Although Samsung makes some of the best flagship Android devices, its software can be an acquired taste. One of the best remedies for this are the vast amount of themes available in their Theme Store, many of which are free. In a curious and unfortunate move, Samsung will now limit how long you can use a free theme with Android Pie. Free themes will literally have expiration dates with the new policy.
A pop-up message in the theme store explains that free themes will be limited to 14 days of use, after which the default theme will reappear. Users will be notified one day and then ten minutes before the free theme disappears, along with suggestions for other themes. Why is this happening? Samsung claims that developers should be compensated for their work, although those developers can charge for paid themes anytime. Why force them to if they want to offer free ones? Let’s not forget that Samsung gets a cut of every theme sale, which could be part of this decision making.
Free themes, for the most part, are just that. There are no “full versions” or other ways for users to purchase them. The new policy effectively reduces them to short free trials. This is an aggressive and surely unpopular move by Samsung, and it’ll be interesting to see how developers respond.