[Update: Today’s the deadline] Google’s new requirements will make every Play Store icon a squircle
Over the years, Google has made many visual changes to the Google Play Store to make it more appealing. After recently accenting the Google Play Store with Material Theme elements in the reviews section, Google is now turning its attention to icons in the Google Play Store. It has announced new specifications for app icons to ensure a more uniform appearance of individual app listing.
In a recent announcement, Google said that developers must now update the icons associated with their apps. To ensure consistency in the appearance of the Play Store icons, each icon will be shaped like a squircle and this uniformity, says Google, should help users to focus on the graphic elements of the artwork instead of being distracted by the shape of the icon. Disparate icons lead to alignment issues which may be caused by the random spacing to present information about pricing or rating.
To ensure that app icons follow the guidelines laid down by Google Play Store, developers must upload square icons. While processing, the corners of these icons will be dynamically rounded and a drop shadow will be added automatically. Google insists that developers must no longer upload icons with transparent backgrounds and ensure that the principal artwork is placed in the center.
These efforts are aimed at ensuring that developers assist Google in rendering a minimal appearance of the Google Play Store, in harmony with the Material Theme elements. Starting April, developers will be able to upload new icons complying with the latest specifications in their Play Console.
By May, developers will no longer be able to upload new icons which do not match the specifications, even though older icons will continue to remain unchanged. However, by June 24, developers must upload new icons unless they wish for their app icons to be brusquely morphed into squircle-shaped “legacy” icons.
These specifications do not affect the icons in the launcher but Google recommends that developers may create adaptive icons for uniform user experience. Notably, adaptive icons, introduced with Android 8.0 Oreo will now play a bigger role in customization, since Android Q Beta allows users to even change the shape of Quick Settings icons. Furthermore, while the new guidelines are applicable to apps viewed from Android smartphones or Chromebooks, the changes don’t apply to other platforms including Wear OS, Android Auto, or Android TVs.
Source: Android Developers Blog
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