Material You design

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Starting in Android 12, Material You design focuses on expression and fluidity in the Android OS, with the goal of helping users create and own a single, cohesive experience catered to their needs. As an Android partner, you're encouraged to incorporate Material You design into your Android devices in the following areas:

  • Dynamic color
  • Motion
  • Widgets

Dynamic color

Dynamic color is the centerpiece of Material You design and a key part of Android's multi-year strategy to bring simpler and deeper customization to its users in a way no other devices do. Material You offers:

  • Users and developers a consistent, rich story of personalization available in any Android device.

  • Android OEMs opportunities to continue innovating system UI and first-party apps in a way that's inline with their hardware and brand color, make, and form.

To take advantage of dynamic color, use the Android 12 Material You color extraction story as a key part of your software offering to users. On the device, use the color extraction logic that's in AOSP, especially the logic that takes in a single wallpaper or theme source color and outputs it through 65 color APIs. For dynamic color requirements, see Using Dynamic Color.

The full dynamic color flow includes four steps, as illustrated below:

Material You Color Flow

Figure 1. Material You dynamic color flow

  1. The user changes the wallpaper or theme through the OEM picker.

  2. The user selects one of the following:

    • Device theme. When selected, Android automatically picks a single source color that meets requirements.

    • New wallpaper + theme. When selected, AOSP logic automatically picks a single source color from the selected wallpaper.

  3. AOSP expands the single source color into 5 tonal palettes with 13 tonal color variants each, as per the AOSP logic, which then populate the 65 color attributes.

  4. The app UI uses the 65 color attributes in a way that's consistent across the Android app ecosystem. You are encouraged to use the same color palette for the device System UI and OEM-specific apps.

Android 12 patches

To get the end-to-end logic for wallpaper color extraction and to enable the device to fill the 65-color APIs in a way that's consistent with the ecosystem, include the following patches in your Android 12 implementation:

Specifying custom colors on the ThemePicker

If you are using the AOSP ThemePicker app, the WallpaperPicker app shows the color section if both of the following conditions are met:

  • flag_monet on frameworks/base/packages/SystemUI/res/values/flags.xml is true.
  • A system stub APK with the package name is defined in themes_stub_package in the packages/apps/ThemePicker/res/values/override.xml file.

Stub APK format

A sample version of this APK can be found in packages/apps/ThemePicker/themes.

This APK should contain only resources, detailing the available basic colors and their names.

The stub should contain an XML file under res/xml with the following format:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<resources>
    <array name="color_bundles">
        <item>color1</item>
        <item>color2</item>
        <item>color3</item>
        <item>color4</item>
    </array>

    <string name="bundle_name_color1">Blue</string>
    <string name="bundle_name_color2">Red</string>
    <string name="bundle_name_color3">Yellow</string>
    <string name="bundle_name_color4">Green</string>

</resources>

In this file, each item within color_bundles has a distinct name, as long as the strings below are named bundle_name_item.

There should be a bundle_name_item string for each color, with a descriptive name for each color. These can be translated by adding the corresponding translated strings into the res/values-language code directories.

The actual color values can be either on the same XML or on a separate resources XML file with the following format:

<resources>
    <color name="color_primary_color1">#0000FF</color>
    <color name="color_secondary_color1">#0000FF</color>

    <color name="color_primary_color2">#ff0000</color>
    <color name="color_secondary_color2">#ff0000</color>

    <color name="color_primary_color3">#ffff00</color>
    <color name="color_secondary_color3">#ffff00</color>

    <color name="color_primary_color4">#00ff00</color>
    <color name="color_secondary_color4">#00ff00</color>
</resources>

For each item in the color bundles array, there should be a color_primary_item and a color_secondary_item entry (and both colors should be the same color). The values for these color entries are the actual color codes for each color to show in the basic color section.

Step 1: Build a user theming experience

The theme picker is where users engage with the new Material You personalization capabilities and potentially choose between color options or presets. As it fits your product and user demographic, you can offer users a richer personalization and color experience through the use of a theme picker or a wallpaper picker.

  • When using a wallpaper picker, wallpaper color extraction is on by default. However, you can make some customizations to the picker to provide more options to the user.

Step 2: Extract wallpaper color into a source color

To enable wallpaper color extraction, cherrypick the Android 12 patches listed above (this functionality will be enabled by default in a future AOSP release). The AOSP logic that triggers wallpaper extraction starts at frameworks/base/packages/SystemUI/src/com/android/systemui/theme/ThemeOverlayController.java, on ThemeOverlayController#mOnColorsChangedListener, by way of WallpaperManager#onWallpaperColorsChanged. We recommend using the unmodified AOSP logic to ensure a consistent development experience.

By default, the logic picks the highest frequency color that's suitable for use. To take advantage of other source colors returned by the algorithm and present those colors to users in the theme picker, use ColorScheme#getSeedColors(wallpaperColors: WallpaperColors).

To be suitable for use, a source color (whether extracted from wallpaper or a user-chosen preset) must have a minimum CAM16 chroma value of 5; this ensures that the source color isn't affected by subtle dark tones when it's converted from a single color to 65 tonal colors and remains representative of the user choice. To read and modify colors in CAM16, use Cam#fromInt or Cam#getInt.

Using a non-dynamic color palette For devices that don't support wallpaper color extraction, you can still ensure that Google apps and third-party apps that support dynamic color look great by doing the following:

  • Use the default Material palette by disabling flag_monet on frameworks/base/packages/SystemUI/res/values/flags.xml.
  • Ensure users can still personalize their OS using a preset theme picker.

Step 3: Expand the source color into color APIs

Using the single source color derived from the previous step, Android generates 5 unique tonal palettes (accent 1-3, neutral 1-2), each palette including 13 colors, and each color including different luminance values (0 to 1000), for a total of 65 colors. The logic provided in the Android 12 patches implements this color expansion correctly; the details provided below describe the implementation.

For developer consistency, the 5 tonal palettes (accent1, accent2, accent3, neutral1, neutral2) and their corresponding 13 colors must be based on the single source color with the respective changes to CAM16 chroma and hue values as written below:

CTS includes tests for validating luminance and hue API calls. To run, use atest SystemPalette.

Step 4: Use dynamic colors in apps and System UI

After dynamic colors are set on a device, apps follow Material guidelines to utilize the colors. Material guidelines are due to release on material.io by October 26, 2021 for third-party apps to adopt. For System UI and first-party apps, we strongly recommend integrating dynamic colors throughout the user experience in a way that fits with your hardware and brand and helps you to differentiate your devices.

For general dynamic color guidance, see the following:

  • Use accent colors for foreground elements in apps and the System UI:

    @android:color/system_accent1_0 … 1000 // most-used foreground color group
    @android:color/system_accent2_0 … 1000 // alternate accent, used for surfaces
    @android:color/system_accent3_0 … 1000 // playful, analogous color
    
  • Use neutral colors for background elements in apps and the System UI:

    @android:color/system_neutral1_0 … 1000 // most-used background color group
    @android:color/system_neutral2_0 … 1000 // used for higher-elevation surfaces
    

For more information on how Material You maps colors and how APIs are used in SysUI, see Additional Resources.

Step 5: Add dynamic color options in your AOSP WallpaperPicker implementation

Build for Android 13 and higher

Starting with Android 13, android.theme.customization.accent_color is deprecated. A new attribute android.theme.customization.theme_style is added to support different color variants. We currently have four variants in the codebase as follows:

TONAL_SPOT = Default Material You theme since Android S.
VIBRANT = Theme where accent 2 and 3 are analogous to accent 1.
EXPRESSIVE = Highly chromatic theme.
SPRITZ = Desaturated theme, almost grayscale.

These are sent to Settings.Secure.THEME_CUSTOMIZATION_OVERLAY_PACKAGES, as shown in JSON below:

{
    "android.theme.customization.system_palette":"B1611C",
    "android.theme.customization.theme_style":"EXPRESSIVE"
}

Build for Android 12 and lower

When using a custom theme picker, the device must send a valid source color to Settings.Secure.THEME_CUSTOMIZATION_OVERLAY_PACKAGES by providing a JSON file in the following format (where 746BC1 is an example valid source color):

{
      "android.theme.customization.system_palette":"746BC1",
      "android.theme.customization.accent_color":"746BC1"
}

Doing this skips wallpaper color extraction (Step 2) and directly expands the provided source color into 65 color attributes (Step 3).

Step 6: File a ticket

Besides the system integration, you need to file a ticket and let us know your brand name (Build.MANUFACTURER). Since most of 3rd-party apps are using the Material Components for Android to show dynamic colors, we are using a hardcoded allowlist to tell which devices have integrated the Dynamic color tonal palettes feature.

Motion

Fluid motion makes devices feel modern and premium. To build and maintain developer trust and happiness, overscroll and ripple are two key parts of fluid motion that need to look and feel consistent.

Using overscroll in your OS

Android 12 includes a more responsive, dynamic overscroll motion in the form of a view stretch, shown when the user tries to scroll past the edge of a list. An example is shown below:

Material You Overscroll

Figure 2. Android 12 overscroll effect, as shown in Settings

For developer consistency, ensure that the overall overscroll effect on your devices is similar to the following:

  • On devices that return true for ActivityManager.isHighEndGfx(), the overscroll effect is non-linear stretch of the screen (as shown above).

  • On lower-performance devices, the stretch effect is simplified to a linear stretch (to reduce load on the system).

Using overscroll in first-party apps

When using custom views, you might need to tweak some apps and system UI that use the stretch effect.

  • To support stretch overscroll, upgrade to the latest libraries:

    • androidx.recyclerview:recyclerview:1.3.0-alpha01 for RecyclerView
    • androidx.core:core:1.7.0-alpha01 for NestedScrollView and EdgeEffectCompat
    • androidx.viewpager:viewpager:1.1-alpha01 for ViewPager
  • For custom layouts that use EdgeEffect, consider the following UX changes:

    • With stretch overscroll, users shouldn't interact with the contents of the layout while it's being stretched. Users should manipulate only the stretch itself and not, for example, be able to push a button in the content.

    • When users touches the content while the EdgeEffect animation is happening, they should catch the animation and be allowed to manipulate the stretch. The current pull value is available from EdgeEffectCompat.getDistance().

    • To manipulate the pull value and return the amount consumed, use onPullDistance(). This allows developers to smoothly transition from stretching to scrolling as the finger destretches the content past the starting position.

    • When working with nested scrolling, if the content is stretched, the stretch should consume the touch motion before the nested content, or else nesting may scroll when the finger changes direction instead of releasing the stretch.

For details on overscroll, refer to Animate a Scroll Gesture.

Using ripple (touch feedback) in your OS

Android 12 includes a softer, more subtle touch ripple to provide feedback to users on tap down.

Material You Ripple

Figure 3. Android 12 ripple effect, with a softer fill animation

For developer predictability and to provide a great user experience, ensure that the ripple effect on your devices is similar to example shown above. While you don't need to perform any specific integration steps to support ripple effects, you should test the effect on your devices to check for any unintended regressions introduced in your implementation.

Widgets

Widgets are key components of an Android device. Android 12 includes new APIs and API capabilities that all OEMs should support.

Additional resources

SysUI color use

(accent1 = A1, accent2 = A2, accent3 = A3, neutral1 = N1, neutral2 = N2)

Material You Color Use

Figure 4. Dynamic color use in the System UI

Material library color attribute updates

Material will be updating its theme attributes in the coming release by creating color roles used to supply color to specific views.

Color role Android Theme Attribute Light Theme
Dynamic Color
Dark Theme
Dynamic Color
Primary colorPrimary system_accent1_600 system_accent1_200
On Primary colorOnPrimary system_accent1_0 system_accent1_800
Secondary colorSecondary system_accent2_600 system_accent2_200
On Secondary colorOnSecondary system_accent2_0 system_accent2_800
Error colorError N/A (red_600) N/A (red_200)
On Error colorOnError N/A (white) N/A (red_900)
Background android:colorBackground system_neutral1_10 system_neutral1_900
On Background colorOnBackground system_neutral1_900 system_neutral1_100
Surface colorSurface system_neutral1_10 system_neutral1_900
On Surface colorOnSurface system_neutral1_900 system_neutral1_100

Material will be updating its states attributes with the following pointers:

Color role Android Theme Attribute Light Theme
Dynamic Color
Dark Theme
Dynamic Color
Primary State Content colorPrimaryStateContent system_accent1_700 system_accent1_200
Primary State Layer colorPrimaryStateLayer system_accent1_600 system_accent1_300
Secondary State Content colorSecondaryStateContent system_accent2_700 system_accent2_200
Secondary State Layer colorSecondaryStateLayer system_accent2_600 system_accent2_300
On Primary State Content colorOnPrimaryStateContent system_accent1_0 system_accent1_800
On Primary State Layer colorOnPrimaryStateLayer system_accent1_900 system_accent1_800
On Secondary State Content colorOnSecondaryStateContent system_accent2_0 system_accent2_800
On Secondary State Layer colorOnSecondaryStateLayer system_accent2_900 system_accent2_800
On Primary Container State Content colorOnPrimaryContainerStateContent system_accent1_900 system_accent1_900
On Primary Container State Layer colorOnPrimaryContainerStateLayer system_accent1_900 system_accent1_900
On Secondary Container State Content colorOnSecondaryContainerStateContent system_accent2_900 system_accent2_900
On Secondary Container State Layer colorOnSecondaryContainerStateLayer system_accent2_900 system_accent2_900
On Tertiary Container State Content colorOnTertiaryContainerStateContent system_accent3_900 system_accent3_900
On Tertiary Container State Layer colorOnTertiaryContainerStateLayer system_accent3_900 system_accent3_900
On Surface State Content colorOnSurfaceStateContent system_neutral1_900 system_neutral1_100
On Surface State Layer colorOnSurfaceStateLayer system_neutral1_900 system_neutral1_100
On Surface Variant State Content colorOnSurfaceVariantStateContent system_neutral2_700 system_neutral2_200
On Surface Variant State Layer colorOnSurfaceVariantStateLayer system_neutral2_700 system_neutral2_200
Error State Content colorErrorStateContent red800 red200

FAQs

Color extraction

Once a user changes a wallpaper, is the color extraction automatically done or does it need to be triggered from somewhere?

With the Android 12 patches, the wallpaper color extraction is on by default.

ThemeOverlayController.java triggers the logic with ThemeOverlayController#mOnColorsChangedListener and WallpaperManager#onWallpaperColorsChanged.

For Live Wallpapers or Video Wallpapers, could we know when Color Extraction takes the color from the screen? Some users may want the colors from the last frame since it shows at the most time.

Color extraction is triggered when the user sets the wallpaper or after a screen power cycle (in response to WallpaperEngine#notifyColorsChanged). The last WallpaperColors event (from the live wallpaper) is applied after the user turns off the screen and turns it on again.

Theme/wallpaper picker

How do I enable the theme picker to show multiple source colors for users to choose than the highest frequency color? Is there a way to get those colors from extraction logic?

Yes. In your theme picker, you can use ColorScheme#getSeedColors(wallpaperColors: WallpaperColors).

There is a feature on Pixel names as themed Icon. Is it included in the three patches you have shared? How can OEMs implement that?

No. Themed icons are in Beta and aren't available in Android 12.

Is there a way to use the Google Wallpaper app with the color extraction and selection features enabled?

Yes. The features can be implemented in the latest version of Google Wallpaper app by following the integration steps described earlier on this page.

Reach out to your TAM for more details.

Can Google share the app or source code so that OEMs can implement their own version of the dynamic color preview on their settings menu, which looks similar to the preview section shown on Google's Wallpaper picker app?

The main classes that render the preview are WallpaperPicker2 and Launcher3.

The wallpaper preview screen is WallpaperSectionController.

How to implement the Preview after changing the color, as shown in the Google Wallpaper app?

The Wallpaper picker app expects a ContentProvider to be available from Launcher (a Launcher3-based launcher has it). The preview is provided by GridCustomizationsProvider in Launcher, which should be referenced in Launcher's main Activity's metadata for the wallpaper and style app to read it. All of this is implemented in AOSP's Launcher3 and is available to the OEMs.