Sometimes your Android phone’s style could do with a bit of a refresh. There are a ton of ways to do that, from changing your wallpaper to installing a custom launcher that completely overhauls your experience. But did you know that you could change the look of the app icons on your home screen and app drawer? The humble app icon is a mainstay of our devices, and you’re probably seeing those little symbols more often than anything else on your phone. So why not mix things up and change how they look?
A note before we begin: Icon packs pretty much always require a custom launcher to function. While some phones have launcher functionality built in (like Nova Launcher on the Razer Phone), you’ll likely have to install and run a custom Android launcher to get these icon packs to work.
Pixel Icon Pack 2 (free)
The Google Pixel 2 icons follow Google’s design trends, and this icon pack means that your phone can, too. This pack has more than 6,500 icons (and counting) that can be altered to look like the rounded, clean icons you’ll find on the Pixel’s screens. It’s supported by a wide variety of launchers, and the app’s description has a lengthy list of settings for Nova Launcher to help you get started as quickly as possible.
OS X Icon Pack ($1)
It might be something of a heresy in Android circles, but if you’ve come from an iOS device or are just curious, then you might be interested in this icon pack that makes your icons look like their corresponding icons on iOS. It’s relatively pedestrian compared to most icon packs, and pretty much just changes the icon shape to match the iOS design, but it’s a fun addition nonetheless, and at a buck, you’re not exactly breaking the bank. However, there are definitely better packs if you want to stand out.
The Grid (free)
Tron, is that you? The Grid changes your icons into awesome, glowing ’80s-era sci-fi versions of their normal, boring selves. If you want to give your phone a cool, Tron-style look, then this pack is a great place to start. It replaces over 2,500 icons, includes over 30 wallpapers, and boasts an analog clock widget to match. There’s also a Pro version that comes with 200-plus wallpapers and 3,700-plus icons that’ll set you back $2. Try it out, and buy the Pro version if you’re sold.
Not everything needs to be high-tech. This pack makes your icons resembles old-time typewriter keys. Unfortunately, you can’t change the audio to do a little “clack” every time you press one, but you can’t have everything right? If you’re not sold on the cool futuristic designs, then maybe this one will tickle your fancy. The pack also comes with some matching wallpapers, so you can really go all-in on the theme. It’s compatible with a bunch of launchers, but always check if your chosen launcher is on the list.
Polycon takes Google’s Material design ethos and puts its own special spin on it, removing the penchant for rounded edges, but keeping the emphasis on simple design that stands out from the crowd. Each of Polycon’s designs is a fun spin on a familiar style, and although it won’t be developed any further, it still supports 800-plus app icons, and comes with a selection of wallpapers to boot. It’s not the coolest and craziest pack out there, but with more than a million downloads, Polycon clearly has its fans. And since it’s free, it’s certainly worth a shot.
Paper Shaped Icons ($2)
Here’s one of the most stylish and intensive packs on the list. It makes each of your icons look like they’ve been torn out of a piece of paper. It’s a seriously cool premise, and we really dig the look. It’s one of the most expensive packs on this list, but you certainly get a lot for your money, with support for more than 5,000 icons, as well as a feature that imitates the theme for unsupported app icons. It even comes with a dynamic calendar and a bunch of HD wallpapers. Definitely worth your investment.
An “umbra” is basically a shadow, so there are no prizes for guessing the central theme of this pack. Each of the 4,200-plus icons altered by this pack feature a rounded shape with a long shadow cast across the icon by each app’s logo. It’s a neat idea, and it’s really well implemented, with extra alternative styles and a masking feature that mimics the style on unsupported icons.
Sometimes less is more, and if you’re a fan of a minimalist style, then you might want your phone to reflect that. Flight is a minimalist icon pack that reduces more than 800 app icons down to the bare minimum they need to be recognizable, with simple white lines and block color. It also comes with a pack of suitably minimalist wallpapers, and supports a wide range of the most popular Android launchers on the market. It’s great choice for anyone who wants a stark difference to the bold style of Android.
No surprises here — Minimalist is another minimalist-style app icon pack. However, this pack has a different take on the minimalist style. Each icon in Minimalist has been heavily simplified from its original icon, and depicted in a smooth pastel style. Each app icon is still obviously different from the next, and you may need to spend some time relearning which app is which, but that’s much the same for any icon pack. Minimalist has more than 3,800 icons included, and 70 wallpapers.
Another fun spin on Google’s Material Design, CandyCons takes more than 1,000 icons and puts a little extra oomph into them. Chrome’s iconic swirl has been pushed up to 11, Google Photos is more flower-like than ever, and every other icon has been taken out of its rounded shell and allowed to really blossom. Each icon has been pushed to a new extreme, but is never allowed to become unrecognizable. Best of all, each icon now somehow looks a little bit cuter.