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The Pixel 2's launcher has an automatic dark theme

It looks like the brand new Pixel 2 has a built-in automatic dark theme. Check out how to trigger it and what exactly it themes.

Published onOctober 18, 2017

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were recently announced and grabbed headlines with features like an always-on display, an IP67 rating, and an improved camera. But, Google also made some quality of life changes that fans have been asking for. Since Google didn’t go out of its way to announce them, it has taken until the phones started getting into our hands to see them in action.

One such feature is an automatic dark theme. Android enthusiasts have been clamoring for a built-in dark theme for years and Google has flirted with the feature before. Now, it looks like Google will use that dark theme when it detects darker tones in your wallpaper. The change happens automatically and it doesn’t look like there’s a way to trigger it manually besides changing your wallpaper. When it does kick on, it’ll theme your app drawer, folders, and quick settings.

While apps like Substratum offer a deeper level of theming, it’s nice to have a built-in option too. This should pair well with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL’s new OLED display. Since OLED displays simply turn off in areas that are displaying black, they’re more power-efficient and provide deeper blacks.

See also: Display showdown: AMOLED vs LCD vs Retina vs Infinity Display

This inclusion of a dark theme is just another step in Google bringing fans what they’ve been asking for. Two of the biggest criticisms of Pixel and Pixel XL were the speakers and lack of water resistance. Google addressed those issues with dual front-firing speakers and an IP67 rating. Now we’re getting a limited dark theme after what feels like years of asking for one. Let’s hope Google can continue to expand on this in the future and bring us more control over the theme and perhaps deeper integration by theming apps too.

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