Kik themes remain something of a mystery for users running the popular chat application on Android devices. Maybe you’ve seen a friend’s Kik application diverging from the usually limited customization, and instead appearing in varying shades of pink, black, blue, or other colors and patterns that make their Kik Messenger interface unique.
Is this out of your reach? If you’re an iOS or Windows Phone user, then yes. Customizable Kik themes are only accessible in an Android environment, meaning that only users with Android devices (or users emulating an Android environment on Windows PCs and Macs) have access to this fun feature. There are a few other stipulations to recognize, too, before you delve into this customization process. It doesn’t involve “jailbreaking” or “rooting” your phone, for those familiar with those terms. The process is actually quite simple, but will require some technical maneuvering and should only be done by those who are familiar with navigating the Google Play app store.
The obstacle that prevents iOS and Windows Phone users from being able to take advantage of this comes down to proprietary, permitted software on each operating system’s respective app store. Both Apple and Microsoft have tight screening processes that keep certain applications (or copies of applications) from appearing on their storefronts. This is actually a good thing in terms of keeping their stores free of refuse and scam apps, both of which occasionally make their way to the more open “Google Play” store featured on Android devices.
Keep in mind before proceeding with themed customization in Kik Messenger: there are security risks associated with this type of app customization. These themes are not developed by the team behind Kik Messenger, and therefore, you’ll have little recourse for help should you encounter any type of error or problem while doing this.
Still committed to making your Kik Messenger flashier than the rest? Then proceed with caution, and as always do not divulge any personal information about yourself should any of the apps you encounter ask for it.
Putting a Theme on Your Kik
Though the applications that allow you to “theme” Kik Messenger can each function somewhat differently, one basic rule applies to all of them: you’re not technically “adding a theme” to Kik Messenger. What you’re doing, instead, is downloading a themed version of the app itself.
In order to best facilitate this, any installation of a “themed” version of Kik Messenger should always be prefaced by uninstalling any existing version of Kik on your Android device. Before proceeding with this, there are several precautions you’ll want to take:
- Ensure that you know your unique username, password, and email address.
- Copy/Paste any messages in Kik that you wish to save. They will be gone when you uninstall Kik.
- Save any images or videos that you do not wish to lose with your chat history.
Though there are steps you can take to recover your username or password should you forget them, there is no way to recover a wiped chat history after you’ve uninstalled (or even logged out of) Kik Messenger. I cannot stress enough that you should ensure you have retained any messages or media attachments that you wish to keep, before attempting to install a themed version of Kik.
theme (noun)- a subject or idea to express something
Where Do I Find a Theme?
This is often the trickiest part, and it also comes with the greatest risk. You won’t be able to find a themed version of Kik on the Google Play store, since none of these themed, customized versions of the app are officially licensed. What does this mean, for you?
It means that you’ll have to scour the web in search of a theme that’s to your liking. Additionally, Kik Messenger will not be responsible for any errors that you encounter while using a themed version of the app. Finally, and perhaps worth the greatest consideration, is the fact that not all themed versions of Kik will be compatible with every model of Android device. Since such an extensive variety and number of Android devices are currently available on the market, this means that you could very well encounter significant amounts of trial and error that we won’t be able to account for in this guide.
You also will be unable to run the latest, most up-to-date version of Kik Messenger. Because each “theme” is actually a customized version of the Kik app, there’s no way to update the “themed” app without breaking the theme. This means that you must be satisfied with running an older version of Kik Messenger than is currently available on the Google Play store.
If you’re still invested in the customization, proceed directly to your web browser, and start searching! I highly recommend using your smartphone or other Android device in order to do this. Android OS will allow you to download the custom .apk (that’s the “app file”) directly to your device so that it can be installed.
Try beginning your search on websites such as Beautiful Droid, where you can find a good number of theme-modified Kik applications to download. To list them all would be an exhaustive effort, but basic search terms that ask what you’d like in a Kik theme (such as “Kik theme pink” or “Kik theme black”) will give you a strong number of results.
Simply find a link to download the .apk associated with a Kik theme of your choosing, and let it download to your device. Once the download has finished, simply install it, and sign into Kik as you normally would.
I’ve Installed Themed Kik. Now What?
Now, you may proceed with your normal Kik experience! Logging into the app will provide you with your usual contacts, and depending on the version of Kik Messenger that was customized with a theme, you’ll have access to all of the normal features that attract millions of users to Kik in the first place.
You’ll want to keep an eye on the stability of both your device and the Kik app itself. Frequent software glitches or crashes could mean that your customized version of Kik isn’t taking well to your Android device. In this case, you can either try reinstalling the app or find a different, themed version of Kik for your particular device.
Further Tips & Tricks
While the overall process of installing and running a customized, themed version of Kik is quite simple, there will always be frustrations that accompany using an outdated version of a popular application. After all, newer versions have been released to fix many of the errors that you may yet encounter in an old version of Kik. Additionally, depending on how outdated the app version is, you may find that you’re missing features that current users are taking full advantage of.
Here are a few further considerations that you’ll want to keep in mind.
Keep Your Device Secure
For Android users, I would always recommend running additional security protocols on your phone. Because Android is a much more ‘free’ operating system, this can occasionally give malicious programs and viruses an avenue to infect your device. This is especially true when you’re downloading and installing .apk software that isn’t from the Google Play store.
Don’t Download From Risky Sites
Is the download site for your customized version of Kik Messenger riddled with annoying pop-up ads, banners, and warnings from your phone’s or your browser’s security? If this is the case, consider avoiding any download from this website. A more thorough search for the right Kik theme outweighs the risks of your device getting infected with malicious code from the internet.
Consider Using Kik’s Native Customization Features
If all of the above sounds like an awful lot of risk and work, that’s because it can be! For some users, however, the benefit outweighs the work, and it’s possible to end up with an exceptionally unique-looking version of Kik Messenger. If the process doesn’t sound right for you, though, consider making use of the customization features already present within Kik!
From the “Settings” menu in the default, up-to-date version of Kik Messenger, select “Chat Settings.” From there, you’ll be able to modify chat bubble colors to suit your tastes. While this is a far cry from the customization offered in a themed version of the Kik app, it’s also quite enough for the majority of users that don’t want to wade the risks entailed in the process above. You’ll be given a way to add visual flair to your chats, and will also be able to stay up-to-date with the latest version of the Kik app.
Modifying an app can be risky business, but until further customization features are added to Kik Messenger, there’s no other way to do more than shift a few aesthetic bits within your usual chat experience. The themes that users have developed, however, can augment your Kik experience in fun ways, as long as you’re safe about seeking them out and installing them!
Do you have recommendations from your own experience in searching out Kik themes for Android? We’d love to hear them, and so would other readers, in the comments below!