It’s a feature that we’ve asked for, well, since forever, but it seems that the Pixel Launcher is going to allow users to choose to have a dark or light theme manually. As in, it won’t be automatically determined by your choice of light or dark wallpapers like it is currently. While it is cause for excitement, there’s no need to go overboard just yet.
One reason to avoid getting too hyped up is that Google has dangled and yanked this particular carrot once before, back on the Android M Developer Preview way back in 2016. This dark theme option was pulled when it came time for the public release of Android 6 Marshmallow.
Google has hopefully accepted that we want to be able to manually choose between the dark and light themes this time around, as requested on the Android P Developer Preview issue tracker. According to a Googler who marked the issue as ‘fixed’ on the bug tracker:
“We have added support for a Dark theme to be applied to quick settings and launcher under Settings -> Display -> Device Theme. It will be available in a future Android build.”
There’s no telling whether this means the Device Theme toggle will be included in Developer Preview 4 (Beta 3) which should be released later in June, or in the official roll-out of Android 9. This is good news, though, and a long, long time coming.