Pastel color schemes that adapt to your taste and buttons with low-radius corners are the hallmarks of the Material You design scheme for Android and it's been taking over Google's apps one by one. We're now seeing a drip and a drop of its essence coming down to Maps.
One of the headline features of Android 12, at least on Pixel phones, is the new Material You design language and its core component, the "Monet" theming system. It takes a quite unconventional approach to Android theming, automatically assembling a color palette based on a user's wallpaper and applying it all over the UI. That's fine for Google's own phones, but what about those from other manufacturers? Although this theming system won't hit AOSP in time for Android 12, it now looks like Google is planning to make dynamic theming open-source for a future Android release.
As we get closer to the official launch of Android 12, Google is updating more of its apps to support all of its new Material You themes. Gboard was one of the first to receive a makeover, with its fresh color scheme now available to anyone running the latest Android beta. However, it seems like the look isn't quite complete yet, as new Material You elements are on the way in an upcoming release.
A week ago we got our first glimpse at new weather widgets set to debut in the standard Google search app, hidden deep within the files of a bet APK. They weren't all that impressive, coming in just one shape and light and dark variants. Today more eye-catching variants have appeared, this time conforming to the Material You design language of Android 12.
Android 12 Developer Preview 2 added a hidden taskbar in the Google Pixel launcher that made it easier to switch between apps on large-screen devices like tablets. However, Google didn't make any major improvements to the feature in subsequent beta releases. It looks like the company has instead been holding it back and worked on improving it behind the scenes for Android 12.1.
Google's new Material You design language, first debuting with Android 12, is steadily making its way to all the company's other services. Today it's coming to the Google Photos app for at least some users, spreading out subdued pastel hues and rounded interface elements while keeping most of the basic structure the same. So far the changes are appearing primarily for Android 12 devices, but a few users on older Android versions are telling us they're seeing it, too.
If you're rocking a Galaxy S21, S21+, or S21 Ultra, and you want to check out the latest software goodies that Samsung is brewing up, you'll want to get involved with the One UI beta program. Version 4.0 is out to beta testers in the program today, and it has quite a few new changes. Chief among them, at least for owners in the United States, is support for eSIM cards, although this feature isn't working just yet. The feature was available previously in other countries and territories (as well as for the T-Mobile Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra).