After introducing a requirement for rounded square icons in March, Google now allows developers to use the new icon specification.
Google introduced the requirement to “bring consistency and a cleaner look to Google Play” by making all icons rounded squares. The change will affect the store on both Android and Chrome OS.
Further, the change prohibits transparent backgrounds. Google also dynamically adds rounded corners and drop shadows to icons.
Developers can choose to enable the new style immediately. In the Google Play Console, the Graphic Assets section of Product Details contains the option, as well as info on the mandatory change.
Essentially, Google gives developers until June 24th to meet the new icon specification. For developers that don’t or can’t meet the deadline, Google will automatically scale down your existing icon to work with the new specification and put a white border around it.
Alternatively, users can make the switch now, so their icon is ready come June. Some apps have already done this, like Google Contacts and Drive.
On top of this, starting May 1st, developers won’t be able to upload icons that don’t meet the standard.
It’s worth noting the change won’t affect Google Play for Android Auto, Android TV or Wear OS. It also won’t affect APK launcher icons on any platform.
Google also has a detailed page to help developers create icons that work with the new specifications.
Interestingly, Google has taken some of the work away from developers with this spec. The Play Store dynamically handles masking and shadows, so developers only need to create a square icon and Google handles the rest, including rounding the corners and fitting the icon into the various supported shapes.
Considering that Android Q adapts symbols across the system to match the app icon shape, Google Play could dynamically adjust app icon shape to match as well.
You can learn more about the new app icon specification over on the Android Developers Blog.