Material You and its collection of available color options is one of the best things about Android 12, but none of that matters if you don’t know how to change those colors.
Thankfully the process isn’t long and a change of Material You colors is easier than you might think. Still if you’re not sure how to go about it this handy guide can walk you through the steps. Keep in mind that only a handful of devices actually have access to Android 12 right now.
This includes the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, as well as all current Pixel devices from the Pixel 3 series forward. For beta builds, there are a few others including the ASUS ZenFone 8. Even if you don’t have Android 12 yet though, this guide can still be helpful for when your phone is finally updated.
How to change the Material You colors on Android 12
If you’re wanting to change the colors to give your phone’s theme a more personal touch, check out the steps below.
Head to the homescreen
To kick things off, what you’re going to need to do is make sure you’re on the phone’s homescreen. This is where you’re going to access the main menu for this feature.
Press and hold down on the homescreen
You can do a long press on the homescreen pretty much anywhere. As long as that “anywhere” is an open space that has no widgets or app shortcuts. Once you do this a little menu will pop up with a few options.
You should see home settings, widgets, and wallpapers & style. Tap on wallpapers & style to move forward here.
Select from either wallpaper colors or basic colors
You have two sets of Material You color options here to choose from. The wallpaper colors, which basically picks colors from the wallpaper you have applied. And then uses those colors to give you a fairly close approximation of matching colors for your phone’s theme.
Your other option is basic colors, which is a static set of four colors to choose from. These do not change dynamically based on your wallpaper. So if you want the colors for the theme to be the same all the time, choose this option.
All colors are a more muted, almost pastel shade. And they won’t always match up as well as you might think. As you can see from the four screenshots in the gallery above. Worth noting is that you can also change your wallpaper here. So if you want dynamically changing colors that go together more suitably, pick a new wallpaper first. Then come back to pick your color palette.
Widgets will change color dynamically with their size
Changing the Material You colors will alter the color of various UI elements. In the notification shade, and in the menus, in settings, and even the Google keyboard. But they also change the color of the widgets.
These will even change dynamically on-screen as you resize the widgets to fit into the perfect spot. You might think you wanted a widget somewhere on-screen but realize you don’t like the colors picked for it after placing it. Resizing the widget will show the colors change in real time based on the area of screen the widget it’s on and the colors that Material You grabs from that section of the wallpaper.
So if you’re going to use a widget, place it on the screen and then move it around a bit. Resize it and see what you like best. And that’s really all there is to it. Changing the Material You colors in Android 12 doesn’t get any harder than that.