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Adaptive Icons make the jump to Nova Launcher in its latest beta update

Adaptive Icons, Android Oreo's answer to both chaotic app drawers and ugly icon masks, is still brand-spanking new, and if you want to use it, the supported launchers you have to choose from are pretty slim. Thankfully, the latest Nova Launcher beta update, you've got one more option.

Nova Launcher's 5.5-beta release is bringing Adaptive Icons to Oreo users, and to all users running Lollipop or above. Just like the Pixel Launcher and Action Launcher, Nova Launcher is letting you pick between five mask shapes for your icons that are quite quickly becoming standard:

  • Round
  • Squircle
  • Rounded Square
  • Square
  • Teardrop

You can also choose to have non-Adaptive "legacy" icons be scaled down inside the adaptive icon mask. However, rather than throwing legacy icons in a white background the way some launchers do, Nova Launcher will pick a color for the background based on the icon's color scheme: the Netflix adaptive icon is pink, the Hulu adaptive icon is blue, etc. This help fight those horrible white adaptive backgrounds (even if some of Google's own apps use them).

It is worth knowing that you can either use an icon pack or Adaptive icons right now, not both, and some adaptive icons are only available on Android 7.0 and up, or not quite working yet, such as dynamic calendar icons. Still, it's another launcher that supports Adaptive icons and hopefully an incentive for more developers to make Adaptive icons for their apps.

Nova Launcher Beta Opt-In

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

13 Comments
  • That's great ! Looking forward to this feature in the stable release later.
  • I love Nova Launcher and their team. Always staying ahead.
  • Yes, Nova is the bees knees!
  • Not something I'll use often since most of my icon packs have masking but its nice to have the option nonetheless. Hope they find a way to combine this with icon pack, that'll be much useful for me and finally be able to use some of my impulse purchase of icon pack that don't have masking.
  • You might not see an upgrade from Google because of your manufacturer and/or service provider, but because of launchers like Nova and Action you can mimic the latest OS!
  • I'm using Nova Beta and selected teardrop icons but no effect? I've tried all the icon packs available eg system, pixel, Marshmallow etc on the phone..
  • Use system and then turn on Adaptive Icons, they turn off if you have it set to anything but System right now.
  • That's great. It's a shame that Google does not force app developers to support adaptive icons. The app drawer is a mess with lots of unsupported icons.
  • Right! It's ugly how there is no uniformity whatsoever. Thank goodness for third party Launchers like Nova and Lawnchair, which is what I'm using
  • The icons are still hideous. Shame on Google for this cluster f. I use click ui icons. Look way better and all uniform. My 2¢.
  • You could always use a program from the play store called Adapticons to change the look to more of what you may like if the icons still don't look right to you. It will even work with icon packs as well if something doesn't look right with them applied.
  • I use Active launcher. Actually, I don't, but the Nova users always feel a duty to spam any launcher article with their choice. I just use the out of the box experience on my GS8.
  • i thought a rounded square IS a squircle...no?