RRO-Powered Custom Themes Could Be Coming To Android O

May 19, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

Android O may introduce support for custom themes, according to certain evidence found in the Settings app of the newly released second developer preview of Google’s upcoming operating system. The Display section of the Settings menu contains a new option called “Device theme” that presently contains two options. One of them is called “Pixel” and is presumably a reference to the regular Pixel launcher, though it cannot be enabled. However, the other one bears the name “android.auto_generated_rro_” and while it cannot be activated either, some users speculate that its name implies a connection with Runtime Resource Overlay (RRO), a Sony-made theming framework that’s integrated into a number of well-known Android ROMs.

By enabling custom themes using an existing and widely adopted theming framework, Google would ensure that Android O supports a larger number of custom themes at launch as their creators and software developers would likely only have to make minimal changes in order to make them compatible with the upcoming update to the omnipresent operating system. The Mountain View-based tech giant hasn’t detailed the newly unveiled option in any capacity, indicating that the functionality wasn’t included in the new developer preview of Android O in order to tease native support for custom themes and may be scrapped by the time Android O starts hitting the stable channel. Regardless, if the Alphabet-owned company ends up including support for custom themes in Android O, such a move would certainly add an extra layer of customizability to an already extremely flexible operating system.

The Mountain View-based Internet giant originally released the second developer preview of Android O earlier this week, as soon as its annual Google I/O developer conference started on Wednesday. The upcoming build of the company’s OS is set to ship with a broad range of new features and improvements, including support for notification channels that will allow users to categorize and prioritize notifications, as well as a more robust battery management solution and a wide variety of performance tweaks, all of which are ultimately aimed at enhancing the end user experience of the platform. First stable builds of Android O are expected to start hitting select Nexus devices and Pixel phones in the coming months.