Themes have been a component of the majority of Android skins however, they’ve all followed the same formula which is “have a theme store, allow theme developers to post their stuff there and phone users to download and install their works”. This is fine and good for those who love browsing through endless options however, what if you desire customization, but without all the effort it requires? What if you wanted an automagic “it just works” personalization of the appearance of your device?
This is exactly the kind of feature Google has in store in Android 12. The system makes use of color extraction to identify the dominant and complimentary colors in your wallpaper, and then utilizes these (along with other colors that match) to create your own theme in real time. The system’s colors, widgets, every aspect of the OS such as the notification shade and the lock screen, the volume control, launcher, widgets as well as the Settings menu, and so on. They all alter.
It’s a simple idea in the sense that you consider it and it will require a lot of processing technology behind the scenes to make it appear seamless when in use. Google has come up with a brand new name for its resulting style language: Material You.
It’s simple to understand the source of this. Material Design was introduced by Google to Android several years back, and it’s gone through several variations since. With Material You The focus is on the quick and easy modification described earlier. However, there’s more to it the matter. Google has subtlely changed the appearance of menus, fonts, boxes items, and other similar items to give them an updated appearance. It works. If we can say it for ourselves It’s a good thing. Android 12 is by far the most attractive Android version to date.
Manually making adjustments
If you look a little deeper, it becomes apparent that even though the goal is to have everything work in a way that is automatic, you can also modify things manually. There’s actually an entire section of Settings named Wallpaper & style that lives only for that reason. You can choose to change the wallpaper and, if you click that button you’ll be presented with its interface for Google’s Wallpapers application that has been completely embedded into Settings. It offers a range of categories you can choose from that each have a wide selection of wallpapers, however you can choose to tap the icon in the top-right of the screen when exploring a specific category. This will trigger the phone to change wallpapers from the list each day.
The default color scheme will be “Wallpaper colors,” which accomplishes what we have described however, you also can choose to select “Basic colors” and pick one of four colors. The color you pick will be the primary one for the theme that was created (think OnePlus’ “accent color” that was popular back in the days). “Wallpaper colors” can have only one option for palettes under it, or as many as four dependent on the wallpaper, in fact. The first option to left is the one that’s automatic one, however when you see additional options it is possible to change to a brand new color palette by clicking here and not entering”Basic color” or “Basic colors” section.
Wallpaper & style section
In this section, you can find the Themed icons option that is described as still in beta. The idea is to create custom icons for apps by modifying the theme you’re currently using – but with different levels of success, according to us. In essence this, using the “beta” label is very well-justified in our opinion however we would like to see it evolves into something more effective and includes more icons. Since icons/icon packs are so far unaffected by Google’s automagical customization, it would be an intriguing thing to see it happen. In the current state in the present, if you select “Themed icons,” you’ll be able to access the features listed on the label, but only for a small portion of the icons you use for your apps. It appears the only Google apps are eligible for the treatment.
Themes for icons
They will all be the identical colors, which is nice. But, it causes an even more distinct look from icons that were not themed. It creates an strange look, unless you’re lucky enough to make use of apps that feature icons in this way. If you happen to find yourself with an assortment of icons that are themed it is hard to overstate how beautiful the consistency of the design is.
Of course, there’s the option of a “Dark theme” – this is used in conjunction with the auto-theming feature which makes backgrounds lighter or dark depending on the settings you choose. The setting can be accessible in three places within Settings that include Wallpaper & Style Display, Accessibility, and. While in the Wallpapers & Style you are able to toggle the setting on or off however, in the other two places there is the option to schedule it. This kind of redundantness isn’t a great deal for Google.
The auto-theming features in Android 12 goes beyond just aspects of the system such as the notification shade, Settings and the like. Google apps are slowly being upgraded to use auto themes, which can be much more subtle or not, depending on the application. We love the way Gboard Google’s keyboard application will automatically get a brand fresh theme every time the wallpaper is changed to match the theme for the system.
But it’s far from the only one – Gmail, Keep, Calendar, Meet, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calculator, Clock, Lens, Chrome, Contacts, Camera, Messages are all covered, and we assume it’s only a matter of time before Google gets round to updating all of its apps to take advantage of the auto theming system.
Gboard applies automatically to the Material You theme
This is obviously an extremely uniform look across both the OS as well as Google Apps, and that’s certainly admirable However, there’s an interesting consequence of this method that is that apps from third parties now appear a little odd.
Developers of apps can connect to the auto-theming feature to get the colors used and then apply it to their applications. While Google will definitely demonstrate how this can work in an ever-growing number of its own apps we believe it’ll take at the very least a couple of months (or months) until you’re in a position to see all your apps change their appearance whenever you choose a new wallpaper.
This is Google’s concept, but. But, as with everything that requires the involvement of third party Android developers to “bite into’, we wouldn’t put our money on any major part of this idea being realized. Particularly if Android 12’s Material You auto-theming feature doesn’t make it into one of the skins made by the top manufacturer of smartphones.
The whole point of having a very integrated design language is lost if not everyone plays along – the more apps adhere to the system, the more the ones that don’t stand out, and not in a good way. This could act as a way to twist the developers’ arms into adding the functionality. Still, Google’s tried this a few times before with Material Design and its successors, and to this day, it hasn’t had a ton of success in convincing developers to all go with a similar design language. Maybe this time’s the charm? Sure, but then again, maybe not.
In the case of Google’s own apps it’s extremely consistent. It’s not just about apps using the same hues of color from their wallpapers as the system pieces. The Material You can also be described as an improvement of Google’s overall design language, currently at a new level of maturation.
A Lot More Materials You Can Google apps
Naturally, certain applications will see more changes than others in terms of appearance. Even if your running the suite from Google of apps on an older phone, not a Pixel running Android 12.1, you’ll notice subtle improvements in design in the newly released Material You theme – just not the color matching (as depicted in the picture above).
The action button that is floating is not round anymore, instead it has the shape of a squircly and has a subtle colored highlight surrounding the button. The same is true for the buttons on the bottom bar as well, they do not show which area you’re in with the icon appear in a different hue. Instead the icon is filled with and is surrounded by an oval that is colored. Ovals are now rectangles, and in reality: in Gmail it’s the form of the expanded Compose moveable action buttons and also the shape of the box for searching at the at the top.
Widgets also benefit from auto-theming and also those that are created for Google applications are on the leading edge. The Widgets API is now improved to work with Android 12, which means it is now possible to use checkboxes, radio switches and buttons in the widget. This will help to make your experience more seamless.
The widget picker offers responsive previews for differently sized widgets. The new API supports dynamic coloring by tying into the Material You theming engine, allowing the widgets to adapt to the wallpaper.
New widget picker, new widgets
Google has developed and upgraded a variety of widgets based on their Material You looks for its different apps. They all feature the same stunning new look and automated color customization as well as the automatic color customization. All of them come with rounded corners, too.
The Quick Settings have been redesigned and improved as well as the the notification shade
There can’t be a fresh Android version without Google changing the shade of the notification in some way, is it? It’s a popular trend at the moment, but it’s evidently based on reality. The case in point is: Android 12 tweaks the appearance of the shade that notifications are displayed in. Are you shocked? You shouldn’t really be.
What is perhaps more surprising is that this time around, the Quick Settings tiles have been revamped too. Google Pay and Home Controls now reside here, too, having been moved from the Power menu in a rather confusing manner. After all, these were only added to the Power menu last year in Android 11 and were a big new feature then, and now they’re gone from there and into the Quick Settings screen. Okay, Google, we definitely needed yet another way to access the Assistant – which is what you can do now with a long press of the Power button (though thankfully this is opt-in, so if you don’t change that setting, you’ll get a plain old Power menu instead).
Device controls are available in Quick Settings
It’s true that the Quick Settings tiles have grown to be huge As a consequence you can only see four tiles when you first start pressing to the notifications shade. It’s an attractive appearance, but it’s certainly a change from what it were. Function over form is the way to go, according to. When you fully expand your Quick Settings screen by swiping down once more, you only have eight tiles it’s not much considering that you already receive six tiles following the first swipe of the case of some Android skins. It’s definitely an love it or hate it game certainly is the case.
A new thing is that the Wi-Fi tile is now labeled Internet, and this one tile basically aggregates the Wi-Fi and mobile data settings into one. Because the tiles are huge now, there’s room for an icon to the left of the text, which tells you what you’re connected to (the Wi-Fi network’s name shows up when you further expand the Quick Settings tiles). Tapping on the tile pops up an Internet menu at the bottom of your screen, where you can quickly connect to another Wi-Fi network, as well as turn mobile data and Wi-Fi on or off.
The Quick Settings tile is now available as well as a notification shade
The notification shade is now rounded differently (because there’s no reason why) as well as the categories for notifications are more easy to spot due to the change. In addition, let’s say you have marked the conversation you want to prioritize in your calendar as “priority”. In this scenario you will see that Pixel Launcher will be able to detect that and Pixel Launcher will display an inquiry asking you whether you would like to add a widget for conversations on your main screen for this contact. In addition, apps are now able to display animated images when you receive notifications and allow you to send images when you respond via the notification shade.
Always-on Display and Lock Screen
This screen for the lock has also been modified due to Google’s brand new design philosophy however, not necessarily in function in the sense of. The main difference is that you’ll will see a massive clock when there aren’t any notifications. This shrinks when you have notifications waiting to be received and it’s a subtle signal to inform you of what’s happening.
That big/small clock dichotomy expands to the always-on display as well, so you’re never in doubt about whether something’s waiting for you to attend to or not.
A new clock on the lock screen is that is displayed even if there are no notifications present
Beyond that, the display will can see your week’s day, dates along with temperatures and weather conditions. On the bottom of the screen, in the center, is the battery capacity of the AOD. The screen disappears from the screen of the lock for reasons (and it’s not in an indicator bar that appears on lock screens as well).