Adaptive icons require two things: apps that submit them and launchers that can display them.
Adaptive Icons, Android Oreo’s answer to both chaotic app drawers and ugly icon masks, is still brand-spanking new, and if you want to use it, the supported launchers you have to choose from are pretty slim. Thankfully, the latest Nova Launcher beta update, you’ve got one more option.
Nova Launcher’s 5.5-beta release is bringing Adaptive Icons to Oreo users, and to all users running Lollipop or above. Just like the Pixel Launcher and Action Launcher, Nova Launcher is letting you pick between five mask shapes for your icons that are quite quickly becoming standard:
- Rounded Square
You can also choose to have non-Adaptive “legacy” icons be scaled down inside the adaptive icon mask. However, rather than throwing legacy icons in a white background the way some launchers do, Nova Launcher will pick a color for the background based on the icon’s color scheme: the Netflix adaptive icon is pink, the Hulu adaptive icon is blue, etc. This help fight those horrible white adaptive backgrounds (even if some of Google’s own apps use them).
It is worth knowing that you can either use an icon pack or Adaptive icons right now, not both, and some adaptive icons are only available on Android 7.0 and up, or not quite working yet, such as dynamic calendar icons. Still, it’s another launcher that supports Adaptive icons and hopefully an incentive for more developers to make Adaptive icons for their apps.