Android Oreo may soon get support for custom themes without rooting

Image source: XDA

One of the biggest drawing forces for Android has always been customization. From custom launchers and icon packs to the much more in-depth and involved theming engines of OEMs like Samsung, OnePlus, and Sony, customization options have traditionally been abundant on Android. However, many enthusiasts were still not content with what was offered by stock Android and the variety of skins by different OEMs, so they opted to root their devices and make use of custom themes.

Developers tinkering with the developer releases of Android Oreo have found evidence suggesting that Google may finally be willing to implement a powerful theming engine in stock Android, and now we have further evidence in support for this.

The developers over at XDA found a way to take advantage of OMS (Overlay Manager Service) that is now integrated into Android 8.0, and to get Substratum themes up and running on it without any need for rooting or otherwise tinkering too much with the OS.

Image source: XDA

The method currently involves escalating permissions through ADB, with the only real drawback being that these permissions are lost after reboot, which means you'd either have to stick to the theme you've applied or punch in some ADB commands again.

The folks over at XDA are expecting the team behind Substratum to have some sort of theme manager app for Android Oreo in a week or so, so keep your eyes open for that. The app will be available for the Google Pixel/XL, the Nexus 5X, and the Nexus 6P, with the only prerequisite being that the device is running Android O.

If you're interested in this development, check out the full read over at XDA (linked below).

source: XDA



14. brasstax

Posts: 546; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

As someone who always uses a custom ROM I can say that substratum in its present form sucks and cannot hold a candle to the excellent cyanogenmod theme engine.

12. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Lol, yet another "new" stock android feature trickling down from ancient OEM skins. Been long enjoying this on my OnePlus One since 2014.

8. TeriusRose

Posts: 108; Member since: May 12, 2017

DO IT. This should've been built into android years ago.

5. sleepypandaeyes

Posts: 431; Member since: Apr 12, 2015

I use nova launcher combined with samsung themes which allows me to not only change the icons, grid, app and folder arrangements, but samsung themes let's me edit the settings, notifications menu and system apps ui menu. Is this oreo feature a similair thing?

9. TeriusRose

Posts: 108; Member since: May 12, 2017

Basically yes. Same set up I have.

11. Carlitos

Posts: 706; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Like most cases people seem to overlook, a lot of stock Androids features are straight out of Samsung experience skins, LG's, and motorola

13. vincelongman

Posts: 5838; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep, Sony submitted their RRO theme engine (and later OMS) to AOSP Which Sony, Samsung, LG, HTC and Substratum use for their theme But Google didn't add them into Stock Android now However there's still no official UI for it, so you'll still have to install Substratum, but now you won't need root and a custom ROM

1. Spyro

Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

If only I could do that on iOS without sacrificing security....


Posts: 202; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

If only I could do that on my current Android phone, which will never see Oreo because of classic manufacturer excuses (read: greed)...

3. Spyro

Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

There's always the Pixel or the Nexus but I see your point.

7. ullokey

Posts: 189; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

There "was" Nexus :(

4. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

I remembered that we can change the icons and UI(maybe?) since before iOS 7...

6. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

You mean jailbreak? Yeah too bad you can't get the full of your phone without jailbreaking. Apple should allow their users to modify their iDevices.

10. TeriusRose

Posts: 108; Member since: May 12, 2017

I get why they don't, but at the very least they could have customizations be something that is off by default but can be enabled in settings.

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