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Classes from the Chrome workforce

Posted by Rebecca Gutteridge, Developer Relations Engineer on Android

blue and green phone illustration 


With the discharge of Android 12 and Materials You, we offered documentation and steering on dynamic shade foundations, easy methods to implement dynamic shade in Jetpack Compose and a getting began codelab. However making a scalable, personalised, and accessible app with dynamic shade can really feel like a frightening process. We talked to designers and builders on Google Chrome, and so they supplied to share some tips about how they approached it at scale for his or her Android app. Right here’s what they counsel if you’re contemplating adopting dynamic shade in your app.

The place to begin

Begin by reviewing all of your present screens in your app and determine your present colours, themes and surfaces. Chrome kicked off a design evaluate and evaluated their shade scheme. Materials 3 encourages designers and builders to make use of shade tokens which allow flexibility and consistency throughout an app by permitting designers to assign a component’s shade function in a UI, somewhat than a set worth. That is notably highly effective when contemplating designing for mild and darkish themes and dynamic shade.

An example surface for Chrome, the Tab Switcher, identifying the color token for each element

Determine 1 : An instance floor for Chrome, the Tab Switcher, figuring out the colour token for every ingredient

Your app could have already got a shade token system, so reviewing how the brand new Materials You dynamic shade enabled shade scheme matches your earlier naming conference is a vital train. Engineering ought to align with UX to evaluate the brand new shade token system together with your mocks. That is additionally a superb alternative to evaluate your present colours.xml, themes.xml and types.xml.Particularly verify that your app accurately differentiates between Types and Themes in addition to accurately extending from base themes. It is usually value reviewing if there are redundant colours in your present scheme or a chance to make a extra constant shade scheme all through your app. Dynamic shade implementation with Compose can also be accessible.


Making certain your app’s shade system is accessible is vital for designing for everybody and creating merchandise which can be inclusive to the widest attainable viewers. Dynamic shade is dedicated to guaranteeing that the colour choice mannequin has accessibility necessities inbuilt. Materials 3 shade schemes are outlined by tonality somewhat than hue or hex worth, this technique of tonal palettes is central to creating any shade system accessible by default. Utilizing a minimal 60 luminance unfold in shade pairings offers sufficient distinction to make sure accessibility requirements.

Combining color based on tonality, rather than hex value or hue, is one of the key systems that make any color output accessible.

Determine 2 : Combining shade primarily based on tonality, somewhat than hex worth or hue, is among the key programs that make any shade output accessible.

Part strategy

When implementation, think about this improve as a phased strategy if wanted, focusing on the first surfaces first and leveraging that dynamic shade will be utilized at a per exercise stage. This was how Chrome was capable of replace their app and used it as a chance emigrate a few of their older UI app compat parts to the fashionable Materials 3 parts, reminiscent of High app bar.

Find out how to help customized colours

Your app could have customized colours or model colours that you do not need to vary with the consumer’s desire. These can merely be added moreover as you’re constructing out your shade scheme. Alternatively you possibly can import extra colours to increase your shade scheme utilizing the Materials Theme Builder to create a unified shade system. The theme builder features a shade harmonization function that shifts the tone of a customized shade to make sure that visible steadiness and accessible distinction is achieved when mixed with user-generated colours.

Understand how to harmonize custom colors with the Material guidance.

Determine 3: Perceive easy methods to harmonize customized colours with the Materials steering.

For Chrome, here’s a deep dive into two examples of the place protected colours are vital for them and the way they approached it.

Writer colours

It’s important that Chrome permits for manufacturers to maintain their recognized colours and never affect that performance when adopting dynamic shade.

Publishers have the power to set a writer shade utilizing a metadata ingredient of their html. The highest toolbar is managed utilizing a call tree to programmatically decide the toolbar shade and icon shade primarily based on a sequence of cascading guidelines:

  • Incognito mode has the very best precedence. If Incognito is enabled, the toolbar and icon colours observe the darkish baseline palette.
  • For evening theme, toolbar and icon colours observe the darkish dynamic theme somewhat than the writer shade to make sure a constantly darkish UI.
  • For day theme, the toolbar shade is about to the writer shade, the icon shade is both white or grey primarily based on whether or not the writer shade is a darkish or mild shade by way of util technique.
  • If the writer shade is just too vibrant or not specified, Chrome defaults to the sunshine dynamic theme.


In Incognito mode, the darkish grey shade scheme has a semantic significance and reassurance for customers. Chrome determined to protect and leverage their present shade system and never change it dynamically.

Phone showing incognito mode

Determine 4: Incognito mode stays the identical

To realize this, Chrome outlined non adaptive colours that map to hex values and adaptive colours that map to totally different non adaptive colours for day/evening mode. For incognito mode, Chrome makes use of the darkish non adaptive colours as they’re simply acknowledged by the customers as incognito. With these adaptive colours, Chrome created a baseline theme.

The desk beneath exhibits what their background colours appear to be after making use of dynamic colours:

Table showing what background colors look like after applying dynamic colors

Themes and Theme Overlays

One factor to contemplate for adhering to theme greatest practices, is to leverage Theme Overlays correctly. The Chrome workforce used this chance to refactor their themes and leveraged the ability of Theme Overlays for a given exercise. At occasions Chrome noticed that full themes had been getting used the place a ThemeOverlay could be extra acceptable. Dynamic shade and Material3 encourages higher code hygiene.

Check out this instance, beforehand the theme for full display screen dialogs inherited from a full theme. This overrode all of the attributes from the exercise theme, undoing the dynamic colours or any overrides which can be utilized on the exercise stage. With the dynamic shade work, the workforce grew to become extra deliberate in how they outline and use their theming.


    <model identify="Base.Theme.Chromium.Fullscreen" mum or dad="Theme.BrowserUI.DayNight">
    <merchandise identify="windowActionBar">true</merchandise>
          <merchandise identify="colorPrimary">...</merchandise>
          <merchandise identify="colorAccent">...</merchandise>


    <model identify="Base.ThemeOverlay.BrowserUI.Fullscreen" mum or dad="">
    <merchandise identify="android:windowContentTransitions">false</merchandise>

Suggestions from Google Chrome designers

This part shares some key classes that Chrome’s designers utilized to efficiently create an intentional and unified theme

  • Create a unified design system: Materials 3 and dynamic shade provides the chance to reconcile your app’s themes. For Chrome that meant reconciling their mild and darkish theme and eradicating fragmentation primarily based on elevation.
  • Figuring out easy methods to migrate present shade system: Perceive the function of your present shade system and tokens, if relevant, and the way they map onto the M3 shade tokens.
  • Use accent colours meaningfully: Materials 3’s accented shade tokens are extremely highly effective and helpful, iterate on how greatest to make use of them.
  • Phased strategy: Deal with just a few surfaces first. Dynamic shade is more and more a part of the consumer’s expectation of their gadget, so work out which surfaces make sense to undertake first after which iterate and develop to extra surfaces.
  • Work carefully together with your engineers from the start: Share designs as quickly as you’ve them together with your engineers. Chrome designers requested questions to know how Chrome was constructed so they might set up how shade could be utilized and which parts could be affected. This may assist you to make higher knowledgeable choices on which surfaces/parts are up to date since there may very well be many dependencies in your app.
  • Create customized tokens: If it’s essential use dynamic colours that aren’t a part of the out of the field shade system, create a customized shade token that extends your shade theme.

Suggestions from Google Chrome builders

This part shares some key classes that Chrome’s builders utilized to efficiently migrate

  • Have a rigorous theme code hygiene: Create a baseline set of colours with out dynamic for cases the place dynamic shade isn’t utilized, eg, incognito mode after which prolong with theme and theme overlays.
  • Perceive easy methods to use floor colours: Surfaces are handled with “elevation” to permit differentiation from the background and layered parts like app bars, and different navigation parts; this can be a paradigm shift for some apps. Floor colours are calculated at runtime, so there isn’t any useful resource/shade/macro to retrieve them at present. Chrome determined to create a utility technique to calculate floor colours utilizing `ElevationOverlayProvider`. Nonetheless, that is solely accessible to make use of programmatically whereas we additionally wanted to implement dynamic shade for a lot of layouts in bulk. For this objective, they created a customized Drawable that may draw a floor shade primarily based on a offered elevation worth. One downside of this strategy is {that a} legacy pre-dynamic colours model of every drawable have to be maintained for compatibility with previous Android variations.
  • Significance of utilizing Exercise context: It’s vital to make use of the Exercise context to inflate views because the Exercise has the theme with the dynamic shade overlay utilized.
  • Selection of technique to get colours: Utilization of ‘Assets#getColor(int)’ was quite common in Chrome’s codebase as a result of they wanted to help older Android variations. Nonetheless, to help dynamic shade, the `#getColor` technique ought to be capable to resolve the colour assets towards the theme. So, Chrome migrated the `Assets#getColor` calls to `Context#getColor`.
  • Macros: Chrome makes use of semantic shade names to have a unified shade system all through the app. Earlier than the dynamic shade adoption, a semantic shade would look one thing like this:

    @shade/default_text_color_light: Colour used for main textual content

    → @shade/default_text_color_dark/@shade/default_text_color_light (adaptive to nighttime mode)

    → @shade/modern_grey_900/@shade/modern_white

    → #1F1F1F / #FFFFFF

    Your app could have already got a semantic shade system and so migrating provides extra concerns. For Chrome they wished to protect their semantic colours. In collaboration with UX, they translated the present shade palette to the Materials shade roles/attributes. Their first thought was to level to those attributes from the present semantic colours. For instance, @shade/default_text_color from the instance above would appear to be this: <shade identify="default_text_color">?attr/colorOnSurface</shade>. Nonetheless, the @shade useful resource can not level to an ?attr. The subsequent thought was to transform all semantic `@shade`s to `?attr`s with the identical names. This strategy additionally triggered points as they wanted so as to add all of the attributes to their themes and there are various actions, themes and entry factors to Chrome, so it could be difficult to keep up. Lastly, they adopted the newly launched <macro> tag. Macros are very similar to C/C++ macros however for Android assets: they’re changed with no matter they level to at construct time. So semantic colours grew to become semantic macros, for instance, <macro identify="default_text_color">?attr/colorOnSurface</macro>. This made it attainable to implement dynamic colours at bulk. One limitation of macros is that they can’t be accessed programmatically, however Chrome added static utility strategies to work round this. The macro tag is now accessible in Android Studio Canary.

Dynamic shade is coming to extra Android 12 telephones globally, together with gadgets by Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo, realme, Xiaomi, Tecno, and extra! As you’re employed with dynamic shade in your app, we’d like to get your suggestions by way of the Materials Android subject tracker. Joyful coloring!



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