Android 13: New Material You dynamic color theme styles


For Android 13, Google worked to extend Material You’s dynamic color system to offer different styles of color themes. Here’s how to try them early.

With the release of Android 12, Google launched Material You as the third generation of its Material design language with a focus on custom color schemes. With Material You, it has become possible to recolor your entire system and even certain applications to match the colors of your wallpaper.

Android 13 is set to extend this functionality by offering multiple color palettes, which essentially change the calculation of how each color in your theme is chosen. Although the feature is not fully live yet, 9to5GoogleDylan Roussel has discovered a method to manually enable some of these alternate color theme styles on any Pixel phone running Android 13 Developer Preview 2.

First, let’s take a look at the new color palette styles on offer. In total, there are six options to choose from – Tonal Spot (default), Spritz, Vibrant, Expressive, Rainbow, and Fruit Salad – and each offers a slightly different take on your favorite wallpaper. Here’s an overview of each color palette style and how a particularly colorful wallpaper-based theme is affected by it.

It’s immediately clear that each style has a unique character, with Tonal Spot and Spritz offering the most modest color blends, while options like Expressive and Fruit Salad aren’t afraid to use bold complementary colors.

How to try Material You color scheme styles

For now, the default theme app for Pixel phones does not yet offer a way to easily change the style of your color theme. Fortunately, if you’ve already installed Android 13 Developer Preview 2 on your own Pixel device – a task that currently requires you to have some familiarity with tools like adb – it’s not terribly difficult to try one of these. color schemes by yourself.

To note: These are unofficially enabled experimental settings. It is possible, though unlikely, that your device will somehow break while playing with these color combination styles. If that sounds too risky to you, chances are some intrepid Android developer will create an app that can easily change these settings before Google rolls out its official option. Otherwise, you can choose to follow these instructions with care.

Step 1. Change your theme.

The first thing you need to do (after installing Android 13) is to change your color theme in the Pixel’s “Wallpaper and Style” changer. This makes sure that the value we are going to modify is visible and therefore easier to modify. If you’re happy with your current theme, you can simply edit it and then go back.

Step 2. Get your theme data.

Next, connect your phone to your computer and run the “adb shell” command. This will allow you to execute the next commands directly in your phone. Here is the next command you will need to run:

settings get secure theme_customization_overlay_packages

The command above should then produce a bunch of text (in JSON format) that describes your current Material You dynamic color theme. Here is an example of what that looks like:


Step 3. Edit the text.

You will want to copy this theme text and paste it into your favorite text editor. At the end of the text, you should see TONAL_SPOT. You’ll want to replace it with one of the other color scheme style names (uppercase, precisely as shown below):


Step 4. Form the order.

Copy everything into your text editor and return to your command line. Type the command below (pay attention to the single quote at the end) but don’t press enter yet.

settings put secure theme_customization_overlay_packages '

Next, you’ll paste the text you copied earlier into the command line, and then type another single quote at the end. The final command should look like this:

settings put secure theme_customization_overlay_packages '{"android.theme.customization.color_both":"1","_applied_timestamp":1647545157008,"android.theme.customization.color_index":"2","android.theme.customization.system_palette":"F49B88","android.theme.customization.accent_color":"F49B88","android.theme.customization.color_source":"home_wallpaper","android.theme.customization.theme_style":"FRUIT_SALAD"}'

Step 5. Submit and enjoy.

Now you can finally press Enter to send the command. Congratulation! Your material Your dynamic color theme should immediately change to use the new style!

What do you think of the new Material You color styles that Google has added for Android 13? Which is your favorite so far? Let us know in the comments.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article

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