Suggestion to end major issues and setbacks: Google's Material You

This might be a long suggestion but I think that if properly integrated it can solve A LOT of issues that both designers and Samsung itself runs into when it comes to themes.

Although I am not a developer and do not know how exactly the coding side of the themes currently works, from my own inquisitive interest I have found that the APK files that get generated from the STP file through GTS contain specific assets for each system app that can get themed. In a way it is like the UI being a certain shape and the theme APK matches that shape and overlays it, so when the “shape” matches we get a properly themed UI.

Although this might have been the only solution to theming in 2016 when this service started, nowadays this system is too slow to catch up with all the constant and rapidly changing UI of all the system apps that get themed. As you might know, a lot of times the UI gets updated, perhaps a new button or a new icon or even a completely new screen inside a system app. This then creates the need to update the theme, because as previously said, now the “shape” does not match. So currently the responsibility mostly lies on the designers to constantly update the themes so that way the users can get the properly themed UI.

The problem with this is that the majority of times when validation tests get rejected are not because designers do not know how to properly use readable colors but because either GTS does not properly generate the color palette or because the UI itself uses the wrong color sources. This then creates all those unnecessary back and fourths of reporting bugs through inquiries, waiting for replies stating that the issue will be fixed through a software/app/GTS update. By the time the issue is solved, many… many weeks have passed.


This might be a long shot, but I truly believe that if Google’s Material You gets integrated into GTS it would solve these issues. Check out Material You 3 here for more details:

With the release of Android 12/One UI 4 Samsung implemented Material You into the system apps and I am sure it will further improve on the next major software release. If Samsung were to replace their current core theming system with Material You those mismatched/unreadable/not properly themed UI bugs would disappear because Material You relies on the UI itself being properly coded, where each UI element has its own color source and the color palette is always the same. This would probably also decrease the need for updates on the designers’ side, since for the most part the theme becomes like a custom generated Material You color palette.

So, in inconclusion, instead of having the APK file have separate assets for each system apps, with Material You there would more like one big folder containing all the assets the UI would ever need. Unintentionally this would also decrease the APK file on themes which many users complain about.

There are probably a ton of more benefits to switching to Material You (I will add them at the bottom if I think of more stuff) and I would love to further discuss this with anyone who can influence this kind of decision over there.

PS. Here is also the web theme builder which can be used to preview the capabilities of Material You: Material Design

  1. I imagine that even the color palette could be randomly generated through the wallpaper on GTS similarly as here and then the designers can fine tune the colors to their liking, creating the perfect theme.

  2. Material You would even help theme icons which currently are very outdated in their capabilities compared to 3rd party options

  3. Material You is also open to non system apps, meaning that developers can integrate it to their 3rd party apps. One day, we could have a fully themed phone that is not limited to system apps, updates or only a small number of themed icons making it the ultimate personalized phone. All through Material You.

  4. Material You also works with big screens and there’s been a push to create better Android tablets lately… it could be the time tablets gain theme support too!


I’m also a themes seller & agree with you completely

It can be a lot easier. By creating an APK file for the GTS, for example the “SESL” in which all the basic colors from the GTS surface are stored, the STP file as an APK file and that’s it. The apps to be themed should then implement the necessary colors from this APK, it is possible. Likewise, the videos for Fold devices are simply created in the size 1280x1280 and not 720x1280 as before. This would also solve a lot. I had already submitted a proposal in the ARt last year, but it was rejected. We will probably always have to update