Where are all the Roundcube mobile skins?

18 Oct 2011

I come across many questions on various forums asking why there are so few Roundcube skins. Users don't understand why such a widespread and fast growing system like Roundcube can have so few theme choices.

As far as I can see, there are two main reasons for the lack of Roundcube skins. The first reason is that Roundcube has a very quick development cycle: new program versions are released fairly frequently. This is great for the webmail functionality, but unfortunately it's a difficulty in skin development. By the time a developer creates, tests and distributes a skin, a new version of Roundcube will be available and the old skin most likely won't work on it. It needs to be upgraded and in some cases undergo a complete overhaul. Not many developers can afford keeping in step with the new Roundcube releases.

The situation is even more complicated with Roundcube skins for mobile devices. In addition to the development cycle problems, there's the inherent lack of Rouncube support for mobile systems. It's just plain difficult to create a Roundcube mobile skin. When creating ours, we spent a lot of time not only putting together the designs, but developing the technology needed to transform the typically desktop-oriented Roundcube output into a mobile-friendly form. It was a challenge to say the least.

But mobile devices are here to stay and will only gain more users as time goes on, so providing Roundcube and SquirrelMail with mobile skins is very important. If you ever tried using Roundcube with its default skin on an iPhone or a smartphone with Android you know what I mean.

Well, even there aren't dozens of Roundcube skins available out there, at least there are a couple on our site you can try :). We have two skins available, Alpha and LiteCube, both bundled with their mobile versions and a plugin that selects the correct skin version (desktop or mobile) depending on the device that's used to check the mail. In a few days we should be done with upgrading the themes to work on the newly released version of Roundcube (0.6). If you'd like to see how the skins look, click here, or visit our Roundcube demo. We hope you'll enjoy using Roundcube with our mobile themes on your smartphone!