Google Messages Material You

Just over three weeks ago, Google announced Material You as its hyper-personalized design system for creating apps that adapt to users, specifically their Android wallpapers. It will take some time for all apps to get updated, but here’s an early look at Material You theming for Google Messages.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

With version 8.2 of Google Messages — currently in beta — we enabled some early Material You color theming. The SMS/RCS client specifically tints the search field at the top of the app and the overflow menu, though very lightly.

Meanwhile, the “Start chat” extended FAB in the bottom-right corner is also hued but in a much more noticeable/darker shade. In the light theme seen below, the background remains white, which is likely to preserve text visibility.

We manually enabled this wallpaper-based theming — internally referred to by Google as “monet” — today, but it’s otherwise not yet live on devices running the Android 12 Beta Program. Overall, this is early Material You work for Google Messages. A fuller adoption of the upcoming design language could be much more encompassing and involve layout changes.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: