WhatsApp Android beta gets themed icon support

It's the biggest third-party app to support the feature, but I still don't think I'll use it any time soon

One of the big features in Android 12 was the addition of themed icons that could leverage the new Material You colour scheme and transform app icons to match the rest of your device theme. Android 13 also worked to expand this feature.

However, at launch, the feature was, well, not great. The glaring issue with themed app icons was that only a handful of apps actually supported the feature, which meant enabling it would transform some of your apps, and the rest would remain unchanged. Likely not everyone would agree, but personally, it was jarring to have some apps matching my device theme while the rest didn’t.

Since then, developers have slowly added support for themed icons, with WhatsApp being the latest (and biggest, aside from Google’s own apps) to do so. It’s worth noting that WhatsApp only has the themed icon for beta users now, but that should change going forward. As per Android Police, this could signal that developers are getting on board with the themed icon system, but frankly, I remain skeptical for a few reasons.

Left: Enabling themed icons. Right (via Android Police): WhatsApp themed icon.

For one, there are a lot of Android apps out there and not every developer will add support for themed icons. Sure, maybe we’ll get to a point where every popular app supports the feature, and some people will be able to run themed app icons without a few odd apps messing up their screen, but I think the vast majority of Android users have at least one obscure app installed that will likely never get a themed icon.

The other factor, though, is usability. As nice as it looks to have all your apps sport a matching colour to your device theme, it can be tricky to find apps when they’re all the same colour. Sure, there are still different icons, but it can still be difficult for some to spot the app they’re looking for. So, I’ll keep themed icons turned off on my phone for now. Maybe I’ll change my mind down the line, though.

Source: WABetaInfo Via: Android Police