One of my favorite features in Windows 7 is Aero Glass. There’s something really appealing about the whole Aero look, and I love changing the look and feel of my system by changing Aero colors.
But Windows 7 only offers 14 pre-set Aero colors, and if I need a change I have to go to my display options and do it manually. So Aero colors are a lovely thing, but let’s admit it, they’re a bit limited. So I’ve rounded up some cool tools that will enliven your Aero colors experience, be it custom colors, colors that match wallpapers, or even the weather.
AeroTuner is a portable app that helps you do one thing: customize Aero color. If you’re tired of those same old default options (and let’s face it, only 3-4 of them are really usable), use AeroTuner to create your very own Aero color.
With this little application you can choose your main color and glow color, and then start playing with color balance, blur balance and Aero stripes. You can pretty much create any look you want, and within seconds, your system will have a unique look no one else can match!
If you change your mind, simply click restore and your previous colors will return. You can also find your previous colors in the Personalize area when you right-click the desktop area.
Windows 8 is going to have a new feature that will change Aero Glass color according to wallpaper. But what if you don’t want to wait? Try Aura.
This small and portable tool can change Aero color according to either wallpaper color or active window icon color. If you’re using IE 9 (which I’m not), it should also change color according to active tabs.
What Aura essentially does is turn the task bar transparent, so it reflects the wallpaper, and the windows themselves get a color that matches the wallpaper or the active window. I’m not sure how the algorithm works, but it seems to be giving out greys a fair number of the times. Nevertheless, the general feeling is rather pleasant.
AeroBlend is very similar to Aura, but in my opinion seems to work a little better. This might be due to the algorithm that it uses to calculate the colors. It is also an actual installation, and not a portable app.
As in Aura, you can choose whether it should change colors according to wallpaper, icon or content (not only IE9!), and you can control the color intensity right there from the settings window. You can also choose to check the mysterious option “Fade colos”.
I’m assuming “Fade colos” is fade colors, and some testing seem to show that this is in fact the case. When you uncheck it, the change in color is immediate. The difference, however, is almost unnoticeable.
As you can see, AeroBlend creates a pretty good match to wallpaper color, and the entire work environment becomes much more lively. Fun!
One of the coolest tools I’ve found on my quest to boost my Aero color is AeroWeather. This nifty little tool changes Aero color according to either temperature or weather conditions.
To start, you’ll need to set up your location (zip code works in US only) and choose whether the colors should change according to temperature or conditions. If you choose temperature, you can decide the range according to which you’d like the color to change. When the temperature is close to the lower end, your desktop will look bluish-purplish:
When it’s close to the higher end, it will turn reddish:
There are all sorts of other colors in the middle.
AeroWeather can also dim your Aero color at night, which is a really cool feature. If you can’t see a real change, try increasing color intensity in Windows’ Personalize –> Window color.
AeroRainbow is another fun application – this time, an Aero color randomizer. This little app comes from the same developers as AeroTuner, but does something a bit different. The main feature is a constantly changing Aero color, either randomly or according to a list you can build yourself.
You can decide how often the change occurs, but the slowest setting is one change per minute, which is still a bit fast for my tastes. You can also use AeroRainbow to change your colors according to wallpaper, active window or active window icon, and choose whether this will be according to dominate color or average color.
If you create a nice color list, you can have a truly fetching desktop that never gets boring!
Aero color tweakers, if you use them right, can help you create a system that is both fun and aesthetic. Just trying these tools out made me a happier person. Go ahead, indulge yourself and start playing with colors. It’s the easiest way to change your work environment so your eyes never get bored.
Do you know of some more interesting color customization tools for Aero? Let us know in the comments!
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