For those of you who find Android 10’s built-in theming options and system-wide dark mode a bit bare-bones, the latest beta of Substratum now supports Google’s latest and greatest, provided the phone in question is rooted. I’ve put it through its paces on my backup phone, a OnePlus 5T running Android 10 via AOSiP and using the Liv Dark Substratum theme. I also had a chance to talk to a couple of members of the Projekt Development Team behind Substratum and gain some insight into how Android 10 support was achieved.
In order to take advantage of Substratum’s Android 10 support, you need to either use Substratum Lite or join the beta channel in the Play Store for the main Substratum app. You must also be rooted, which can be accomplished via the latest stable Magisk build on supported devices with unlocked bootloaders and the appropriate custom recovery. Also, you’ll want to make sure the Substratum theme you use supports Android 10. According to Projekt Development Team member and XDA Senior Member Ivan Iskandar (iskandar1023), most major Substratum themes already provide the needed support, though you should definitely read the Play Store description of your theme of choice first to make sure.
In my testing of Substratum, I used the beta version of the main app, which was last updated on October 15. As I mentioned previously, I tested it on my OnePlus 5T running Android 10 via a custom ROM and had it rooted via Magisk 20. You can see how my theme of choice looked in the gallery below.
In my interview with Substratum Development Leader Nicholas Chum (nicholaschum) and XDA Senior Member Ivan Iskandar (iskandar1023) I learned that updating the Substratum app itself to support Android Q was less difficult than I expected, though changes Google made to UI theming in Android 10 required themers to make some significant changes. For example, while themers can still theme items in the /res (resources) folder for apps they wish to include in their themes, they can no longer theme app assets (such as the keyboard background in Gboard, or app-specific emoji assets). According to Nicholas and Ivan, the difference won’t be especially noticeable to end users aside from the case of Gboard.
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