The launch of Android 12 in 2021 presented Product You, a vibrant, amazing upgrade that outlined the roadmap for Android’s look. There are a lot of points to like concerning Product You, especially its superb wallpaper-theming engine. Nonetheless, as we clear up right into Android 13 and also the wedding anniversary of Product You, there’s still one blazing problem.

Below it is, my display of embarassment

Fulfill my display of embarassment. This is where all the applications (mostly third-party, with a couple of Google latecomers) that do not sustain Product You’s themed symbols live. It’s an awful, unexciting location that does not require to exist.


The launch of Android 12 was a blessing to individuals like me, somebody that constantly wished to have actually a gorgeous tailored phone however obtained burnt out discussing with also symbol packs and also also the most effective Android launchers. A unified, vibrant motif that would immediately bring (practically) every one of my applications right into aesthetic balance? Yes, please! Nonetheless, the absence of vibrant symbol motif assistance for third-party applications has actually highlighted the obvious problem with Product You.

What failed with Product You

Product You’s objective was to merge your Android phone, bringing every little thing with each other right into an unified whole. Dynamic theming methods you’ll never ever check out the very same mix of shades two times, while typefaces and also forms combine with each other right into a smooth electronic tapestry. Once you leave the very carefully regulated atmospheres of Google’s applications, a mix-up of discordant shades comes forward.

While there’s absolutely nothing Google can do concerning the applications in addition to motivating designers to utilize Product You, Android 13 brings vibrant symbol theming to all applications, which can in theory resolve this trouble for your homescreen. Yet it will not.

You might observe in the above screenshots that Sync, a third-party Reddit application, has actually a themed symbol. At the time of the screenshots, I had actually simply set up the most up to date Android 13 beta, which brought vibrant symbol styles to all applications, together with a riches of various other attributes. Sync has actually totally accepted the Product You design, developing a brand-new layout that appears like Google made it.

Regrettably, Sync’s adherence to Google’s layout simply highlights the problem. Stylish applications like Sync and also Inware could be all-in on Google’s layout language, however that will adhere to? Android 13 has actually opened up dynamically themed doors to designers, however the possibility that every application will certainly consist of vibrant theming is close to absolutely no. While designers require to give a single variation of their application symbol to participate the theming enjoyable, it’s additional job that underfunded growth groups need to handle.

Third-party symbol loads vs. themed symbols

The option below could be to set up among the leading third-party symbol packs. Several choices are offered, which basically do the very same point as Product You’s themed symbols, however with substantially even more application assistance.

The crucial distinction in between third-party symbol packs and also themed symbols is exactly how the job is dispersed. For third-party launchers, developing a unified experience is a top priority, not an optional additional. Yet this includes a number of drawbacks. Initially, if you’re a follower of Product You, you will not experience the unified styles that are its vital marketing factor. Second, designers have no say in exactly how their application symbols will certainly look.

It’s very easy to see what application symbols have Product You possible and also which do not.

By placing the operate in the hands of the designers, Google makes certain designers can develop an application that fits with Product You’s motif while maintaining control over exactly how their application symbol looks. Still, not every growth group will certainly see this as a top priority. As well as while the existing design is for minimalistic symbols, what concerning video games that depend on active symbols or firms that will not intend to shed their brand name shades?

The future of application symbol theming

While I’m a follower of Product You, generally, I have actually shut off vibrant application symbols. The display of embarassment set off a stab of stress each time I swiped to it, and also putting those applications along with even more conventional symbols simply looked strange.

Google’s effort at motivating application symbol harmony has likewise greatly minimized the quantity of modification offered to the individual. For example, font style and also symbol modification were gone down for Android 12. If you have several applications on your homescreen, the themed symbols start declining right into an incongruent blur of strong lines and also pastel tones. It’s a cool concept if you believe an IKEA display room is the height of layout. Nonetheless, for those that favor to have their phone seem like it’s completely theirs, Product You does not supply—a minimum of not yet.

Along with enabling third-party applications to participate the themed symbol event, Android 13 brings an enhanced variety of shade combinations to the variety. Yet it still seems like Google is personalizing your phone, not you. In the long run, I’m ecstatic concerning the future of Product You. Still, unless Google wishes to wind up with the layout viewpoint of a cardboard box manufacturing facility, it needs to desert its unsuccessful efforts at harmony.

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