Adaptive icons

Android 8.0 (API level 26) introduces adaptive launcher icons, which can display a variety of shapes across different device models. For example, an adaptive launcher icon can display a circular shape on one OEM device, and display a squircle on another device. Each device OEM provides a mask, which the system then uses to render all adaptive icons with the same shape. Adaptive launcher icons are also used in shortcuts, the Settings app, sharing dialogs, and the overview screen.

A variety of masks applied to an adaptive icon wireframe A variety of masks applied to an adaptive icon

Figure 1. Adaptive icons support a variety of masks which vary from one device to another.

You can control the look of your adaptive launcher icon by defining 2 layers, consisting of a background and a foreground. You must provide icon layers as drawables without masks or background shadows around the outline of the icon.

Isometric illustration of creating an adaptive icon

Figure 2. Adaptive icons are defined using 2 layers and a mask.

In Android 7.1 (API level 25) and earlier, launcher icons were sized at 48 x 48 dp. You must now size your icon layers using the following guidelines:

  • Both layers must be sized at 108 x 108 dp.
  • The inner 72 x 72 dp of the icon appears within the masked viewport.
  • The system reserves the outer 18 dp on each of the 4 sides to create interesting visual effects, such as parallax or pulsing.

Note: Animated visual effects are generated by supported launchers. Visual effects may vary from one launcher to another.

Caution: A device OEM can specify a mask that may include a radius that is as short as 33 dp along certain points of the shape.

Demo of parallax applied to an adaptive icon Demo of pickup animation applied to an adaptive icon

Figure 3. Adaptive icons support a variety of visual effects.

Caution: If you don't update your launcher icon with the necessary layers, the icon doesn't look consistent with other icons that the system UI displays, and doesn't support visual effects.

To learn how to create adaptive icons using Android Studio, see Create App Icons with Image Asset Studio.

Creating adaptive icons in XML

To add an adaptive icon to an app using XML, begin by updating the android:icon attribute in your app manifest to specify a drawable resource. You can also define an icon drawable resource using the android:roundIcon attribute. You must only use the android:roundIcon attribute if you require a different icon asset for circular masks, if for example the branding of your logo relies on a circular shape. The following code snippet illustrates both of these attributes:

<application
    …
    android:icon="@mipmap/ic_launcher"
    android:roundIcon="@mipmap/ic_launcher_round"
    …>
</application>

Next you must create alternative drawable resources in your app for use with Android 8.0 (API level 26) in res/mipmap-v26/ic_launcher.xml. You can then use the <adaptive-icon> element to define the foreground and background layer drawables for your icons. The <foreground> and <background> inner elements both support the android:drawable attribute.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<adaptive-icon xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android">
    <background android:drawable="@drawable/ic_launcher_background" />
    <foreground android:drawable="@drawable/ic_launcher_foreground" />
</adaptive-icon>

You can also define the background and foreground drawables as elements by enclosing them in <foreground> and <background> elements.

If you want to apply the same mask and visual effect to your shortcuts as regular adaptive launcher icons, use one of the following techniques:

  • For static shortcuts, use the <adaptive-icon> element.
  • For dynamic shortcuts, call the createWithAdaptiveBitmap() method when you create them.

For more information on shortcuts, see App Shortcuts.

Additional resources

For additional information on designing and implementing adaptive icons, read this series of articles by Google designer and developer Nick Butcher: