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More than two years after the Holo visual style became standard, there are still quite a few major apps and publishers that aren't on the trolley. Plenty of eager graphic designers have submitted visuals for Holo versions of these apps, but the two-man team at Holofication Nation has gone further: they've actually remade the apps themselves. If that's not enough for you, they've also released an official HN app to the Play Store, making it easy to download and update these unofficial app mods.

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All the apps in the Holofication Nation library are modified versions of free apps, so there's nothing untoward about downloading them. (The services' copyright lawyers might have something to say, but I doubt any of them are aware of the HN apps, and probably wouldn't care if they were.) The team is targeting well-known apps with non-Holo user interfaces and large userbases. At present they've re-skinned just four apps, Instagram, Grooveshark, CNN, and Steam. Don't hold it against them - they're a small team doing a big job, and more apps are coming. There are a few restrictions; CNN will only work on devices with XHDPI resolution, for example.

2014-02-16 02.42.14 2014-02-16 02.37.46 2014-02-16 02.37.51

You'll need to uninstall the Play Store version of the relevant apps to get the Holofied version, and of course, you'll have to wait on HN to issue updates to any of the apps you install. Once you've got everything set up and sync enabled, the apps should update automatically. Their modified apps looks pretty good for unofficial work. If you'd like to contribute or comment on Holofication Nation's progress, be sure to catch up with them on XDA or on the Google+ Community. There's also a dedicated Holofication Nation website.

Heads up: This app installs unverified versions of apps on your phone or tablet, some of which have access to your login information for various websites and services. I don't think there's anything duplicitous going on here, but there is at least some risk with all non-Play Store installs. Make sure you trust any apps that you install manually.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • epsiblivion

    nice! I'll check out instagram and steam

  • Connor

    Thanks for featuring us!

    • Meme

      I wish you used Xposed for theming official apps and updates...

      • Connor

        Xposed requires root access, and not all users have root, so we'd rather make it so all users can have these mods.

  • Daniel Traynor


  • Connor

    Make sure to visit our website too, http://holonation.co.uk

    • Akshay Mehta

      Is the pulled from the play store ? I'm getting item not found error

      • Ror

        IIt's still live for me, US and JP stores.

      • BarKa

        seems it wil be pulled sooner or later

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    • godutch

      Have you offered the the mods to the developers of these apps?

      • Connor

        One of the publishers has contacted us, we just cannot say which.

        • WORPspeed

          My money is on that it is in regards to the steam app.

          • Cesar

            I'd be more inclined to guess snapchat. I know they've made a holofied version of it, but it's not mentioned on the website or in this article. It's available in the original thread on XDA here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2630718

            My guess would be that the Snapchat devs contacted them about using their design in the official app and that's why they're not offering it on the website.

          • DonEmu

            Snapchat's official app is already pretty holo or at the very least has a flat aestetic.

          • Connor

            Snapchat isn't on our site or app because we're redoing it.

        • Crispin Swickard

          I hope Its steam so hard. Their app is terrible looking.

  • Grayson B

    Did this get pulled?

    • Fry

      Must have, I can't find it on the play store and the link up top doesn't work.

      • Jorell Rutledge

        Should be back shortly. There was an issue with the upload.

        • Fry

          Thanks bro!

          • Jorell Rutledge

            No problem.

  • Phil W

    Great app. Successfully installed both Steam and Instagram.

  • Jorell Rutledge

    The app wasn't pulled from the Play Store. It should be up again shortly. There was an issue with the upload. It's fixed and should be showing up soon.

  • Jalok Xlem

    I've just downloaded their Holo Grooveshark version app. I didn't even know that Grooveshark had an official app, and I probably won't want to know anyway, because why would the devs make a mod for it in the first place. Just purely awesome!

  • NathanDrago

    Concerning Steam, I'd like to see removed the transitions between the various items of the menu (Friends, Catalogue, Groups, Wishlist) and a working slide-out menu. Is it something you guys can work on?

    Also, can you reassure me about the safety of the transactions made through your app?

    • Connor

      We do not modify any of the base code or add any code alike, thus there is no way for us to add code which is fraudulent.

  • Amer Khaznadar

    While they did a good job on the looks of these apps, there's no way I would trust my Steam account to an app that is not official nor open-source.

    • Connor

      Message me via hangouts and I'll provide the app in its decompiled state if you wish.

      • Squiddles

        Would it be possible to put the apps on Github? I'd love to use the Steam app as well, but I'd rather not risk my account.

        • Connor

          I will not make the code publicly available, since I'm sure Valve wouldn't appreciate it, but you can message me via hangouts if you want it.

  • resa

    Instagram and CNN above look AWESOME

  • Siddharth Rajde

    Microsoft is opening up windows to ‪android apps Learn more with Edictogram:

  • Andrew

    I'm probably being incredibly stupid, but does this not work? I've uninstall Instagram, downloaded this app, pressed download in the Instagram window, it appears to download something for a split second, but then nothing else happens. There don't appear to be any files in a folder, and the app's own download window shows nothing.

    • Connor

      Our download links on the app is currently down. Download them from our website, they work there.
      A fix is coming soon.

  • http://ignaciozippy.com/ Ignacio Zippy

    Nice, but I’d prefer these as Xposed mods, if possible. #HOLOYOLO!

  • flosserelli

    I commend Creative Trendz for taking on this project, but the fact that such an need exists is a slap in the face to android users. You can bet that a two-man development group was not needed to convert these apps for iOS7.

    • RTWright

      Just how on earth is this a slap in the face to the Android Users? If anything it would be towards the devs of these apps that have not updated their UI's to conform with the Holo based look. Apple users, typical....

  • Martin

    Instagram looks AMAZING! This is how all devs need to make apps... Good job guys! Now twitter, facebook please :-))))

  • tym0

    I like the idea but not the realisation, I mean the Instagram app doesn't feel holo at all, feels more like a WP app to me...

    • Connor

      I don't manage the Instagram, I have been telling Brandon to use the correct action bar, etc.

  • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

    I think this app actually violates the Google Play TOS.

    • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

      I would like to know this too. Isn't it violating the Impersonation or Deceptive Behavior policy?

      "Products or the ads they contain also must not mimic functionality or warnings from the operating system or other apps."

      "Developers must not divert users or provide links to any other site that mimics or passes itself off as another app or service."

      FYI, I support this project and am following the xda thread and have pinned their website on my chrome. I just want to know if this app violates play store policy or not.

      • Anonymoose

        I don't think so, it doesn't mimic functionality and mimic the apps, it IS the functionality and apps, just reskinned. Google might think differently though, so we'll see.

  • Bob Hart

    CNN never looked better....THX

    I prefer the BBC News over CNN.

    The NBC News app sucks too.