[Update: No Dark Theme] Google may add built-in Dark Theme to Android P, Add Weather Widget to Always on Display

[Update: No Dark Theme] Google may add built-in Dark Theme to Android P, Add Weather Widget to Always on Display

Update 6:08 PM CST: The show’s over folks. Looks like the dark theme was a false alarm. Unfortunately, it seems to have been a miscommunication. Well, at least there’s always Substratum and Andromeda! And also, the weather information in Always on Display feature hasn’t been shot down….yet.

Google uses the Android Issue Tracker to log and monitor bugs that have been reported by employees and the community. It also uses it to track feature requests. Recently, two were marked as “available in a future Android release”: a highly requested built-in dark mode, and a weather widget for Android’s always-on display feature.


Dark themes have appeared in multiple Android developer preview builds, but have yet to make their way to an official release. One of the first appeared in the Android M developer preview, but was removed before the Android 6.0 update became public. A different incarnation appeared in the Android N developer preview, but was again removed from the official Android 7.0 Nougat release.

The feature request for a dark mode in the Issue Tracker, which was submitted in November 2017, highlights the battery life benefits for smartphones that use OLED panels. This morning, it was marked as “fixed” with the note, “our engineering team has added this feature. It will be available in a future Android release.”

Another, separate feature request submitted to the Issue Tracker last month asked that Google add a weather widget to Android’s always-on display feature. The request was passed along to the development team earlier this week, and a day later was marked as “fixed” with the note, “requested feature will be available in future Android version.”

“Future Android releases” is rather vague, but with Android P coming soon, it wouldn’t be surprising to see one (or both) make it into Android 9.0. At the very least, they might be in developer preview builds, but we’ll be curious to see if they stick around for the official release this time.

There’s obviously a huge demand from a majority of the enthusiast community to not only have a Dark Mode feature, but a way to theme the system and/or applications as well. Google has talked about how difficult it would be to theme individual applications in a way that would not cause issues from app update to app update. Since the removal of Dark Mode from these developers previews, the developers behind Substratum have stepped up to utilize the theme engine that’s already built into Android.

So while this final version of Android P may or may not include this feature, there’s always the option to use Substratum and the companion application Andromeda if you want the rootless option. We detailed a step by step guide on how to install a dark theme on Oreo a few months back that you’ll definitely want to check out if you’re a fan of these dark themes.

Source 1: Google Issue Tracker Source 2: Google Issue Tracker Via: /r/Android (on Reddit)

About author

Doug Lynch
Doug Lynch

When I am passionate about something, I go all in and thrive on having my finger on the pulse of what is happening in that industry. This has transitioned over the years from PCs and video games, but for close to a decade now all of my attention has gone toward smartphones and Android.

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