Tasker developer shows off Android 12’s dynamic theming with new “Material You” option
One of the most exciting new features of the big Android 12 update is the new wallpaper-based theming system, code-named “monet.” It’s a major part of Google’s new “Material You” design language, which places an emphasis on personalization. The new theming system went live in Android 12 Beta 2, but just like with the introduction of dark mode in Android 10, it’ll take some time before most developers adapt their apps to support theming. Although Google has yet to publish documentation for Material You, Android 12 Beta 2 makes it possible for developers to implement dynamic theming in their apps. The developer of Tasker, an automation app aimed at Android power users, is one of the first to do so.
Over on his YouTube channel, Tasker developer João Dias shows off the new “Material You” option he added to Tasker’s theme settings. Once enabled, Tasker’s action bar, bottom bar, menus, toggles, dividers, and text take on colors from your wallpaper. The app itself can’t programmatically change the theme since there’s no public API for it, but it’s nice to see it adapt so quickly to the new theming system.
According to Google, Android 12’s color extraction system uses a clustering algorithm with Material color targets to determine dominant and less dominant colors and then applies hues that match your current wallpaper. A palette of colors can then be used to determine the closest hues to the wallpaper. Colors are intelligently chosen so that they don’t clash or introduce legibility issues.
Third-party app developers can query the accent colors generated by the system to apply the themes to their own apps, which is exactly what the Tasker developer did. By simply getting the colors from the appropriate R.color values at runtime, the Tasker app is able to match its colors to the user’s wallpaper. It should also be possible to change the app’s icon based on the current theme, but the Tasker developer hasn’t added support for that yet into his app.
Since Google doesn’t allow apps built for Android 12 to be published on Google Play yet, the Tasker developer hasn’t published the update with this feature yet. However, once Google does enable publishing apps targeting API level 31 to Google Play, then expect this feature to hit the Tasker beta channel first. You can download the latest version of the Tasker app from the Play Store link embedded below.
While the Tasker app is one of the first apps I’ve seen that incorporates Material You’s dynamic theming, it’s definitely not the only one out there. A couple of developers I’ve spoken to have already started testing the new theming system in private builds of their apps, though they’re not ready to show off any progress yet. A few developers are working on new libraries or updating existing ones to add support for Android 12’s dynamic coloring, and we expect a lot more of these projects to come about once we get closer to Android 12’s official release.
— Pranav Pandey (@pranavpandeydev) June 18, 2021