Without icon packs, we are left with chaos.

App icons are different shapes, different sizes, different color schemes and follow different design guidelines. Samsung's icons look different than Google's icons, which look different from Microsoft's icons, which look different from every other developer's icons. They are messy. They are awkward. They need to be brought under control. And that's where icon packs come in.

Icon packs bring control. Icon packs bring consistency. Icon packs bring class. Even if you're not into big involved themes, you should use an icon pack. A good icon pack can help you find your apps more quickly, can help make your phone look and feel less cluttered, and they just look better. And whether you want an icon pack that stands out or blends in, we have the best icon packs right here for your pleasure and consideration.

How to get started

Before you actually download and install an icon pack, you need a launcher that supports replacing your phone's stock icons with new ones. Most third-party options, like Nova Launcher and Apex Launcher, support icon packs. Even BlackBerry's default launcher supports them.

How to use custom icon packs with your launcher

The best icon packs out there

The Randle Trinity: Whicons, Zwart, Golden Icons

Icons are awesome

I've featured a lot of icon packs in my themes over the last year, but the icon packs that come up time and time again are the packs by icon developer Randle. All three packs are basically clones with one difference: the single color which they dye all your apps.

Whicons is far and away my most used and most loved icon pack: a simple, beautiful and easy-to-match icon pack that fits with more themes than you can shake an S-Pen at. When Whicons fails, I can usually turn to its ebony twin, Zwart (the dutch word for black). For flashier, ostentatious themes, I can reach for Golden Icons, bringing both a pop of color and subtle, silky texture to the icon drawer.

These packs all feature deep icon libraries, ample alternate icons, and icon masks to help unthemed icons blend in with the theme. Well, in two out of three anyway. The icon mask in Golden Icons is a black/white mask, same as Whicons and Zwarte, which makes unthemed icons stand out, even without bright colors. If the mask there could be replaced with a gold/white mask instead of black/white, things would be perfect.

If you're only going to install one icon pack, make it Whicons. If you're only going to install three icon packs, make it all three of Randle's packs. Between the three of them, you'll be able to match almost any wallpaper and keep things clean, consistent, and cool.

Randle Icon Packs (Free)

Noctum

Panther kicks ass thanks to Noctum

I'm a girl that loves a good dark theme. I'm also a girl that loves a good dark icon pack, and Noctum is a dark icon pack after my own heart. This pack works in shades of grey, using a stark white as an accent in the absence of color. Noctum's icon mask is one of the best I've ever seen, tinting icons in the same greys the rest of the pack uses without garish overlay shapes, and the pack also comes with three search widgets to help you unify the icon pack into a full-fledged theme.

And theming is something Noctum does quite well. One of my favorite minimal themes on Android Central — Black Panther from our Captain America Civil War themes — is nothing more than a color-matched monotone wallpaper and Noctum, and it works marvelously. That said, Noctum can do colorful themes, too, popping against neon wallpapers while colorful icons get lost in the rainbow.

Noctum ($1.50)

Lines

Clean lines for clean themes

There are a lot of minimal icon packs out there, but the eponymous Lines is one of the largest icon packs out there and one of the best, toeing the line between crisp lines and being too thin for high density displays. Lines itself well to battery-friendly AMOLED black themes because the icons are still easily recognizable while lighting up the least pixels required.

Lines has even branched out into other theme assets, offering a large wallpaper gallery/picker with Muzei support and a variety of widgets to match your snappy icons, like battery widgets and clock widgets. Lines has a free version with ads and a paid version without ads, and it's worth every cent.

Lines (Free, $1.99)

Ombre

These are some goos ombres.

Ombre achieves consistency in a unique way. This pack puts all of its icons atop a simple rectangular bar, which it then dresses up a million different ways. That bar transforms into a playlist for Google Play Music, a stack of Post-Its for Google Keep, a seekbar for YouTube, a chat window for Google Allo, and so on. It's adorable, it's brilliant, and it's colorful as all get-out. Each icon stands out, but together they still come together into a consistent pack.

Ombre, like most of DrumDestroyer Themes, comes in two variants: a light and a dark. Ombre is the dark variant, and what a lovely and colorful dark pack it is! ELEV8 is the light version, which isn't quite as fun, but it just as colorful while being a bit more bright and sunshine-y. The icon masks for both are quite good, and quite worth their meager price tag for the variation and the blast of color and whimsey they provide.

Ombre ($0.99)

Glim

Cute icons, cute colors, cute themes

If you search for Material Design icon packs, you're going to get a truly ridiculous amount of packs to choose from. The one I have used for years and come back to every holiday is Glim. Glim is a Material-based pack with soft shadows, wide variety, and color variants of most popular apps. What this means for you is that if you're looking to dye your home screen apps a particular color, Glim is the pack for you.

From dyeing the dock orange for our BB-8 themes to painting my whole app drawer red every Christmas, Glim has color variants for most apps and enough color variant alternate icons to give you the rainbow, no matter what icons you need to theme. Glim eschews icon masks for a truly ridiculous amount of color variants and alternate icons, over a thousand to be exact.

Glim (Free, $0.99)

Your favorites?

What are your favorite icon packs? Let us know in the comments below!