How to enable themed icons in Android 12: But the Material You dynamic theming doesn’t just apply to widgets and app interfaces. As of Android 12 beta 3, that dynamic system extends to icons. With this new feature, you’ll find monochrome icons that now match the global Material You theme. It’s actually quite a wonderful addition to the new theming engine and should please anyone who’s on board with Material You.

Before I show you how to enable this feature, know that not every app has a Material You-ready icon. All of the Google apps work with the feature, as do some third-party applications. I’m guessing it won’t be until the final release of Android 12 that almost all applications will work with the themed icon feature.

Let’s get those dynamic icons enabled.

What you’ll need

As Material You is only available in Android 12, you must have the latest beta release on your device. Find out how to install Android 12 beta on supported phones in “How to get the Android 12 beta.”

Let’s enable those themed icons.

How to enable themed icons

Long-press the home screen of your Android 12 device. In the resulting menu (Figure A), tap Wallpaper & Style.

Figure A

iconsa.jpg
The long-press menu from the Android 12 home screen.

Scroll to the bottom of the resulting page and tap the On/Off slider for Themed icons until it’s in the On position (Figure B).

Figure B

iconsb.jpg
Enabling the themed icons option in Android 12 on a Pixel 4.

Once enabled, you’ll see the new monochrome icons are re-themed to match the global UI (Figure C).

Figure C

icons-compare.jpg
The non-themed icons are on the left and the themed icons on the right for comparison.

Will this new feature make you more productive with your Android device? No. But it is yet another step forward for the Android interface and helps bring Material Design into the modern age of mobile interfaces.

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