We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Whoa Neat: The Pixel 2’s Notification Shade Changes Colors Based On Your Wallpaper

I like dark phone backgrounds. It’s a habit I got into when I got my first OLED display, but frankly they just look nicer. Which is why it’s annoying when I pull down the notification shade and get blasted with an all-white screen. On the new Pixel 2’s, however, this isn’t an issue.

It’s unclear exactly what criteria Google uses to determine what counts as a “dark” image, but the two backgrounds in the photo above are about as different as you can get. Without changing a single thing, Google made the notification shade white for the bright background, and black for the dark background. Other details also change, like the color of the home buttons, to make sure everything is still clearly visible.

Unfortunately, white and black seem to be the only option for the shade. If you use an image with lots of greens or blues, you’ll still get a white shade if it’s bright enough. Google seems to be aiming for easing eye strain when you pull down the shade, rather than making it consistent with a particular color theme. Still, if you’re like me and prefer dark backgrounds (whether for battery or aesthetic reasons), Google’s new phones accommodate you.

Eric Ravenscraft Eric Ravenscraft
Eric Ravenscraft has nearly a decade of writing experience in the technology industry. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, PCMag, The Daily Beast, Geek and Sundry, and The Inventory. Read Full Bio »