One of the most anticipated changes to Android 12 that we’ve been hoping would arrive with each developer preview and now beta, has been the wallpaper-based theme engine. It’s been on our wishlist from the moment it leaked because it could really change the way we set out to customize our Android phones like never before. In Android 12 Beta 2, it’s working!
The idea here is that when you set a wallpaper, the system pulls colors from that wallpaper to theme items, like the background of settings or Quick Settings tiles, etc. The color hints that Android 12 is using here are pretty subtle, but we’re hoping there will be more controls over this stuff at some point.
To show it in action, I grabbed a Mandalorian wallpaper that is heavy in oranges and yellows. I took several screenshots before switching over to a straight-blue wallpaper. This is how Android 12 is changing things based on those two color profiles:
Subtle, right? When you first change the wallpaper, your eyes take a minute to realize what the system tweaked, but when you lay it out here, you can really see the difference. Pretty cool!
At the moment, we aren’t finding settings for this stuff and it appears to just be on by default. I’d imagine the Styles & Wallpapers area needs some sort of update to give us additional ways to tweak this, possibly with a color picker that choose from the wallpaper? I don’t know, but something is missing.