Old Gmail Icon: Returning to Android, iPhone, Chrome

Old Gmail Icon: Returning to Android, iPhone, Chrome
Old Gmail Icon: Returning to Android, iPhone, Chrome
In the past few weeks, Google has been replacing the logos and icons on some of its most popular services, and the public response has been … mixed. Some people don’t care while others the new icons. If you fall into the latter group, here’s how to replace Google’s new icons for Gmail, Calendar, and other apps with the older, arguably better, versions for Android, iPhone, and Chrome.

Why did Google change the Gmail logo?

In case you missed the news, Google announced a major overhaul of its productivity suite in October. With this change, G Suite became Google Workspace, a new branding for every product. That includes the incredibly popular Gmail service, and that is perhaps the optimization that has the greatest impact on users. Many people are just not happy with Google’s new design, which deviates from the distinct red color and iconic envelope shape and instead adopts all four of the company’s signature colors.

Technically, there is no official way back either. On some platforms, you may be able to fall back on older app versions, but this solution doesn’t last forever and can affect certain functions. Fortunately, all three of the main places that Gmail and other modified products are used have methods of replacing the icons. Here’s how.

Android: how to change the Gmail icon

It’s pretty easy to replace the icons on Google’s own platform

If you’re an Android user, here’s the good news: swapping out the icons for apps you don’t like is pretty easy! Google has allowed this functionality for years thanks to third-party launcher programs, a special type of app that allows you to fully equip your home screen with an app that offers other features and functionality.

One of the most popular features for many third-party starters is the ability to apply icon packs. These icon packs can get pretty wild, but they’re usually designed to change too everything of the icons on your device. If this is the path you want to go, feel free! It’s a great way to really make your device your own.

In this case, though, we’ll focus on simply replacing the Gmail, Meet, and Calendar icons, although the process will work for any app.

First we will download Nova Launcher from the Google Play Store. The free app has a paid version, but you don’t need to swap out these icons. As soon as your home screen is set up as desired, long press Click the icon for the Android app you want to change, in the example below, specifically for Gmail. From there, a menu with a menu should appear Edit button.

In the menu that appears from there, you can tap the Gmail icon to swap it out with icons from packages installed on your device or a picture of the logo. To help you with this, we’ve captured the icons for Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Google Meet from older versions of the app and made circular variations to match the standard Nova’s icon shape. Alternatively, you can completely deactivate the symbol masks and use the transparent logos.

iOS: How to replace Google’s new icons on an iPhone

Apple’s new theme is practical!

Historically, iOS hasn’t been very flexible when it comes to the homescreen, but that changed with the introduction of iOS 14. Users quickly found an effective way to replace every icon on their homescreen and give your device its own “aesthetic”. I firmly believe that designing your entire device like this is far too time consuming, but it’s handy for changing the Gmail icon on your iPhone.

Our colleagues at 9to5Mac I have a full tutorial explaining this process, but here is the basic method. First open the Siri Shortcuts App. From there, Create a new link with a Scripting Action. This action must “Open app. “In the following screenshots we use the Google Calendar as an example. However, you can do this for any icon on your iPhone – including Gmail, of course.

Select Google Calendar as the app you want to open the shortcut, then click Next. Enter “Google Calendar” as the shortcut name and press Done. Next, open that shortcut in the app. Tap the divide Button at the bottom of the screen and select Add to home screen. Tap the blank icon next to the Google Calendar name and select Select a photoThen select the Google Calendar logo that you downloaded to your device (shown below) to use as the home screen icon for the shortcut.

As with Nova Launcher on Android, iOS doesn’t automatically create the white background shape for these icons. So we pulled the official logos and added them to the template. You can download the symbols from the links below:

Chrome / Edge: How to replace Gmail, Calendar, and Meet icons

Extension developer, thank you for fixing everything

Perhaps the easiest place to replace Google’s new icons is your browser. If you’re a Chrome or Edge user, you can go back to the older icons with just one click.

An extension called Restore Old Google Icons does exactly what the name suggests. It uses the favorites you see in your browser tab for Google Calendar, Google Meet, and Gmail, and swaps the new versions with the icons that Google used years ago in Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

It’s a really simple and easy process. You can download the extension for Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge from the Chrome Web Store. If you’re on Firefox the developer says this is coming soon.

More about Google Workspace:

  • New Google Workspace icons are introduced – Drive, Gmail, Chat, Meet & Docs
  • Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Documents, and Meetings get new icons as part of Google Workspace
  • What do you think of the new Gmail, Drive, and other Google Workspace logos? [Poll]

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