Last week there were images posted depicting major UI changes in Google’s next Android OS release, Android 12. These images are from a document that Google shared with its OEM partners, and were likely mockups meant to showcase advanced features of Android 12 for creating themes. In a few images, the interface is barely visible: the notification bar interface, home screen, privacy settings, and the Google Camera app. While it can be assumed that such UI changes are just a new topic, it looks like there may be other important UI changes in the works, notes AppTractor.
According to XDA Developers, Google has labeled some of the UI changes in notifications as the beginning of the “road to Material NEXT.” Google’s Material Design guidelines have undergone significant changes since they first appeared. More recently, guidelines have been developed to encourage companies to use their own identity in addition to material design. For example, Google apps usually correspond to a company’s “Material Theme”. While it is not yet clear what changes Material NEXT will bring to the design, they could be serious given what we saw in the Android 12 leak last week.
For example, Google is preparing to change the layout of Always on Display and Lock Screen in Android 12. Some of the changes in development include offsetting notification icons so that they will no longer be centered in the new layout.
In the notification panel, you can also see major changes. The most notable are related to a new wallpaper-based theme system, codenamed “monet”. The specific theme shown in the leaked images might be called “Silk,” and it might serve as Google’s representation for the enhanced Android 12 theme system, states NIX Solutions.
The Android Runtime Resource Overlay (RRO) feature is undergoing a major update to improve the system-level Android theme. RROs were traditionally APK packages that needed to be installed on a device before they could be activated, but Android 12 can now generate RROs without an APK on the fly. It will be interesting to see how this is used, but it can be assumed that this will open up the possibility of creating many custom themes that do not need to be installed as system-level applications. Currently, most theme packages that use the RRO / OMS API are installed as static packages in read-only sections. On-the-fly RRO packaging could be that mainstream monet in Android 12.