What you need to know
- Material You dynamic colors could arrive on Android smartwatches as part of Wear OS 4.
- Many elements of a smartwatch's interface will presumably change color to match the watch face's hue if the feature is released.
- The feature has been spotted by enabling a new “Enable dynamic theme” toggle in the Settings app.
While Google made no mention of Material You when it unveiled Wear OS 4 at its I/O 2023 conference last week, a new report says that design language will eventually arrive as part of the next Wear OS iteration.
The folks over at 9to5Google managed to enable dynamic theming on a smartwatch after digging through a preview version of Wear OS 4. It was force-enabled via a toggle in the Settings app, giving us a good look at the feature's dynamic colors creeping into many elements of the smartwatch's interface.
Since Android 12, dynamic color theming has allowed users to select a wallpaper and have its hues automatically applied to the rest of the system. This can result in a visually appealing experience that matches a user's personal style.
On Wear OS watches, dynamic theming will presumably work in the same way as it does on smartphones, generating hues that complement the color of your watch face.
As shown in the screenshots below, the dynamic colors have spread to many UI elements, including Quick Settings and the app icons.
Material You is a welcome addition to Wear OS. The design language will make Wear OS watches more stylish and user-friendly. It will also make it easier for users to customize their watches to suit their tastes.
If Wear OS 4 does support dynamic theming, it would be a step forward for the platform. Currently, users of Wear OS smartwatches are limited to a pre-defined UI color. Material You would give users more control over the look and feel of their smartwatches.
It is still too early to say for sure whether Wear OS 4 will support dynamic colors. However, the fact that the feature has been a staple of Android since 2021 gives us strong hints that it is a possibility.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.