My Biggest Issue with Android L (and How to Fix It)

Rage Face - Gasp

As my first week with Android 5.0 “Lollipop” continues there’s so far not much to report. The KitKat versions of many apps have already been updated to conform with the new material design standard. To be honest there’s really only one issue I’m having with this latest incarnation of stock Android:

Everything is so blindingly bright!

I realize this is personal preference so speaking personally, I can’t stand the white background that seems to be all over this Nexus 6. In some places it makes sense; reading large blocks of text—in a web browser, for example—works with dark text on a light background because it’s a better approximation of ink on paper. But in other places—like menus and settings—it just doesn’t work at all. At least not for me.

Fortunately I’m running a custom ROM, so there’s an easy fix—today in the form of CyanogenMod’s theming engine.

Dark Material Home Screen

A quick Google search hipped me to this free CM12 theme, called Dark Material. I like!

Dark Material App Drawer

In addition to the wallpaper the background of the app drawer and home screen folders are now similarly dark—as I believe they should be. And with the AMOLED display on the Nexus 6 these screens really pop.

Dark Material Settings

The settings, now much easier on the eyes, in my opinion…

Dark Material Play Store

Just like those dark GApps built for Slim ROMs, this theme gives some of the stock Google apps a free emo makeover—including Calendar, Contacts, Gmail, Hangouts, Keep, Messenger, Phone, Play Music, the Play Store and YouTube.

And hey, if black isn’t your thing you can almost certainly find a different colour palette to suit your tastes. Just search the Play Store for “cm12 themes”, or visit XDA. It’s only an alpha release, but Cyanogen’s Lollipop-flavoured theme engine has already succeeded at giving me Android 5.0 the way I want it. It can do the same for you!