How to use the Android 10 Google Pixel Styles feature

Android 10 on the Google Pixel phone includes a feature that allows you to customize the style of the UI. Learn how to use this tool that could end up being available on all Android 11 phones.

Image: Sarah Tew/CNET

Although Android 11 is on the horizon, Android 10 still has plenty of features to hold your interest. In fact, given how slowly Android rolls out, chances are good your device is still on Android 8 or 9, so everything in 10 is news to you.

That being said, I thought I’d introduce you to a feature found specifically in Google Pixel phones running Android 10 that allows you to customize the UI. This feature (or a portion of this feature) used to only be available through the Developer Options, but in Android 10 it became a part of the standard feature set.

What Styles allows you to do is apply either some predefined theme attributes to your device, or even, create a custom style.

The Styles feature will not help you become more productive or ease your daily grind. It will, however, allow you to customize your Pixel phone, to make it uniquely yours.

Let’s see how this feature works.

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What you’ll need

As you’ve probably figured out by now, in order to use the Styles feature, you’ll need a Google Pixel phone. Unfortunately, this feature has yet to find its way to non-Pixel phones, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t wind up going “global” in Android 11. 

How to use the Styles feature

Long press a blank spot on your home screen and you’ll see the usual pop-up menu, with a slight change. Instead of just Wallpapers, you’ll see Styles & Wallpapers (Figure A). Tap that entry to open the new feature.

Figure A


The new Styles & Wallpapers entry in the home screen long press menu.

In the resulting window, tap the Styles tab at the bottom of the window (Figure B).

Figure B


The Styles & Wallpapers window from my Google Pixel 4 daily driver.

In the Styles tab, you can swipe through the intro cards (the top half of the window) or you can swipe through the preconfigured styles in the bottom half (Figure C).

Figure C


The Styles tab is ready to help you customize your UI.

Each style includes selections for font, icons, colors, shapes, and wallpaper. You can also opt to retain your current wallpaper by tapping the checkbox for Keep Current Wallpaper.

If none of the preconfigured styles are appealing, swipe left until you see the Custom button (Figure D).

Figure D


The Custom style maker is but a tap away.

After tapping the Custom button, you’ll first be presented with a font selection window (Figure E).

Figure E


Selecting the font for your custom style.

Once you make your selection, tap Next and you can then select the Icon pack for your theme (Figure F).

Figure F


Choosing an Icon pack for the custom theme.

Tap Next when you’ve made your selection. In the resulting screen, select the highlight color for your theme and tap Next (Figure G).

Figure G


Applying a highlight color for your custom style.

In the next window, select an icon shape for the theme and tap Next (Figure H).

Figure H


Selecting an icon shape for the custom style.

In the final screen, you can name and apply your new style (Figure I).

Figure I


Naming and applying your new style.

And that’s all there is to using the new Styles feature on your Pixel phone running Android 10. As I said, hopefully the developers will see to it bring this new option to Android 11, so that everyone can take advantage of it. 

Enjoy that stylish new look on your Pixel phone.

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