• In Android P beta 3, you can control the application of either a light or dark theme in Android.
  • Previously, your only option was for Android to control which theme you used.
  • Although the dark theme changes certain features of Android, it is not a “blanket” dark theme.


A dark theme that’s native to the operating system has been something that Android users have wanted for years. It looks like we all might finally get our wish — partially — when the stable version of Android P drops, but beta users can see the changes now in the latest Android P developer’s preview.

In Android Oreo, those using the Pixel Launcher can toggle a setting that will automatically change their phone’s theme from light to dark depending on the color tone of the home screen background. If your background is dark, you get a dark theme, and if it’s light, you get a light theme.

But in Android P beta 3, you can manually control the dark theme yourself regardless of your background. Simply head to Settings > Display > Device theme and then select from the three choices: automatic (based on wallpaper), light, or dark.

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This dark theme is not a “true” dark theme in that it only alters certain aspects of Android. The notification shade, quick settings tiles, app drawer, and folders will all go into “dark” mode when you turn it on. However, the settings pages and other elements of Android will not change.

It looks like users wanting a “blanket” dark theme in Android P will still have to turn to custom ROMs and other unofficial tweaks to get it. Still, this manual dark theme setting is a good start after all these years.

NEXT: Your older Chromebook might not get Android P