Google will let Pixel owners choose between dark and light launcher theme

The Verge

Google might soon let Pixel owners manually change the color of their Pixel Launcher from light to dark mode, according to Android Police. Up until now, Google automatically turned the Pixel Launcher dark when people had a dark wallpaper. Someone requested the ability to change the light and dark mode manually in the Android P developer preview issue tracker, and a Google employee marked it as completed. This means the functionality could come when Android P officially launches. The person wrote: “We have added support for a Dark theme to be applied to quick settings and launcher under Settings -> Display -> Device Theme. It will be available in a future Android build.”

People seem to love dark mode options on everything. Twitter and YouTube have dark modes, and now even Apple is launching a dark mode with macOS Mojave. It only makes sense to allow people to choose when they want to put dark or light mode on with the Launcher, so hopefully this feature really does ship.


Why not make this a standard feature in android? Maybe a built in themeing engine? How bout proper tools to create third party themes?

Why not make this a standard feature in android?

I don’t know if look and feel of Android is standard, since it looks like every OEM do their own thing (and are allowed to). Would be nice if there is a standard way everyone signs on to allow 3rd party or user configuration…as well as carrier- and oem-imposed stuff for system level type things (notif shade, notification icons, etc)

If you choose to buy a skinned android phone then who knows what you will get? That’s a choice.

Choice in this case is able to change the look on your phone to the way you want. If that’s tied to the rest of the purchasing decision, it’s not much of a choice anymore.

No, I meant that if you say, buy a Samsung phone – well you are going to live with their skin which is NOT base Android and doesn’t necessarily match the features that are listed as "Google’s next version of Android".
If instead you buy a Pixel, or perhaps a phone known for being close to base Android (Motorola?), then you will get the features that are listed in this article. Of course nobody but Google’s phones get the latest version immediately. But that’s a choice, too.
We ALWAYS make choices when deciding on vendors. No vendor offers complete flexibility on the features you will get. That needs to be taken into consideration.
Of course you can always choose iOS instead, where you have a lot less flexibility, but a tightly controlled ecosystem.

But when your choice for vendor or OS controls your choice for, say, color of notification screen, you no longer have a choice in terms of the notification screen, once looking at the situation as a whole.

That’s correct. Hence my comment "We ALWAYS make choices when deciding on vendors. No vendor offers complete flexibility on the features you will get."

Which is another way to say we don’t really have real choices, despite having to make a choice of some kind (possibly nothing to do with how we want our UI to look like).

They are working on a proper theme engine. In fact, I’d think this feature was implemented through the WiP theme engine. That being said, it’s a big leap between swapping a few low risk system-UI elements between 3 predetermined themes (neutral, light, dark) and having a full arbitrary theme system with endless legibility issues to consider. It’ll come out soon enough.

Not that I mind ideas first launched by manufacturers finding their way eventually into ‘stock’ Android – why hold back on good ideas – but I can’t abide all the troglodites who forever berate Samsung et al over ‘bloat’, then to impatiently anticipate the next such great feature to grace "pure" Android, eventually.

Funny you say that, but I think Samsung’s version of Android actually comes closer to stock over the years. It used to be much more different.

cough apple take fucking note cough

I think you’ll see this announced this fall with the new iPhone. That’s what various rumors suggest at least.

Considering MacOS is getting a proper dark theme, I’d say probably.

Plus dark theme is better for battery on devices with oled screen, it be silly not to.

yeah but they do silly shit all the time.

I think you’ll see this announced this fall with the new iPhone. That’s what various rumors suggest at least.

Apple invents the color black!

There should always be a dark theme!

It makes the screen much more visible to many low vision people like me.

Thank god. I’ve been sitting on some cool dark wallpapers that I can’t use because I loathe the dark mode (white is just so much cleaner).

Yep, I think what’s getting lost in all the pro-Dark Mode revelry is that Dark Mode ISN’T the new feature here; Certain UI elemts already change between light or dark depending on wallpaper color. The REAL new feature here is just to lock one in regardless of wp choice.

Also, I think anyone who thinks this is a truly universal "dark mode" is in for a disappointment. Even when my Pixel 2 is set to dark settings, the only changes are to the bottom system buttons, the notification shade, folder backgrounds, and some homescreen text elements. Everything else remains the same.

Don’t get me wrong, choice is always good, but Google still has a long way to go for a true system-wide dark mode.

How about a dark mode for The Verge like Ars Technica has?

WHAT? Going to change Ars to dark mode right now.

It works!

View All Comments
Back to top ↑