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Android 12’s best feature is coming to Xiaomi phones

MIUI 13, the next version of Xiaomi’s custom Android skin, is expected to arrive internationally with the global announcement of the company’s latest flagship series — the Xiaomi 12. Ahead of this launch event, a new finding suggests MIUI 13 will embrace Android 12‘s “monet” theming feature, which automatically changes the accent colors in the entire user interface based on the wallpaper applied to the home screen.

Google introduced a major visual reform with Android 12, including an entirely new quick settings panel, modernized widgets, and systemwide theming overhaul as part of the Material You design philosophy. Material You, according to Google, is meant to allow users to express themselves through their phones. Therefore, one of the key benefits that Android gets with this visual overhaul is the ability to change accent colors in the user interface based on the wallpaper applied by the user.

Android 12's Material You design language with wallpaper-based theming.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This theming feature, code-named “monet,” was first introduced in Android 12 beta. Google’s intent behind adding monet to Android 12 beta was to ensure that the smartphone manufacturers using custom interfaces on their devices include this dynamic theming feature on their custom Android skins while developers add support for dynamic theming and Material You in their apps.

MIUI 13 could embrace Android 12’s dynamic theming fully

But besides Google, which introduced the Pixel 6 series running Android 12 out of the box, none of the manufacturerss have actually added support for this dynamic theming yet. Oppo’s ColorOS and Samsung’s One UI 4 do allow users to choose accent colors from a limited number of hues, but none of this actually works as smartly or as seamlessly as the stock Android interface on the Pixel phones.

However, Xiaomi’s upcoming MIUI 13 update could bring some relief to users who have been anticipating Android 12’s dynamic theming fervently. Android expert Mishaal Rahman (via Twitter) shared screenshots of the dynamic theming feature being implemented on MIUI. As per the information available to Rahman, these screenshots come from MIUI 13’s Beta version 22.11.17 in China.

The Android 12-based MIUI 13 China Beta 22.11.17 build has apparently added dynamic theming support, according to the "Xiaomi With You" Telegram group.

What's interesting is that this could be the first OEM implementation that's actually based on Google's "monet."

— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) January 18, 2022

Rahman’s discovery was also corroborated by tipster Kacper Skrzypek, who often investigates and reverse-engineers the MIUI source code to find new features. Skrzypek found references to a system flag in MIUI 13’s source corresponding to monet-based dynamic theming in the upcoming user interface from Xiaomi.

This finding validates the presence of the feature in MIUI 13. Now we have to wait until the global announcement and see whether Xiaomi makes it available in the global version of MIUI or limits it to China.

More brands to add Android 12’s dynamic theming

In November, Rahman also dug up evidence suggesting that more than a dozen of smartphone companies (including virtually every popular brand like OnePlus, Motorola, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, etc.) will finally add support for dynamic theming to their custom Android skins in the future builds based on Android 12.

We are uncertain when that will finally happen, but we do expect more companies to try and one-up Xiaomi and introduce this clever feature on their custom adaptations of Android.

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Tushar Mehta
Tushar has a passion for consumer tech and likes to tinker with smartphones, laptops, wearables, smart home devices, and…
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