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Android 12 may require phone makers to support Material You-like theming

Android 12 logo OnePlus 9
Android 12 logo OnePlus 9 (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A Material You-style theming engine may become mandatory for all devices updating to or shipping with Android 12 in the near future.
  • OEMs have the option to develop their own dynamic theming engine or adopt Google's Monet engine.
  • The theming system must be capable of producing a full color scheme consisting of three accent colors and two neutrals, similar to the five tonal palettes used in Google Pixel phones.

Following the debut of Android 12 on Google Pixel phones, other manufacturers such as Samsung started rolling out their own take on the Material You theming system. However, because OEMs make their own tweaks, the current dynamic colors you see on other Android devices may differ from what's available on the Google Pixel 6.

In the future, though, dynamic colors might be more consistent across many of the best Android phones. Android Police reports that Google is planning to require any device that's set to be upgraded to Android 12 or ship with it to include support for a theming system like Google's Monet engine.

Monet generates a color palette that's used throughout your phone based on your current wallpaper. The new requirement will supposedly go into effect starting March 14, and the color system must generate five tonal palettes that consist of three accent shades and two neutrals. This is notably similar to how theming works on Pixel phones.

Google appears to have paved the way for this new policy by making Monet open source beginning with Android 12L; however, OEMs may have the option to create their own dynamic theming system or use Google's Monet engine. In One UI 4, Samsung already employs wallpaper-based dynamic theming that does not rely on Monet.

It's a somewhat bold policy and represents Google's growing effort to bring one of Android 12's headline features to everyone regardless of the device they use. Late last year, the Mountain View-based tech giant launched new tools to help third-party app developers implement Material You design in their apps.

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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He is a tech journalist based in the Philippines who has been writing about consumer tech for the past six years and has been using various Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. When he's not writing, he likes to spend time outside, stealing scenes with his phone camera.

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