How To

How to enable themed icons in Android 12


One of the best features of using Android is the ability to easily set custom icon packs to change up the interface on your home screen. But this isn’t something that everyone takes advantage of, espeically those who stick with the stock launcher found on Pixel devices. Sure, you could go and download something like Nova Launcher or Smart Launcher 5, but then you have to set everything back up again just to use custom icons.

With Android 12 and its new ‘Material You’ design, Google is trying to make your device more personal and unique to you. Part of this is done through the software analyzing your wallpaper and then providing color-matching UI elements. But Android 12 also introduced themed icons that can be applied using the same results as the wallpaper.

In order to proceed, you’ll obviously need a phone running Android 12. Currently, this is limited to Pixel devices, as not all of the Material You elements have bene ported over to the other smartphones participating in the beta program. But if you want to experience some pretty unique customization, Android 12’s got you covered.

How to enable themed icons in Android 12

The process for enabling these themed icons is pretty straightforward, and is found within Google’s revamped Wallpaper & Style interface. Not only is it here where you’ll be able to enable themed icons in Android 12, but you can also use this interface to change your wallpaper, pick the color palette, toggle Dark Mode, or switch up the Pixel Launcher’s App Grid. Here’s how to enable themed icons on Android 12:

  1. Long-press on an empty space on your Home Screen.
  2. Tap Wallpaper & style from the context menu that appears.
  3. Scroll down and tap the toggle next to Themed icons.
  4. Swipe up to return to your Home Screen.

There are a few things to make note of here before enabling themed icons. For one, we have yet to find any third-party apps that can take advantage of this yet. It’s likely to be an option in the future, but for now, you’re limited to most of Google’s apps. Even some of Google’s own apps like Chrome Beta and others don’t support the theming engine found with Android 12 and Material You.

Secondly, the color of the icons will change based on the wallpaper that you are using. So if you’re using something with a red background, the icons will change to something that Android 12 determines will match the colors provided by the wallpaper.

From the icons to the different UI elements, Android 12 and Material You is shaping up to be one of the most unique and ambitious design changes that we’ve seen come to smartphones. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that this makes its way to other devices like those from Samsung and OnePlus. But until then, we’ll just have to wait and see what’s to come.


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