Among the many features that Google touted about Android 12 at I/O last month, wallpaper-based themes was probably the most impressive. And most exciting. Unfortunately, they were not available in the first beta for Android 12. But they are here with Beta 2. They are also on by default. Meaning that all you need to do is change your wallpaper and you’ll see the lock screen and in the notification panel.
It’s a really cool feature, and it’ll be cool to see how well this works later this year when more Google apps (and third-party apps) have added in support for this. But for now, it is really limited to just the lockscreen clock, the notification panel and the quick setting toggles.
The biggest visual change to Android in years
Now, because of this, and Google’s new Material You design, this is actually the biggest visual change to Android in years. Really since 2014, when Google first introduced Material Design.
The whole point of this is to make themes that are designed specifically for you. Google is using color science to be able to do this, and pulling some colors out of your wallpaper to use for these different elements. This means that the entire operating system will follow a similar theme, which is really impressive. And it makes it look a lot more cohesive.
It’s likely the most exciting feature of Android 12 to be quite honest. Considering the entire update isn’t all that big, mostly consisting of smaller updates tot he operating system. Of course, iOS 15 is also a pretty small one too, when we look at features. And that’s because both of these have become pretty mature operating systems.
This is the second of four betas for Android 12 and we will see the final release around August/September, as we have for the past few years.