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    Google is testing a new option to let you force themed icons on any app

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    Last updated: January 11th, 2023 at 07:09 UTC+01:00

    If you have joined the Android 13 beta program, then you are well aware that the Android 13 QPR2 Beta 2 update is already live for Pixel devices. While there aren't that many features to speak about, there are a few subtle ones that grab your attention. Apart from support for Unicode 15 emojis, there is a new feature available behind a flag.

    According to the latest reports, Google is testing out a new feature that will force themed icons even for those apps that do not support it. The new option is available as a flag called “ENABLE_FORCED_MONO_ICON.” The description of this flag reads, “Enable the ability to generate monochromatic icons, if it is not provided by the app.

    The function of this flag is what the description reads. Notably, the Pixel launcher will take the regular icons of the apps and turn them into monochromatic variants that can be themed according to the wallpaper you have applied to your homescreen. The final result of this is consistent themed icons, even for apps that don't support them.

    In the example, Esper's Mishaal Rahmaan showed two apps with monochromatic icons, i.e., MiX and Ring. Frankly, this is a nice feature to have, especially if you prefer symmetry and are into phone customization. The Google News Telegram channel example shows a more clear picture of how this themed app icon feature works in the Android 13 QPR2 Beta 2 update.

    You will see in the Google News Telegram channel's example that the icons for VK, the Russian Post, and cellular carrier MTS look out of place, because of the grayscale backgrounds. This would definitely get better if Google brings this Android 13 QRP2 Beta 2 forced themed icon to a stable update, allowing app developers to properly theme their icons based on this feature. The forced themed icons available in Android 13 QPR2 Beta 2 are also applied to shortcuts that you place on your homescreen.

    General Android 13Google

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