Android is often praised for its enormous customization options in terms of visuals and functionality. To the point where even the app icons themselves aren̵
So, what is an Icon Pack?
Icon packs are pretty much what you’d expect after reading the name: they are alternative icon packs for the apps on your phone. It’s important to note that these are generally not made by app developers or manufacturers, but rather a third party that provides thousands of icons for different apps in one package. Some offer new styles, while others stay true to the original icons and make only minor changes in design or shape.
While enabling these icons is not supported by the Android launcher on most phones, they are incredibly easy to download. You can find tons of different packages in the Google Play Store that are just as easy to install as any other app. This makes it easy to browse the different packs available and find the one that appeals to you – after all, this is entirely up to your personal taste.
How do you use them?
Depending on your phone, you have to take different steps as different Android launchers may or may not support icon packs in some cases. For example, if you are using a Samsung phone, you can install certain icon packs from the “Themes” menu, and the Oxygen launcher on OnePlus phones should be compatible with most icon packs. In fact, that’s an important thing to note: some icon packs may not work with all Android launchers, even if the launchers themselves support custom icon packs.
If you’re using a Google Pixel phone or a phone with a mostly stock version of Android, icon packs won’t work right out of the box. However, one of the great things about Android devices is that it is easy to install alternative launchers from the Play Store. There are plenty of launchers available and many of them support custom icons along with other useful features like added home screen customization and deeper app drawer settings.
If you just want a simple launcher that stays true to the stock Android but allows you to use icon packs, we recommend Nova Launcher or Apex Launcher. Both are widely supported by icon pack makers and are great launchers all over. Nova Launcher keeps things extremely close to stock Android, while Apex Launcher makes some more tweaks for a cleaner overall style. Using icon packs in any of these launchers is as easy as installing the packs and then selecting them in the launcher’s settings app.
Some great packages to get you started
Now that you know what these packages are and how to use them, we would be remiss not to give you a few package recommendations to begin with. While the icon pack you use will depend on your own personal taste, we’ve chosen a variety of high-quality packs, each with its own style.
- Flight: If you want something simple and minimalistic, Flight is the package for you. The bold white lines provide a consistent style between all icons and simplify the look of your home screen. There is also the “dark” version of the package that turns off white for black on all icons.
- Crayon: Step back into the world of color and the Crayon pack features cute and colorful icons. With soft edges and pastel colors, the designs all go together well and the set of wallpapers that come with the pack only makes that further.
- Aura: If you prefer a consistent style, Aura’s has you covered. During the design process, this pack was limited to a specific color palette to ensure that all icons felt cohesive. That doesn’t mean all the icons will bleed together though, this pack has a lot of tricks up its sleeve to make sure each icon is unique in some way.
- PixBit: Reminiscent of old (and new) school video games, PixBit offers pixelated versions of the icons you’re already used to. If you like pixel art, you will definitely love this icon pack and the creative ways it tackles different icons with the limited art style.
- Verticons: While the packages mentioned so far were major deviations from the original icons, Verticons does soften things up a bit. All this pack does is take the default app icons and shape them into vertical rectangles. It looks good, gives your home screen a unique look and you don’t have to relearn icons.
- Rondo: To finish this list, we’re going with a pretty simple package. Rondo takes each icon and turns them into simple colored circles with a logo and subtle shadow effect. It goes about as good as an icon pack can be, but it looks good, and it’s great if you’re a fan of flashy icon packs.
If you want to customize the images of your phone, an icon pack is just one more step you can take to give your phone a unique feel. Whether you’re looking for monotonous consistency or colorful chaos, there’s definitely a pack for you, even if it wasn’t mentioned in this article. And since most icon packs are free (or at least have free versions), there’s little risk of trying out all the packs you can get your hands on.