Here's How To Enable Android Messages 'Material Theme' Redesign


At I/O 2018, Google announced several updates to its Material Design guidelines. Many reports refer to the updated material theming guidelines as Material Design 2, but Google still prefers to call it as Material Design. The new MD has been spotted in the code of several Google apps such as Chrome Canary, Google app, and Play Services. Android Messages was recently updated to v3.3. The folks at XDA Developers dug into the APK file of v3.3 and found that Google has included code that enables Material Design 2 for the app. However, MD2 is disabled by default. To force enable it, root access is required.


The above screenshots give you a glimpse of how Messages will look like with MD2. If you like what you see, you can enable MD2 by following the steps listed below. As mentioned before, this requires your device to be rooted. Here are the steps through which you can enable the redesign:


  • Open any file explorer which lets you navigate through root files. We would recommend using MiXplorer. The APK of MiXplorer can be downloaded from here.
  • Open MiXplorer, click on the hamburger icon and tap on 'Root'. If you haven't granted root access to MiXplorer yet, you will get a prompt up from your root client (such as Magisk) asking to enable it
  • In the root section, go to /data/data/com.google.android.apps.messaging/shared_prefs/ and open PhenotypePrefs.xml
  • In step three, you will get a popup. Select Editor and then Code Editor
  • In the file that opens, you have to find the attribute named bugle_ _phenotype_enable_m2. You can search the attribute by tapping on the three dots menu in the top right corner and selecting Find. Put in the attribute name, and when you find it, change the existing false boolean value to true, that is, 1. In boolean algebra, 0 stands for false, and 1 means true.
  • Repeat the last step for the attribute bugle_phenotype_enable_phenotype_override and set it to true.
  • Now, when you're done with the steps above, force stop Messages from Settings and you should be having the redesign of Android Messages.
Please keep in mind that the design overhaul might not be complete. So, there might be some components which are unfinished or haven't been touched upon, but, nonetheless, this does give us an idea of how Messages will look like in the future.

There's a problem with the method we described above. Once you swipe the app from the recents, Messages will go back to its original design layout. So, this is still not a concrete method but, it will let you get an idea of what Google is trying to achieve with MD2

Source: XDA

Rajat Kapoor
Rajat Kapoor is a self confessed tech geek. Always up to date with what's going on in the tech world, he is currently pursuing MCA and prefers Android over iOS. You will see his articles here and we do hope that you find them useful and informational.
Here's How To Enable Android Messages 'Material Theme' Redesign Here's How To Enable Android Messages 'Material Theme' Redesign Reviewed by Rajat Kapoor on 6/13/2018 10:59:00 am
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