Android’s Engineering Team Talks About Themes in Android O, White Notification Shade in DP2
We’ve known about Sony’s RRO implementation of theming in Android for a while now as it has made its way into the AOSP code base. Since this was discovered, the community has been left wondering whether the next version of Android would finally add this as a user-facing feature for everyone. Some OEMs are already taking advantage of theming, but others seem to ignore it for one reason or another. During a recent AMA over on Reddit, the engineering team for Android spoke a little bit about this.
During the AMA this week, /u/Shadesta9 asked the team if there was any programming obstacle to provide a full theming feature for Android. The user was simply wanting to know if we can expect it to be included in Google’s upcoming update to Android O, or if it was something the Android team thought wasn’t quite right yet. Alan Viverette from the Android engineering team replied and explained the issue by saying that there are both technical as well as logistical hurdles when it comes to theming.
Thanks to Sony, the technical side of the issue has been “largely solved” in Android O because of the RRO system. Mr. Viverette then goes on to say that the logistical side of things is still an issue because there still aren’t stable APIs available that describe what can be themed. Not only that, but there also aren’t any adequate ways to verify that existing applications can even properly support theming. So while some progress has been made, it still doesn’t look like it’s ready as a user facing feature.
The AMA also had a question from /u/CharaNalaar about the white notification shade where they asked if it was a glitch. This time, Selim Cinek chimed in and said the overall goal for Android O was to make the lighter notification surface match the quick settings panel. To that end, the team did switch the the default theme of the quick settings panel and that made the style more consistent. They then confirmed that the theming engine is still in Android O, and it will be up to the OEM to provide different themes.