Android 13 DP1: any application can offer an icon on the theme of your hardware


Google has shared information on how, starting with Android 13, any app can feature its own themed icon to appear in the Pixel Launcher and more.

With Android 12, Google released a “beta” feature for the Pixel Launcher called Theme Icons that gives many of Google’s apps a new monochrome icon to match your Material You theme. To do this, Pixel Launcher had a built-in icon catalog to override each app’s default appearance, but that of course limited it to only work with Google’s own apps.

For Android 13, themed icons are moving out of beta and becoming an official Android feature. Now any app that wants to feature a themed icon can do so without Pixel Launcher – or any other launcher for that matter – being involved. Developers will simply need to include a new monochrome icon and reference it in their app’s icon information, a process that Google has fully described.

At first, Android 13 themed icons will only be available for Pixel phones, but Google says they “work with […] device maker partners to bring them to more devices. As OEMs unveil their Android 13 builds later this year, by which time they would have been forced to offer some form of Material You color theme, we should see at least some offer themed icons ready to use.

Of course, themed icons will remain an optional feature of Android 13. For those who don’t want to go with the monochrome look, you can still use the same color app icons you used before.

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