Google Assistant spotted playing dress-up, hinting at Android 12 theme support

A new, seemingly themed Google Assistant interface has been spotted in the wild. The images of it in action are incredibly garish, and though it probably isn’t working as designed, the change is plausible given what we know of Android 12’s upcoming theme support. The images also show off the anticipated “my actions” Assistant feature previously spotted in development.

For a bit of context, last year, Google finally unified its various Assistant interfaces, making the normal Assistant experience more closely match the “new” improved Assistant that devices like Google’s Pixels enjoy, though there are still some visual differences. The much more compact and less obstructive interface has widely rolled out.

Google Assistant colorful backgrounds 2 Google Assistant colorful backgrounds 1

The images, provided by a tipster to XDA Developers, show a handful of lurid, bright hues as backgrounds for the Assistant UI, with tinted text to match. Specifics like which device, Android version, or Google app version they appeared on were lacking, but the colors apparently varied in this test whether or not light or dark theme was enabled, and a reason for these specific colors wasn’t determined. They could be placeholders for a test that should not have rolled out to the public.

Google Assistant expanded view with colorful backgrounds 1 Google Assistant expanded view with colorful backgrounds 2 Google Assistant expanded view with colorful backgrounds 3

Now, we know Google is planning to shake things up visually on Android 12, with a new theme system that pulls colors from your background, plus a general “Material NEXT” visual redesign. With that as context, this sort of dynamic color tinting for the Assistant UI depicted here is quite plausible. The tipster also received the anticipated “my actions” feature for the Assistant, which was recently spotted in development, and which could mean a similar timeframe for its rollout.

A few details in these images are curious, like the lack of keyboard input and Snapshot buttons, which are pretty universal to all Assistant UI tests I’ve seen recently, but other factors could also be at play. This apparent test jibes with what we’re already expecting to happen with the Assistant and Android 12, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a wider (and more functional) test land later in the Android 12 Beta Program.

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