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Google Material Theme with dark mode rolling out again to Android Messages

Unceremoniously pulled a day after being introduced, the Google Material Theme for Android Messages is now returning. A new version of the app is beginning to roll out today with features like dark mode available once more.

On August 16th, version 3.5 of Android Messages began rolling out with a beautiful Google Material Theme that switched to a stark white background at the expense of the previous dark blue theme in the app bar.

The hint of blue still lives on in the elongated “Start chat” FAB, while “Messages” is centered in the app bar that merges with a new white status bar. Even in the new version today, the ability to manually customize contact colors in “People & options” has been removed.

To compensate for the new bright theme, Messages 3.5 also introduces a dark mode that could be enabled from the main overflow menu.

A day after it began rolling out, Google pulled the update. As we noted in our APK Insight of version 3.5, the Material Theme was being rolled out via server-side update. As such, the redesign could easily be pulled by Google.

Today, an updated version 3.5.052 (via Twitter) is beginning to roll out via the Play Store with the Google Material Theme once again present. Users can close the app from the Recents menu and relaunch to force the new design and dark mode. It might take a handful of tries, and I’d caution that Google may yet again decide to pull the new look.

Coincidently, I noticed that since I had the dark mode on before Google pulled the refresh, it was enabled by default when I updated to the new app version. Hopefully, the much desired new look and features are now ready for primetime.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: