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Android 12's Conversations Widget Can Change Background Based On The Message

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The “Conversations” widget that Google introduced with Android 12 Beta 2 last week has an interesting hidden property. It can change the background depending on the content of the message, the folks over at XDA have found out. According to the report, certain text in messages triggers this change.

If a user receives a message with two or more exclamation marks, the widget’s background is “filled with semi-transparent exclamation marks”. The background changes accordingly if the message contains multiple question marks or there’s a mix of question and exclamation marks. Repeated use of an emoji also triggers this background change.

A deeper dive into the SystemUI of Android 12 Beta 2 revealed that the “PeopleTileViewHelper class uses regular expressions” to check for these patterns in incoming messages. The message doesn’t need to contain any text but “two or more exclamation marks, two or more question marks, a mix of question and exclamation marks, or two or more of the same emoji”. For such messages, the Conversations widget changes its background accordingly.

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Conversations widget changes background depending on the content of the message

Google might have heavily focused on visual updates with Android 12 but it’s continuing its efforts to make conversations faster and easier on the platform. With Android 11 last year, the company added a dedicated “Conversations” section to the notifications shade that let users quickly access recent notifications from their favorite messaging apps. It is now taking that effort to another level with a new “Conversation” widget on Android 12. It lets you add a conversation to your homescreen.

Google has been working on this feature since the first developer preview. It finally rolled out with the second Beta last week. The widget shows the name of the contact, profile picture, and an icon or the last message in the conversation. Now, in another minor addition, the latest discovery reveals that the new conversations widget can change the background depending on the content of the message.

Future versions of this widget may also show additional details about that contact. Reports suggest it will show status messages for the contact’s birthday, anniversary, “Story” update, in-game statuses, location, and more. None of these features are live yet but we are still in the Beta release though. A lot could change by the time Google gets ready for a public release of Android 12. We will surely let you know if or when Android 12’s Conversations widget picks up new features. In the meantime, check out how it changes the background based on the message in the screenshots below.

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Android 12 Conversation widget background change 1
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