It’s taken awhile, but with Samsung and HTC both introducing theme support in their latest flagship devices, this whole “theme thing” could be finally catching on. In case you needed further proof, look no further than to Google who has apparently added limited support for themes in Android M. This is RRO (Runtime Resource Overlay), the same software Sony uses to theme up ROMs in their Xperia devices which has since been merged with AOSP.
Like most of the more interesting M goodies, you’ll need root to take advantage of it but that’s pretty much it. With limited support for theme engines baked straight into Android M, those looking to theme their devices no longer have to look to custom ROMs to change up the look on their devices. All you need to get started is the stock ROM, a pinch of root, an app like like Layers Manager to apply some themes and you’re all set.
This is actually a great option for those that would rather use a stock ROM with only small tweaks like Xposed modules — none of those other frills that usually come with custom ROMs. Of course, while we don’t expect these themes to be quite as in depth as they are in custom ROMs (developer Andrew Dodd is working on a more advanced solution using the RRO engine), but it should be enough to appease those looking to lightly theme up their device.
According to the user who pointed this out on Reddit, he’s already tried a few themes using Layers and all were working fine and without issue. Now nothing is set in stone at the moment, but with RRO baked into Android M, it could be a hint of bigger, better things to come. For more on RRO and how it compares to something like Cyanogen’s unique theme engine, check out Syko Pompos’ post here.
Jeff McIntire contributed to this post.