Android 12 could get a lot more colorful with an upgraded theming system

Pixel 4a 5G display
Pixel 4a 5G display (Image credit: Hayato Huseman / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Android 12 could get a native theming system with more robust UI coloring.
  • The color system could even be applied to third-party applications for a more uniform look.
  • Rough mockups of the theming system give an idea of what this could look like.

Android has always been a fairly customizable operating system, allowing users to change how certain aspects of their UI look such as the shape of the apps or how certain UI elements appear. When it comes to color, Android has not really allowed users to change that, beyond accent colors on Pixel phones. But according to information obtained by 9to5Google, we could get a more robust theming system with deep color integration in Android 12.

Apparently, the system is going to be more than just the standard light and dark mode than Android users have now and will go deeper than the accent colors available on Pixels. With Android 12, users will have the opportunity to select both a primary and accent color for the system, which would be applied throughout the UI. 9to5Google created a mockup of how this would appear:

Android 12 Color Theme Mockup

Source: 9to5Google (Image credit: Source: 9to5Google)

One of the benefits of having a system-level color scheme is that your phone can potentially suggest different themes based on your wallpaper to match the color palette. Google is also apparently making it easier to apply a selected theme color to third-party apps, a level of integration that, 9to5Google notes, has only been achieved with rooted devices and with theming engines like Substranum. This means developers won't have to design different color schemes, as they can automatically be applied.

Since Android 12 is still very much in development, it's possible that these plans can change, which is something that oft happens with exciting new features. Google waited until Android 11 to introduce Chat Bubbles after teasing the feature for Android 10. It's likely that Google will start its Android 12 Developer Preview next month, so we could have more information about the feature then.

For now, you'll just have to stick to choosing the color of your smartphone or case. Like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S21, for example, which comes in a number of different regular and custom colors, and we can help you decide what color Samsung Galaxy S21 you should buy.

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Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.