackBerry the iPhone feel

Want an iPhone, but have a BlackBerry? Before you chuck the hardware, try out this free theme that imitates iPhone's interface.

Want an iPhone, but have a BlackBerry? You ought to look at bPhone for BlackBerry, a theme whipped up by 25-year-old computer programmer Matthew Rogers one afternoon last September.

You'll most appreciate the iPhone-like essence of one of Rogers' three theme layouts in the start screen, though the theme does also extend into the style of the context menu. "Icon" is the most typical theme, and the one that Rogers most prefers. "Zen" drops icons into a side bar, and "Today" makes a day planner of the home screen. You can install any or all of the themes, and activate them from BlackBerry's Advanced Options menu.

bPhone's default aquatic background (you can change the wallpaper) is overlain with rounded-corner box icons reminiscent of the iPhone. Rogers confided he built all the icons from scratch, though he borrowed from iPhone's looks, and had to compromise some style (a partially transparent BlackBerry menu) with functionality (it crashed Google Maps) while implementing the Plazmic Content Developer's Kit.

Third-party apps don't have icons, so if you're not into a dual-themed display, bPhone may not be for you.

bPhone is free, as are Rogers' other themes, though he'll gladly accept $1, $2, $5, and $10 donations.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.