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Google removes some customizable and popular Pixel Themes features in Android 12 beta 3

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Google removes some customizable and popular Pixel Themes features in Android 12 beta 3
With the release of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, Google introduced a new feature for the series called Pixel Themes found under the heading of "Styles & Wallpapers." This feature allowed a Pixel user to change the shape of an app's icon shape, accent color, and font. Older Pixel models running Android 10 at the time, including the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, also worked with Pixel Themes (personally this writer played around with the app on his Pixel 2 XL and was very satisfied with it).

Google to remove some features belonging to Pixel Themes


Besides including Pixel Themes on certain Pixel models, other handsets running Android 10 included the feature. This included phones manufactured by ASUS and Motorola. But XDA notes that several Pixel users and owners of the other Android phones with the feature are beside themselves after finding out that Google plans on making some changes to the customization system.

In the most recently released third beta version of Android 12, parts of Pixel Themes have gone missing including changes to the font, and customization to the icon shapes and accent colors. In Android 12, some users might consider the new dynamic theming system to be more customizable than the Pixel Themes options offered in Android 10. To reiterate, in Android 12, users will have no say in choosing fonts, icon shapes, and accent colors for "Styles & Wallpapers."

Google has created an Android Issue Tracker titled "Custom Styles missing from Wallpaper and Style menu" and there are a few comments posted by users and Googlers.

For example, a Googler confirmed the removal of the aforementioned "Styles & Wallpapers" features in Android 12 and posted the following: "The custom style features (font, icon shape, icon pack, and accent color) in R are being replaced by the new dynamic theming feature that we are introducing in S (Android 12). We see the new dynamic theming feature as more modern and intelligent. A simple and delightful experience that we hope all users can get to enjoy."

Android users posted comments such as "If colors are to be dynamic, at least please bring back font and icon shape customization. Current solution is like two steps back, because there are missing options which were available earlier, and dynamic colors are not always chosen correctly. Besides that, someone could like to choose all kinds of accent colors by themselves."

Another Android user says, "Have to agree with the others, dismissing this feature is a really bad design. The greater choice of accents colors and especially the icons shapes are a good way to make your phone more personal. Adding dynamic colors isn't a compensation for the other options. I hope you change your mind about that."

And yet another Android user is upset because Pixel Themes allowed him to use and read a smartphone despite having issues with his eye. "Removing the ability to change the fonts is the biggest issue for me. I have eye issues and being able to change to a font that was easier for me to read was a HUGE advantage for me. It was one of the biggest reasons I stayed with the Pixel phones."

Android user says Google doesn't care about those with disabilities


Continuing with his comment to Google, this Pixel Themes fan added that "I like the fonts to be small but still readable. I could make the fonts bigger but I don't like them huge, which makes it easier for people to read over my shoulder. Google doesn't care about people with disabilities it seems."

That seems like a rather harsh comment to make although we can understand where the anger comes from. The Android user struggling with an eye issue continued his complaint by writing, how removing the ability to make the theme color white "was yet another blow for me since I'm color blind and having all of the colors white helped a lot with my color blindness."

Wrapping up his statement he accuses Google of saying, "We don't care if you have vision disabilities because we know what's best for everyone.  I now have absolutely no reason to continue buying Pixel phones. I might as well be using an iPhone now cause I have no choice anymore."

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