Android 11 rolls out for Chromebooks with dark theme support
Google has begun rolling out a new build of Android 11 to the Chrome OS Beta channel, introducing two big features that should greatly improve the everyday experience.
According to Android Police, one of the features is a dark theme, which has been highly requested by the Chrome OS community. Google has been working on a dark theme for months now, and it’s something we’ve covered as recently as October. With Chrome OS 89, Google is introducing a dark theme toggle in Developer settings.
Image of Android 11 dark theme on Chrome OS via Android Police
Android 10 added support for a system-wide dark theme, but since Chromebooks are skipping Android 10 for Android 11, only now can they take advantage of it. The Android subsystem on Chrome OS was previously based on Android 9 Pie.
“Android apps are transformed with a sleek near-black background color that fits nicely with the rest of the Chrome OS UI,” said Android Police, which was able to test the newest Android 11 build on Chrome OS. “The Android settings menu looks the most polished, sporting a dark title bar and a bright teal accent color. Notifications also use a dark theme, except for those with an associated quick action. Some apps like the Google Play store still use a light theme, though, so there’s some work left to do.”
Google is also making changes to the way apps scale with the release of Android 11 on Chromebooks. That includes the return of uniform scaling, which was previously pulled from Chrome OS due to a bug. The feature scales Android apps to be up to 25 percent larger, so they’re more readable and easier to use. Android Police said you can adjust the display scaling in the Developer options.
An example of uniform scaling via Android Police
The return of uniform scaling in Chrome OS appears to be separate from a feature Google is testing in the Canary Channel, which locks resize restrictions for Android apps. The feature restricts resizing Android apps that aren’t optimized for large laptop displays.
Android Police said the rollout of Android 11 is showing up on Chromebooks based on the Hatch baseboard, but it should be available more widely soon.