The Chrome Android app is now using Adaptive Icons introduced with the second developer preview of Android O, some users running the new experimental build of Google's ubiquitous operating system have uncovered. The functionality is currently being used for Chrome website shortcuts that can be put on one's Home screen and just like its name suggests, the website icons users choose to drag to their screens will match the icon design of their user interface. Up until Android 7.1.2 Nougat, Chrome shortcuts would simply use a logo icon provided by the website but Android O changes that behavior and modifies the icons using other relevant global system settings. While the feature isn't major, it does allow for a more consistent user experience, something that Google has been focusing on in recent years.
It's currently unclear whether the functionality is exclusive to the Pixel Launcher or not, though it's certainly powered by the same Adaptive Icons backend that already allows users running the latest developer preview of Android O to change the shape of their Home screen and App Drawer icons. Apart from putting a shortcut icon into a default icon mask, the solution also adds a small Chrome icon to the bottom-right corner of the end result, thus clearly signaling the difference between apps and website shortcuts. Users interested in giving this feature a try will need to install the second developer preview of Android O on their Pixel or Nexus devices. According to initial reports, the functionality works with all recent Chrome builds. Refer to the gallery below to see how Chrome's new website shortcuts look in practice.
Adaptive Icons are just one of many features detailed by the Alphabet-owned company at Google I/O 2017, the latest iteration of its annual developer conference that took place last week in Mountain View, California. The tech giant is seemingly putting a larger focus on creating a more consistent user experience in Android O, in addition to ennobling its operating system with a number of performance tweaks, many of which are aimed at improving the battery life of compatible smartphones and tablets. More details on Android O should be available later this year.