Update: Google Keep on the web has now updated its icon as well.
Update: The Google Calendar web app icon has started to roll out. Follow the instructions at the end of this article to update yours!
Before anyone was privy to the fact that Google was going on a re-branding frenzy, services like Google One, Photos, Home, Lens, Wifi, Shopping, Fit, Fi, Maps, TV and more all received new icons that focused on simple shapes and primary colors. While there has been a lot of criticism that these icons all looking too similar to one another from a user experience standpoint, it’s been nice to see the company take a bolder and more ‘Googley’ approach to their services. A few weeks ago, they announced that G Suite would be replaced by Google Workspace in an effort to continue that branding refresh – and with it, core Google services would also receive new icons. Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Keep and more have long been admired for their existing logos, but everything is changing now and we’re beginning to see those new icons roll out to regular Google account users and their Chromebooks too!
Some users have reported that they are beginning to see these changes in their Google Play apps and others have noticed that the new branding appears on the web. For web app users, creating a shortcut causes the new icons to appear on their Chromebook shelf, which is exciting. Google is big on what are called ‘staged rollouts’, so it may take several weeks for everyone to see these changes. I personally think that the new look brings a fresh feel and a sense of excitement to Chromebooks and will no doubt go a long way to convincing people to pick one up when they see a commercial. Think about it – a bold splash of color in a forward-thinking laptop stands out in the sea of regular tech commercials you normally watch and Google’s marketing and charm has become infectious these last few years. With all of the advancements we’ve seen coming to Chromebooks, even just this year alone, it’s obvious that Google is taking big swings at their competition, even though they’ve been in the laptop game for a lot less time.
They’re also rolling out what are called ‘adaptive icons’ with Chrome OS 86, which has been paused for many. Adaptive icons were created in an effort to bring uniformity, accessibility and polish to the OS by forcing all apps and web apps into a white circle since most developers don’t do this on their own. You can see below that while I have yet to receive updates to things like Calendar or Keep, there are a mix of apps and web apps that have already taken on their new form. I’ve also included apps that have used the new branding for quite some time to stress the overall vision Google has for their iconography going forward.
According to Google, the aim of the new branding is to deliver on their commitment to building immersive communication and collaboration experiences with the helpfulness of Google to all of their services under one family. It won’t be long before all Chromebooks are a lot more Googley and I couldn’t be happier! If you’ve already turned several Google services into shortcuts and have the old icon saved to your Chromebook, you can open it to see whether or not the website’s branding has been updated. If it has, just visit the more menu (three dots) at the top right of that web app, go to ‘open in Chrome’ and then turn it into a shortcut again to refresh its favicon (
three dots > more tools > create shortcut). We’ll keep you up to date as more icons are rolled out. Let us know in the comments section what you think about Google’s design plans and how they affect Chromebooks.