Android M Developer Preview has a secret, well-hidden built-in theme engine

Android M Developer Preview has a secret, well-hidden built-in theme engine
With the major Android manufacturers already sporting some kind of theme support, it was a bit logical for Google to bake in a similar functionality in Android OS itself, which will make it even easier for willing manufacturers to embrace theme support in their custom skins.

From the looks of it, Android M, internally known as Macadamia Nut Cookie, might be the first release of the OS that will come with baked-in theme support (we are not talking about the already-present interface themes, but of full-blown, interface-wide themes).

It seems that Android M has adopted Sony's RRO (runtime resource overlays) commits, which means that native theme support is at least supported.

The well-hidden theme support in the M Developer Preview was spotted by a user that has been meddling with the Layers Manager app. Reportedly, the latter has allowed the user to try a few themes on a rooted Android device. It is still pretty limited at this point, as we are, after all, dealing with a developer preview.

Hopefully, the final release will indeed come with support for themes that will further enrich Android's customizability features straight out of the box. Still, it's not entirely certain whether Google will simply provide APIs for custom themes or introduce baked-in support for these. What are you rooting for?

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14 Comments

1. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Its also in Samsung and HTC's Lollipop skins as well (and in Sony's since KitKat) Hopefully Google adds themes to the Play Store

11. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

Sony has it since 4.3 actually.

12. waddup121 unregistered

ooooh sneaky!

2. noler

Posts: 326; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

I guess, better late than never.

3. enzotarece

Posts: 87; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

Good stuff Sony lead the way oh yea operating ur screen wen wet yup yup others will follow

4. VJo003

Posts: 365; Member since: Mar 11, 2012

Nokia's symbian had themes over a decade ago. Its a visual +

5. SamDH1

Posts: 419; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

Hopefully, this means other OEM's will use this theme support, instead of making a whole new UI on top.... Or Google make them do this.... Then Google have more control over all of the phones.

6. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Why would we want to give google more control? Stock android isn't even that great. TW is way more functional and provides better battery life - all nexus phones had average battery at best.

7. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Well all nexus phones have small batteries Maybe excluding the Nexus 6 But the Nexus 6 has a huge 6" screen and its AMOLED panel is not on par with Samsung's newer more efficient AMOLED panels (probably on par with the Note 2) Also OEMs could still add features using system apps

8. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Nope, note 2 has non-pentile display and it's still brighter than the nexus's. Note 2 has more sharper screen even than the smaller galaxies from a series. Pentile sux. I couldn't believe how bad the a5 screen is in comparison to note's 2. That's why we need QHD on amoleds these days.

9. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

There was a time when only Windows Phone had integrated themes . Great ideas catch on even with the competition.

10. HouTexan

Posts: 461; Member since: Jan 08, 2012

Shut up already

13. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

WP has what integrated theme support? There was time when old Nokia phones had theme support.!

14. Mfa901

Posts: 291; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

i remeber the days when i used to make nokia series 40 themes on the phone itself. There was also live wallpaper kind of thing when you use swf files as wallpaper.

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