Android’s boot animation consists of a bunch of images that are cycled through while the phone boots up, and it’s one of the simplest things for OEMs (and power users) to customize. Until Android 10 came along, the boot screen of Pixel phones had a blinding white-colored background. In Android 10, Google finally added a dark-themed boot option that is used whenever the system theme is set to dark mode. Google is now preparing to make this dark boot animation the sole option regardless of the user-defined system theme.
A new commit submitted to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository in the platform/hardware/google/pixel branch tweaks several lines of code in the common init file for Pixel phones. Previously, the code checked the value of the property persist.sys.theme to determine when to apply the dark boot flag. Now, the code simply checks to see if the device has been provisioned (ie. has completed the first-time setup process.) According to the commit description, this change is a result of the Pixel UI team deciding to “always use [the] dark boot after the device is provisioned…so users will see fewer disturbances when a scheduled update is taken at night.”
Once this commit is merged and an update rolls out to Pixel phones containing this code change, then users will no longer have the ability to change the boot animation’s theme. Instead, it’ll always be a dark boot animation. Personally, I think this is a good change, but I know that there are some people who aren’t a fan of the dark theme.
Thanks to XDA Recognized Developer luca020400 for the tip!