Team Substratum is petitioning Google to allow custom overlays on Android P, and they need your help

Team Substratum is petitioning Google to allow custom overlays on Android P, and they need your help

The first developer preview of Android P, the next major version of Android, has arrived, and the biggest change in tow is a complete user interface overhaul, possibly the biggest since the introduction of Material Design with Android 5.0 Lollipop. A predominantly white interface with rounded corners and round icons are present as Google officially does away with the first generation of Material Design on the next Android version.

But these UI changes have been criticized by some users, who complain that many parts of the interface—particularly the Quick Settings panel and the Settings menu—are too reminiscent of iOS or TouchWiz (now known as Samsung Experience).

You could solve this with custom themes…but unfortunately, Android P is blocking the installation of custom overlays which means your beloved Substratum themes won’t work on the latest release.

Indeed, only overlays signed with the platform certificate can be installed in Android P Developer Preview 1, making the installation of third-party themes fail instantly. Google has not officially commented on the reasoning behind this change, though some speculate it was likely done for security purposes.

Regardless, this is a major roadblock for Substratum development as it means that the Andromeda framework for rootless theming, at least in its current state, cannot be used to apply custom themes in Android P. And with no visible workaround, at least for the time being, the Substratum team is relying on community pressure to bring back custom overlay support in Android P.

Christopher Kardas, Public Relations and Community Connections Manager of Projekt Development (Substratum), created a petition asking Google to reverse this change and allow third-party custom overlays to be installed and used in Android P. If you want to see Substratum working on the final version of Android P, you should head over and sign the petition. Though petitions rarely work by themselves, there are few options available to get the attention of a company as large as Google.

Sign the Petition to Free Substratum on Android P

In addition, we recommend you star, but do not comment onthis report on the Google Issue Tracker. This is Google’s official means of reporting a bug or requesting a feature, so it’s best that those interested in this endeavor also show their support through this avenue. Again, do not comment on the Issue Tracker—it sends an e-mail to everyone which is very annoying.

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Arol Wright
Arol Wright

Diehard technology enthusiast, and an Android purist by nature. While I have a soft spot for smartphones, I'm deeply interested in everything techy, be it PCs, gaming consoles, gadgets, you name it. Please direct all inquiries/tips to [email protected]