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How To Get Material You Icons On Your Android 12 Home Screen

Pixel 6 Material You home screen AH
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With Android 12, Google decided to revamp the design of Android a bit. And introduced the next evolution of Material Design. That is called Material You. Essentially, with Material You, once you change up your wallpaper, your whole phone changes. That is because Material You will pull accent colors from your wallpaper to use in the icons, quick settings toggles, and even within apps that support it.

But, in a lot of the images showing off Android 12, Google has shown off these Material You icons. These are not on by default, so how exactly do you enable them? Well, we’ll show you how to do that today.

What is Material You?

For years, Android smartphones have had many different themes that you could choose from. But with Material You, it’s theming on steroids. With color science, Google is able to match the theme to your wallpaper instantly and in real-time. So now when you change your wallpaper, it can really change your entire phone.

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But theming isn’t just about the home screen, settings and quick settings area of the OS. It is also going to work throughout the many apps on your smartphone. Of course, this will take some work from developers. And Google will be the first to adopt Material You design in its apps, later this year.

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As Duarte stated at Google I/O in May, “What if form did not just follow function, bus also followed feeling?” and that’s where Material You comes into play. “Material You explores a more humanistic approach to design. One that celebrates the tension between design and sensibility and person preference, and does not shy away from emotion.”

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This is the first big update to Material Design in nearly seven years, and it’s a huge update.

How To Get Material You Icons On Your Android 12 Home Screen

To get started, long-press on your home screen.

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Then tap on “Wallpapers & Styles”.

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Here, you’ll see your wallpaper, along with different wallpaper colors that you can choose from. The more colorful your wallpaper is, the more color options you’ll have here. You can also choose from the “Basic Colors”. But that’s not as fun.

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Now, if you scroll down, you’ll see a few more options. This includes Dark Mode, Themed Icons and the App Grid.

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Go down to “Themed Icons” and tap the toggle next to it. Now if you scroll back up, you’ll see a preview of how it’ll look with the icons on your current home screen.

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  • Note: Google mentions that this is in beta, so some icons may not work properly. Keep that in mind here.

Now, swipe up to go to your home screen. And you’ll see your icons in Material You theming. It really completes the home screen experience.

Not all apps support Material You

Material You is still very new, only being announced back in May, and now available on Android 12 devices in October. So many non-Google apps have not been updated to support Material You just yet.

Google said at I/O back in May that all of its apps would have Material You redesigns in time for Android 12. And the majority of them have gotten that update. Of course, going from light/dark mode to Material You isn’t that tough and doesn’t change the design all that much. So for Google’s apps it was pretty easy to do.

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As far as third-party apps, almost none of them have been updated to Material You. That might change in the coming months, but given how long it took a lot of apps to add Material Design in the first place, we don’t expect it to happen anytime soon.

Now, because most third-party apps have not been updated for Material You, that means that updating to Themed Icons for your home screen may not look as great as you’d like. As you’ve probably noticed throughout this post, my home screen has only Google icons, and nothing else. Because it looks odd when there’s a mixture of Material You and non-Material You icons on the home screen.

It’s really no different from any other icon packs that you might apply to your third-party launcher like Lawnchair or Nova. And one of the reasons why I don’t generally use an icon pack – I want all my icons to be themed!

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But this is a pretty cool feature to have available on Android 12.