The fourth Developer Preview of Android O that Google just started distributing on Monday ships with a number of design changes, including a new icon for system apps. The revised version of the system app icon still features Google's famous Bugdroid, albeit only around half of its head is showing, whereas the background of the icon is now mildly cyan and circular instead of completely transparent. The Bugdroid shown in the final Developer Preview of Android O is also entirely white and isn't depicted in its signature shade of light green. Much like the old icon, the new one shows next to system apps in all menus and is also attached to generic APK files and apps without an icon.
The redesign may have been prompted by Google's desire to make the upcoming iteration of its operating system more contemporary-looking, as the new icon seems relatively neutral and isn't as playful as the one that debuted several years back. An even likelier explanation for the change pertains to Adaptive Icons that Google introduced with Android O and has now seemingly prepared its system app icon for that particular functionality, allowing users to change its design depending on their preferences. Adaptive Icons are just one of many new features introduced with the next major iteration of Android that's also set to ship with support for Notification Channels, providing users with the option of (de)prioritizing notifications from individual apps based on their type without affecting other notifications sent by the same apps.
Android O Developer Preview 4 ships with near-final system images and finalized behaviors, meaning that developers now have everything they need to optimize their apps for the upcoming release of the operating system, including Google's latest set of application programming interfaces (APIs). The Mountain View, California-based tech giant has yet to decide on the official name of Android O, though some of the company's engineers recently promised that more news on that front will follow come August, presumably around the time the OS starts hitting the stable channel. Google's own Pixel and Pixel XL, as well as compatible Nexus handsets will be the first to receive Android O.