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Developers working on bringing rootless theming support to Android Oreo

Android Oreo is the latest update from Google featuring several UI and under the hood improvements. However, the one thing that has been missing from stock Android is built-in theming support. Recent reports indicate that you may no longer need to root your Android device in order to theme it. Android 8.0 Oreo might feature ‘rootless, system-wide theme support’.

In a report, XDA Developers have explained how Android Oreo may need not be rooted in order to be themed. Many developers, as well as Android users, root their devices in order to apply themes (color schemes, fonts, and transitions etc).

Substratum welcomed to Android Oreo

Rootless Theming on Android Oreo

Rootless Theming on Android Oreo screenshot shared by XDA Developers

To demonstrate Substratum support on Android 8.0 Oreo, one of the theme’s screenshots were shared by XDA, running on an unrooted Pixel device with Android Oreo.

Another XDA developer spotted that the OMS interface could run on Android Oreo using methods that were used by relevant apps that earlier required root. Google silently integrated theming support in Android 8.0 Oreo by integrating OMS support.

Now you may not need to root your Android device to give it a customized look. With Substratum, you may be able to straightaway apply your favorite themes and colors on supported Android devices.


Theming is an activity where you can customize your phone to truly make it yours. With engines like Substratum, you get the freedom to change backgrounds, icons, fonts, transitions, and much more the way you want.

According to XDA’s findings, the arrival of Substratum rootless theming should be within a week from now. Thanks to Sony’s contributions to Android with its Runtime Resource Overlay, and the work put in by Google since then, customizing stock Android user interface may not be such a far-fetched idea for average users soon. That said, this project is still in its early days, with the first public release yet to be made, so it may take a while before it is made fool-proof.


Abhishek Bhatnagar

Abhishek Bhatnagar, a known technology blogger & YouTuber from India. A Software Engineer by qualification, now he works as the editor-In-Chief, Webmaster, & Managing Director at Gadgets To Use. He runs a number of other technology websites as well.