The dark days of mismatched Android icons are coming to a close. One of the longest holdouts, Facebook Messenger, has finally updated with an adaptive icon.
Adaptive icons were introduced with Android 8.0 Oreo. Essentially, adaptive icons are a way for app developers to make their icons match the style of any phone.
Whether your app was used on a Pixel with circle icons or a Samsung Galaxy with a ‘squircle’ icon, the icon would adapt to match.
In theory, this was a great way to unify app icons and design. In practice, adaptive icons fell flat.
The main issue was that developers had to make their icons adaptive. Some developers were really good at that. Others, not so much.
Infamously, Google added white space to fill out a number of its apps, instead of extending the icon itself.
Facebook took a page from Google’s book and did the same with Messenger. Facebook could have easily made the icon a blue circle/square/squircle with a white lightning bolt. Instead, the social network took the current Messenger icon and put a white shape around it.
While not an ideal solution, I’ll take it over not having an adaptive icon at all.
It’s one less non-circle icon on my home screen now. There are a few other hold-outs though. Snapchat is one. Firefox isn’t adaptive either, but it’s circular at least. Mozilla is working on a new icon for Firefox so it may be adaptive soon anyway.
Regardless, Android home screens are a far cry from what they were. App icons were like the wild west even in Android 6, with squares and triangles and all kinds of nonsense.
These days, things have calmed down a bit. However, that makes the hold-outs stand out even more.
Source: Android Police