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Dynamic theming is coming to all Android 12 devices soon

Android 12 brings a major visual overhaul, but many of its visual improvements, including dynamic color theming, have been limited to Google’s own Pixel lineup of smartphones. However, Google has now confirmed that Android 12’s “Monet” theming engine for responsive color selection in the user interface will go live for all Android 12 devices very soon.

When Google first revealed the long list of features arriving with Android 12, Material You was one of the central elements aimed at appealing to users. The third iteration of Google’s Material Design, Material You, is fashioned with the intent to allow users to customize their Android phones to match their personalities. As we noted above, the feature has been limited to Pixel smartphones. Google is now making it mandatory for manufacturers to include support for Material You on every device that runs — or is updated to — Android 12.

The Pixel 6 wallpaper options screen.
The Pixel 6 wallpaper options screen. Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The news originally came from a source who accessed an internal document and informed Android Police that Google will enforce the mandatory inclusion of Material You on any Android 12-based builds that are submitted for a Google Mobile Services (GMS) license. Since every manufacturer must apply for a GMS license in order to be able to support Google apps on its devices officially, this mandatory clause means every phone that either gets launched with or updated to Android 12 will be required to support Material You.

UI colors customized to users’ preference

Material You’s Monet engine picks up dominant color palettes from the wallpaper applied by the user and applies them as the accent color in the Android user interface. Therefore, instead of a default accent color, users get a customized color that is in sync with the wallpaper. The feature has been limited to Pixel smartphones and devices running unofficial custom ROMs like Lineage OS based on Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

Android 12 dynamic theme.

Recently, Samsung announced support for Material You with One UI 4.1 on the newly unveiled Galaxy S22 series. Meanwhile, Android manufacturers such as Motorola and Xiaomi are already working on implementing wallpaper-based theming on their smartphones. Other brands can also be expected to add support for Material You on their custom Android skins very soon.

Monet open-sourced as part of Android 12L

Android Police cites the reason Material You has been exclusive to Pixel devices until now. It noted that the feature was only open-sourced as part of code Android 12L, which is the next version of Android. Although Android 12L is intended for tablets and foldable Android smartphones, some of the features are expected to make their way to all Android devices.

These changes are expected to go live starting March 14, 2022. With dynamic color theming becoming standard, we can also expect third-party app developers to add support for Material You in their apps, making the custom theming feature more cohesive and integrative.

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