Make Gnome Shell Look Like Android 4.0 With Ice Cream Shell Theme [Linux]

Danny Stieben 23-01-2012

android gnome shellEver since the release of Gnome Shell GNOME 3 Beta - Welcome To Your New Linux Desktop Read More  for Linux, there has been quite a handful of different themes that have been coming out for this new desktop environment. However, I haven’t gone over any of them recently, which is a pity considering how pretty some of them really are.


Today, we’ll be covering a very nice theme that should easily find a special place in the heart of Androidlovers. Yes, you guessed it, there’s a well-done theme of Android’s new 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” release for Gnome Shell.


In order to install it, you’ll need to have the usual tools when it comes to installing Gnome Shell themes, including the Gnome Shell environment itself, the theme package, Gnome Tweak Tool Configure Your Gnome 3 Desktop With Gnome Tweak Tool There aren't exactly a bazillion different customization options for just about anything, as GNOME 3/Shell is still relatively new. If you're one of those people who can't stand GNOME 3 as long as you cannot... Read More , and the necessary Gnome Shell extensions for changing themes. If you’ve changed your Gnome Shell theme before, you should be fine. If not, you’ll need to install Gnome Shell and Gnome Tweak Tool, then run this (if you’re using Ubuntu) to get the necessary extension for changing themes:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-extensions-user-theme

Fedorausers will simply have to run:

sudo yum install gnome-shell-extension-user-theme

You should now be ready to go! Go ahead and download the theme from here, and for the best experience you can also download the corresponding desktop wallpaper and “Roboto” fontsas well. Once all of those are downloaded, you can begin by installing the theme via the Gnome Tweak Tool.

The Theme

android gnome shellAs soon as you apply the new theme, you should start seeing a few things change. All items along the top of your shell will turn blue, and “Activities” will change into an icon. The font should also change as soon as you begin installing the four Roboto font files.



gnome shell linux Going into the Activities window, you’ll see quite a few other things change. The favorite icons on the left are now only separated from the rest of the screen by a single, smooth blue line instead of an entire box, creating a very minimal appearance. The Windows and Applications buttons are also styled differently, where both have a blue line beneath them but the selected screen is presented in blue lettering as well as a thicker line. The search box located towards the top right is less transparent than the default theme, but uses a smooth gradient with nice corners. The dock on the very right holding the different workspaces outlines each workspace in blue while the free space is a dark gray. android gnome shellThe Applications screen follows the color scheme as well. The icons of each application is a little smaller so that more applications fit on the screen at the same time, and all applications where the mouse hovers of them attain a blue background. The list of applications and the list of categories is only separated by the scrollbar. This helps maintain the minimal look that is present throughout the shell theme.


This new theme contains some great eye candy for all to enjoy. Even if you’re not an Android fan, you can still appreciate the beauty of this theme. Whether this is one of the best themes is debatable, but it certainly ranks among the better ones out there. What’s your favorite Gnome Shell theme? What are your thoughts about this theme? Let us know in the comments!

Related topics: Android Theme, GNOME Shell.

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  1. Serge
    February 16, 2012 at 5:37 am

     Help me please to change font color to blue like on your screenshots.
    White font is awful here.
    Also, which window theme do you prefer for this style? Can not find one suitable.

    • Danny Stieben
      February 19, 2012 at 3:33 am

      It went blue by itself, so I'm not sure how that's tweakable. Maybe using the Gnome Tweak Tool?

      As far as window theme, I'm not sure about one that fits perfectly with it, but in general I can recommend Zukitwo [1] and Hope [2].[1]:

  2. Jessica Cam W.
    February 12, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    That looks gorgeous!

    • Danny Stieben
      February 19, 2012 at 3:42 am

      Indeed. :)

  3. sandt
    January 24, 2012 at 3:58 am

    What I think is Gnome is just a collection of waste.
    And making it look like android will be more waste. Instead I use xfce with my ubuntu 11.10

    But any way , Hacking into the system and making it look different is fun. Thanks for sharing.

    • Danny Stieben
      January 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      I'm guessing you're not a fan of Android either? :P

      Hacking and tweaking definitely is fun. How's Xfce on Ubuntu working out for you?

      • sandt
        April 28, 2012 at 7:32 am

        I actually love android because , There is no better option in mobile OS than android , if some thing better than android comes thenonly I will start hating android. :D Xfce is working great for me on ubuntu. :)

    • Tynach
      April 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      Gnome's core technology is actually rather nice.

      It's a shame that they ruin it with that horrendous desktop environment.

      • sandt
        April 28, 2012 at 7:34 am

        Yeah , I also agree with you. I was using Gnome till version 2 , but in version 3 gnome developers have gone mad.