In addition to introducing a few messaging features, Google is rolling out new icons for the SMS/RCS app, as well as Phone and Contacts.
Update 11/20: As with the mobile version, the phone app was last updated on Wear OS. The update rolled out over the weekend and completes the new icon trio on Watches after about a month of Contacts and Messages.
- Contacts: 18.104.22.1683846653 wear
- messages: messages.android_20221115_01_RC00.wear.openbeta dynamic
- Phone: 27.0.487435690-release-wear
Update 10/28: Just a week after the icons were announced, Phone by Google has been updated with the new logo. The phone icon is now flatter than before, while the themed version is very simple. Build 92.0.484272277 went out to the beta channel this morning, though it’s not yet on Wear OS.
Update 10/22: Version 22.214.171.1242243121 of Google Contacts introduces the new app icon. It’s fairly simple with no shadow and a white background. The themed icon is more interesting and simplifies the “body” design. It looks more premium than the previous version.
This update has not yet been widely rolled out via the Play Store, while the next Google Phone app is coming and is supposed to benefit from its own beta program.
Update 10/21: Google is already rolling out the new messaging code with .android_20221018_01_RC00.phone.openbeta_dynamic release messages. It’s also available on Wear OS, and you can sign up for that beta here.
As expected, the blue icon is placed against a light background that is fairly unremarkable. No animated display, which even Google Chat features, and the animations seen in Google’s promotional video don’t appear today.
Meanwhile, the themed icon is better and somewhat recognizable even with its simplistic logo.
Original 10/20: These three icons continue to share the same pattern to indicate that they are part of the same family of applications responsible for communication. Overlapping message bubbles are the main motive here to represent how texting (and calling) involves a minimum of two participants. This is similar to the green Google Chat logo.
Dark blue is used where this overlap occurs, while other shades of light blue are also in use. There’s a false sense of shadow-derived depth—a rarity in modern Google icons—as a result.
In the case of the Google Messages icon (and to ensure continuity and user familiarity), blue is also the default bubble color for RCS (Rich Communication Services). It’s a recognizable icon, but the overlapping part, especially at the bottom left and top right, results in a somewhat sloppy and messy look.
Google Phone, Messages, and Contacts
Meanwhile, the new Google Phone app icon looks very nice, while the contacts are crisp enough, though the lighter shades of blue look like arms rather than what’s supposed to (people side by side).
Compared to the current set of icons, these icons would stand out less if they were placed against a light background instead of a dark blue color. In general, they are less realistic and more elegant.
Google says these icons are intended for compatibility with other first-party apps and “each is designed to adapt to Material You themes.” There is definitely flatness and a lack of shadows as indicated by the workspace icons. However, another comparison is the set of YouTube icons and their simple colors.
New contacts, messages, and contacts icons will be rolled out from Google over the next few weeks.
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