If the change in the Facebook layout made many people grind their teeth because of the impossibility of turning to the old model, those who hated the new Google icons can celebrate: they can restore the old ones, at least in Chrome.
Anyone using the Google browser or Microsoft Edge (the Firefox solution is on the way) can download the Restore old Google icons extension to get the old icons back. After installing the feature, reload the pages with Google services and breathe easy.
Worse or better?
The changes in Google apps (now brought together in Google Workplace, which replaced G Suite) were not consensus among users or designers. The change was mainly driven by the visibility that other platforms gained during the pandemic – newbies like Zoom, Slack, Asana and even Microsoft Teams.
The father of the new icons is Javier Soltero, a former Microsoft who switched homes last year to oversee a redesign of both Google’s productivity and communication lines – the result of his work led to the Google Workspace and its new multicolored icons.
Twitter users were the first to complain about the similarity between the icons. Ars Technica reporter Ron Amadeo suggested, on his Twitter account, a simple solution to restore the icons on the Android phone: those of the Android 6 Marshmallow. “Each icon here is an improvement over the current icons. We need to go back.”
The indignation was well summed up by the user Killed by Google.
Former lead Twitter designer Josh Brewer also hated the change: “The new icons lack differentiation to the point that I now have to pay more attention to make sure I’m accessing the app that I think I am,” he says, adding that the changes throw away years of brand loyalty.