Stock Android — as found on devices like the Google Pixel or Android One devices — has a lot going for it, but one feature Google has long shied away from has been official theme support. It’s not like Android diehards have asked for a lot, just the ability to toggle between a light or dark mode UI at will.
This was actually voiced in November of last year in a Google Issue Tracker thread with a user requesting Google add the feature in Android 9.0. The request was shared with Google’s engineering team but there’s been no word since then.
Today, the internet lit up with news that — holy crap — Google’s engineering team had actually added this feature and that it would “be available in a future Android release.” Needless to say, Android fanboys lost their got damn minds (and for good reason). But not so fast…
Google is swiftly raining on this parade and now says there was a miscommunication and the feature wouldn’t be added. So what the heck is going on? Google explained in the following comment:
What we *have* added in a future Android release is a developer-facing setting (via Developer Options) to toggle the -night UI mode qualifier, which will make it easier for developers to create and test apps that implement night mode.
This qualifier has been in the platform since Froyo (SDK 8) and globally modifiable via UiModeManager since Marshmallow (SDK 23); however, there was never an explicit toggle made available anywhere in Settings.
Do you feel that? It’s as if millions of voices cried out with joy and were suddenly silenced. Thanks, Googs.