Google Is Rolling Out New Messaging And Contacts App Iconography

New icons for the SMS/RCS app, Phone, and Contacts are being rolled out by Google alongside several new Messages capabilities.

Update 10/22: Google Contacts got a fresh look with version It’s not complicated, as there is no shadow and the background is white. The simplified ‘body’ design and mildly more intriguing iconography of the Themed variant are both welcome changes. Compared to the previous version, this one stands out. The Play Store hasn’t fully updated yet, but the Google Phone app will soon be able to make use of the beta.

Update 10/21: By version 20221018 01 beta dynamic, Google has begun rolling out a new Messages icon. You can also sign up for the beta version of Wear OS right now. The blue insignia, as expected, is set against a white background that is otherwise unremarkable.

The animated splash screen seen in the Google promotional video is not present today, and it is not there at all in Google Chat. The Themed icon, on the other hand, is superior and more easily recognizable than its counterpart.

Original 10/20: The continuity of design between these three icons serves to further emphasize their shared origin as members of the same family of messaging apps. The central pattern here is two overlapping message bubbles, which stand for the two or more people involved in any given texting or phoning conversation. The green Google Chat icon is a close relative of this design.

For the places where these two patterns meet, we utilize a darker blue in addition to two lighter blues. This gives the icons an unusual (for Google) illusion of depth because of the use of shadows.

For consistency and user comfort, the Google Messages icon is blue, which is also the default bubble color in RCS (Rich Communication Services). It’s easily recognizable, but the overlap makes it look a little sloppy and unprofessional, especially in the bottom-left and top-right corners.

Meanwhile, Google’s new Phone app icon is sleek, while Contacts is simple enough if a little disconcerting due to the way the lighter blue tones look like arms rather than what is probably meant (people side-by-side). If these icons were laid against a white background instead of a dark blue one, they might not stand out as much as they do in the existing set. In general, they are more stylized and less realistic.

Google claims that these symbols “are designed to adapt to Material You themes,” making them consistent with other first-party apps. The icons in the Workspace have a certain flatness about them, and there is little doubt that this is due to the lack of shadows. One may also draw parallels to the YouTube icon set, with its simple design and streamlined color scheme.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll start seeing the updated Google Phone, Messages, and Contacts icons.