While Android 12 is already available in its third iteration (Developer Preview 3), there are still many hidden options and features under the hood that we might only get our hands on officially once the first beta launches next month. The so-called conversation widgets are among them. We first saw them as part of mockups ahead of the first Android 12 build, and avid coders managed to activate them in the previous developer previews. But now it looks like these widgets are becoming available to a few people using Developer Preview 3 without any hacks, as spotted by 9to5Google. They’re among the first publicly available interface elements to automatically change the color based on your wallpaper.
Conversation widgets show you the latest messages from a contact of your choosing. In the background, the feature pulls data from your notifications, so it works with almost any messaging app out there out of the box. In Developer Preview 3, the conversation widgets are surfacing for a few people. They’re available under the “System UI” entry in the widget picker.
Once you’ve selected the conversation you’d like to pin to your homescreen, things get interesting. As you move the widget around, it changes its colors based on your wallpaper. If you have one that exhibits multiple colors, the widget will pick up the accents set by the portion of the wallpaper it covers. According to the mockups that leaked ahead of the first developer preview, Google might be looking to introduce this dynamic theming mechanism to many more places, including the notification shade, app icons, accent colors in applications, and the camera app.
For more about the Android 12 launch, check out our announcement post detailing what’s new here. If you want to install the developer preview on your own device, find out how in our Android 12 download guide.