Android 12 Beta 2 launched yesterday with the wallpaper-based theming announced at Google I/O. We already provided a preview of the upcoming support in Google Messages, and now here’s an early look at the Material You “Dynamic Color” theme in the works for Gboard.

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.

Once live, “Dynamic Color” will appear as a Gboard theme in the “Default” section next to System Auto, Default, and Default Dark. The background will always be the lightest hue, while whether “Key borders” are turned on/off plays a role in theming. 

  • If they are disabled, there are two other colors, starting with a darker shade for the pill-shaped “?123” key and space bar. The return key is ever so slightly lighter, while the ‘More’ chevron is similarly tinted.
  • When you enable borders, the QWERTY, apostrophe, language switcher, and spacebar keys are white. Caps lock, backspace, comma, period, and return take a slightly lighter shade than ?123.

Like with what we enabled in Messages, this is not yet live on Android 12 Beta 2. Google has been testing a handful of Gboard designs for the past few months. The very limited number of people that had the previous major sheet redesign saw that variant with rounded top corners to visually distinguish the keyboard and suggestions strip removed with Gboard 10.7.

That said, the Gboard Material You color look that we enabled is very likely what will launch with Android 12 later this year.

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

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article

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