Android 12 stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • A developer has enabled Android 12’s wallpaper-based theme system in the Developer Preview.
  • The feature changes the entire color scheme of Android based on a dominant color.
  • It might not always get the result you want, but it’s still a nice touch.

You don’t have to wonder how Android 12’s long-in-the-making theme system will work in practice. Developer kdrag0n has successfully enabled wallpaper-based theming in the operating system’s initial developer preview, and it’s now clear just how the system will work.

Nicknamed Monet, the Android 12 feature sets a theme for the OS based on a dominant color in your wallpaper. Use mostly purple paint splatter and you’ll get appropriate shades of violet in the notification shade, settings, and lock screen.  Switch to orange lights and you’ll get a peach-colored layout.

There are moments where Android 12 will pick the ‘wrong’ theme color if there’s a jumble of hues, but even those look well-matched.

Related: The Android 12 developer preview is here

It’s not certain when the feature will be readily available to the public, assuming Google doesn’t shelve it during the development process. You’ll likely have to wait until later previews or the public beta to give it a try.

Even so, the theme system discovery helps illustrate Google’s goals for Android 12. Along with refreshes for the notification system and settings, Google is clearly bent on making Android feel fresh in addition to improving raw functionality. In that light, this might be one of the platform’s largest releases in years — you’re bound to notice differences even if your day-to-day use doesn’t change.