One of the marquee features of Android 12 is the ability to dynamically theme the UI based on your wallpaper. It’s part of Google’s broader Material You design that was announced at Google I/O 2021 alongside the release of the first Android 12 beta. However, Google has yet to enable support for dynamic recoloring in the first beta or in any of its first-party apps. We previously spotted Google testing support for Material You theming in the Google Discover feed, and now we’ve learned that Google is testing this new theming system in the Google Messages app.
Google Messages 8.2.042 is rolling out now on Google Play, and it contains the first hints of the upcoming Material You redesign. Our tipster, @panduu221 on Twitter, first enabled the feature on Android 12 and sent us the below screenshots, but we were also able to enable this ourselves on a Pixel 3 XL running Android 12 Beta 1 (as shown in the hero image above).
Currently, the dynamically recolored UI elements include the search bar, the floating action button, and, if it’s available for you, the categories tabs. The dynamic recoloring feature is not yet available to users on the latest Messages beta, but when it does roll out, we’ll let you know.
Interestingly, Google Messages on Samsung phones has a different UI that’s more one-handed friendly, but it’s not clear if Google plans to keep this UI exclusive to Samsung phones. The one-handed friendly design is in line with Google’s changes to Android 12, so it’d make sense to see Messages (and other apps) get a more drastic UI makeover in future releases.
Thanks to PNF Software for providing us a license to use JEB Decompiler, a professional-grade reverse engineering tool for Android applications.