Dynamic Icons on Android?

Unlock your mobile, opens the drawer of applications and see the icon of your application’s calendar. What number makes the icon, 13 as the day which is today, or a generic 30 or 31? The answer depends on the pitcher you are using and your calendar application. Welcome to Android.

The dynamic icons they are not something new or much less. The concept is so logical in itself that its appearance to replace static icons in very specific cases was inevitable. Apple has them in your iOS, Windows in your Start Menu and Android made its appearance on some launchers, irregular shape.

Now the latest filtered version of Pixel Launcher (formerly known as Nexus Launcher) also includes them, at least in what to the Google calendar is concerned. So far Google has remained on the sidelines of these “inventions” of icons that change, but Pixel Launcher could mark a change of direction and, finally, a unified vision of the same.

What are the dynamic icons?

First of all, what are they? The name already leaves little to the imagination, and is that dynamic icons are those that change to show you information without having to open the application. Here are some examples:

  • Calendar: showing the current day
  • Watch: showing the current time
  • Flashlight: showing that it is switched on
  • Weather: current conditions
  • Battery: percentage of use or time remaining of autonomy.

Simplified one could say that a dynamic icon is like a size 1 x 1 widget, but that replaces the application icon and therefore changes also in the drawer of applications, place normally widgets not showing.

Dynamic icons on ASUS Zen UI

There are several approaches to the dynamic icons on Android, but without a official support system-level and standardized, each implementation works in its own way and not be compatible with each other. The arrival to the Launcher aimed at the “purest Android” that lie ahead could be the necessary push for this function extends also to Android.

In Pixel Launcher, only for the calendar

A test of the lack of control above is the own Pixel Launcher. Only the application of Google calendar displays the dynamic icon, while other applications that also support them in theory do not work. It is the case of the application of clock from ASUS, which is animated in the launcher from ASUS but not in Google’s, or Today Calendar, which displays the current day in your icon in Nova Launcher, but not Pixel Launcher.

The implementation itself into the Launcher is a little strange, because the classic icon of Google Calendar goes from being the calendar with a blue background that we all know to be framed in a white circle. In the absence of more examples we cannot conclude that the dynamic icons will be enclosed in a circle to differentiate them, although it could be the case.

Pixel Launcher, and normal icon calendar icon

This mean that in the future we will tell you goodbye to number 31 of the calendar to see the current day? It is hard to say, but an effort of Google in this regard always has more weight than its inclusion since some time now in Nova Launcher and other launchers.