Pixel Launcher to feature the rumoured circular icons and the so called ‘3D touch’

Over the past few years we have seen the visual nature of Android change constantly. We saw Material Design take over and since then we have seen many tweaks of that. Not happy to leave it there Google are set to introduce new launcher icons for their apps when Android 7.1 arrives in a few weeks.

The new updates recently have pointed at new icon names (eg. “ic_duo_round_icon”) and now we have a first look at the icons that we have long been hearing about.

Update : There are also the launcher shortcuts we first saw in Android N Developer preview 2.

Android Police tore open the new Pixel Launcher, set to appear on their new Pixel phones with Android 7.1. Inside they found a change in the design nature of the icons for Google’s apps. Many of these icons use a new roundICon property.

While some of the icons are nicely crafter to be circular some are just the current/old icon minimised and stuck inside a white button. At this stage its possible these white circles are but placeholders and possibly updates will arrive in the future so the haphazardly created white button icons match the fully round icons.

The calendar icon will change like it currently does, dynamically based on the current date. Some of the Google app icons are already round like the Google App, Google+, Android Pay, and others however Android Police notes that these icons do not use the roundIcon property yet. Nor do many of the icons shown above like Google Drive, and yet they are round.

These icons are accessed by a launcher using something called a CircularIconProvider and it’s job is to request icons from the package manager for applications. It is interesting that the call for the icons is made using the name com.google.android.nexusicons.

It’s not clear if the Pixel Launcher will require round icons (like the Mi Launcher from Xiaomi requires square icons) or not. However, the icons will be accessible by all third-party launchers like Nova. Sounds just like an icon pack made by Google for their Pixel Launcher. Circular icons packs are a dime a dozen on the Play Store so it is unsure what Google’s motivation is here.

The new feature that would impact you the most directly however, if you part with your cash for one of the new phones is launcher shortcuts. Essentially this would offer a series of actions that you could initiate by performing some type of gesture on the app’s icon. That could be a hard-press on a pressure-sensitive screen, or a short swipe down, or a long-press…you get the idea.

Much like 3D Touch on iOS, you’d see a menu of specific actions you could take.  Android Police created their own mockup of the type of shortcuts you may see based on evidence garnered from various teardowns. The ten apps shown below are the ones currently supporting launcher shortcuts.


There isn’t any indication whether the Pixel or Pixel XL will have a pressure sensitive screen, so these would likely be launched with some sort of gesture. If that is true, Sorry BGR, but that’s not stealing, it’s innovation

Both launcher shortcuts and the new rounded icons both seem to target API 25, a step above the current API 24 that is found on Android 7.0. Both of these will make their full debut in Android 7.1 which has been rumored to launch with the Pixel phones. There will likely be more changes with this as well.

All will become clear on October 5 for some of us who will drag ourselves out of bed at 3am for the Pixel and Pixel XL launch. The official time however, October 4th, is according to the place where Google’s headquarters are. If you want to know more about the technical tidbits and codes, head over to Android Police who brought us this teardown like always. The source link is down below.

What do you think of these new icons? Sound off in the comments below!

Source : Android Police


One thought on “Pixel Launcher to feature the rumoured circular icons and the so called ‘3D touch’

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑