BlackBerry 10 icons have been updated with a smaller size and new look

BlackBerry 10 icons have been updated - smaller size and new look
By DJ Reyes on 16 Nov 2012 03:02 pm EST

The icons on the upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices have been the topic of much debate, with most people agreeing that the current ones do not look good and preferred the original look when the OS was first introduced. RIM also seemed to be listening. Soon after this, the design specifications guideline for developers was changed to suggest they should make their icons 114 x 114, smaller than the current 150 x 150 size. Today this has been confirmed via the BlackBerry Developer Blog along with an example of what the new icons will look like.

While your current 150 x 150 icons will be scaled down to 114 x 114, it is probably best to adjust the size yourself. This would be also be the best advice for those porting their BlackBerry PlayBook app to BlackBerry 10 devices. PlayBook icons are currently 86 x 86 and scaling these up would like much worse than scaling down.

A BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha OS update will be dropping later this month to allow this change to take effect, giving you a chance to make sure you icon stands out and look great.

Source: BlackBerry Dev Blog

Reader comments

BlackBerry 10 icons have been updated with a smaller size and new look


Ya, they really gotta clean these up before launch. I'm not a fan at all of the grey box either.

would be awesome if it would show sample pictures of selected folders instead of the little pink picture . . . maybe they will change that. . .

If you get rid of the Grey box it will look like every other smartphone out there. The border adds character and uniformity if all apps will contain the same design. Very simple and clean. The only thing I would add would be perhaps a brushed metal texture within the Grey box to add more depth. The goal is to be better...not like everyone else.

Agreed. I wasn't crazy about the bigger icons at first but they've grown on me. They were unique.

RIP larger icons. :'(

How about making the box customizable by the user.... Whether you want different shapes styles and colors or non at all. That way everyone is happy and some developer can create an app full of placeholders for applications. Take off the boundaries.

I honestly think the new icons are sick, and If it came out just like this I would be perfectly happy.

They got rid of the boxy-ness by rounding the edges and getting rid of the horizontal line above the icon name, but the looks will still match the active frames overall.

Plus, without the horizontal line, the shape of the new backdrop is actually kinda cool to me.. almost like each app is a playing card that your holding (tons of marketing possibilities, btw).. but as someone mentioned, it would be awesome to have the option to set transparency if u don't want it..

Another thing I like is how they opened up the middle of the icon more... instead of having the colored area be a solid square as on the previous design, they made the colored areas just as dynamic as current BB icons.. it's just that there's just a backdrop behind it all, and I kinda like that idea of uniformity... at times all of the different shapes a la BBOS7 and Droid can seem cluttered...

At the end of the day, the new icons are pretty unique.. the previous look with the box was similar to iOS... without the grey/card backdrop, they would look basically like Droid icons or current BB icons (or any generic desktop icons as well)... so why not keep BB icons? I wouldn't have a prob with it personally but I think they're trying to differentiate the new phones from the old BB's in as many ways as possible VISUALLY, but keep the essential functions BB, but improved of course.. this will make the icons instantly recognizable as that NEW Blackberry dopeness!

If they do change anything further, I would just make them slightly bigger again. Not as big as they were, but maybe in the range of ~135x135.

hmm having seen these in action on some recent BB10 demo's.
My vote would be "still room for improvement" :(

Thanks, I've seen that video before, It's just difficult to even notice the change as it's ever so slight. I agree, it can still use some work.

Surprisingly it was the video that was posted on BerryReview a few days ago that I saw.. I just didn't even notice the changes in the icons as they really are very slight modifications. What I did notice differently this time watching it was that the header of the "HUB" and "BBM" and "SHARE" all have blueish headers, which actually looks a lot better than the boring plain old white/grey. More excited about that change from the video than the actual Icons :P

I Agree they are better with room for improvement. I like the idea that the shape of the box reflects the form of the London. Would like to see side by side on a Beta.

ability to select transparency level would be best. I dont need no backdrop. But ya those look like cheap icons. But a much better than what is currently on the dev alphas.

Meh... I'd give the old icons a 4 out of 10. I'd give the new icons a 5 out of 10. RIM is better than this. And BB10 needs icons that are 10 out 10.

i'm not sure how much better the change is, maybe when i see it on an actual device i'll be able to gauge just how much of a difference it makes. it is an improvement though

Definitely better but plenty of room for improvement. I like so and so's suggestion of making the box transparent if have it at all. I am happy that RIM is listening to the BB faithful, that's a big plus in my book.

CrackBerry Is My Choice Of Drug

i don't understand how they can make so many things so sexy, like the clock app, but they're having trouble making the icons sexy!

All I wanted was the icons to not all be square, for easier recognition, don't know why they had to go and shrink the icons also... which decreases recognition. I liked the previous larger icon size, just not all squared. Hopefully they know what they're doing and everything looks good when launched.

The reduced size increases usability, its easier to reorganise and move them with larger gaps, albeit they could have done the same by reducing the background frame too.

Will this allow more icons on the screen? The new ones are about 25% smaller so will there be 20 icons on screen instead of 16? Or will there just be greater spacing? Or something in between?

Why can't they just make them look like the icons on the Playbook? I don't think these new ones are much of an improvement

Agreed! The icons on the Playbook look amazing.... why try and fix something thats not broken!? The old BB10 icons were ugly annnnnd the new ones are just rounder, smaller, and still horrible. A seriously weak improvement!

Could definitely still be improved upon. Shouldn't be that hard to come up with a visually appealing icon set.

well whatever the final icons look like someone wont like them, because you cant please everybody. What I can appreciate it that RIM is at least trying. I'm not gonna bash any icons until I see the final version... so go RIM!!!

*sigh*....Please don't tell me they're going to the new icon design. I like the first version a lot more. The first version just needs to be tweaked a little bit. I really hope RIM gets the icons, and home-screen right because it really needs to impress the consumer visually. Also, they need to anticipate what the other guys are going to do. We all know the functionality of the BB10 phone is incredible, but they need to treat the icons and home-screen like a work of art. Lets hope at launch they show us a home-screen with icons that we all wont be able to stop staring at.

Is this why Rim stock is up 5%. Nothing else in the news about them.Yahoo I'm going to make half a million dollars when RIM hits $50.

Ima tell you why I do not like current PlayBook icons. I disagree with almost everyone in here because I consider the PlayBook icons might look better isolated, but when put all together to make the app grid screen make it look cheaply designed because each and every icon has a different shape, different height and width. This and the fact that the app name is just sitting there in the air, with also different lengths makes it look bad too.

I think these new icons for BB10 get rid of all this unevenness between icons and make it look better when put all icons together. Maybe the grey box should be translucent, but I like to see that RIM understands that unevenness in icons make the screen look cheap and bad.

+1 to the idea and for the BB10 Icons. :)


Thank You! I completely agree. I'm assuming that most of the people complaining about the grey box don't have a PB.

+1! I think you nailed the reason why I like the boxes, I however like the larger icons...perhaps this is something that can be "theme-able"

I agree. I wasn't opposed to the previous look but I do like the new look better and would like to keep the "border"

I have a Playbook and I just commented on another post a minute ago saying how I think the icons look great.... but now..... now I cant stop noticing how uneven all the icons are haha dang it... I think you're right!! I stand corrected... +1 RIM.

I am still not totally in love with the grey box though. Making it transparent and maybe a different color would be better. They are def on the right track now though

Playbook icons don't really matter since it will be updated to bb10 soon. The new icons are better but they need transparency. With rim not allowing themes for things like customizing will shoot themselves in the foot.

Users don't want to be stuck with one look. We want personalization! If rim won't give us these features guess we will have to wait for the hacking community.

A box around the icon, whether square or rounded, standardizes how each icon looks into the same space. Its a cleaner look when they are seen together on a homescreen. Looking at just one like this it looks dumb yes.

As mentioned many times already - I think there's much more scope for improvement.

Again, as someone said earlier, RIM make the clock function visually stunning. Why can't they come up with something as equally stunning with the icons?

Come on RIM you know you have only one shot at wowing potential customers with BB10 release. Don't let what should be a relative simple challenge like icon design dent peoples enthusiasm.

It's an improvement but still not quite there. The grey rounded box background will make the whole grid look quite dull. Having uniformity is good but one has to be careful not to be too uniform or things will begin to look dull.

~I am BlackBerry by choice~

I like the new icons a lot. They are very differentiated, and I imagine it's not just "grey", it just darkens the background that's already set.

For the people who want to drop the grey background, they don't understand that this is practical. At quick glance, it is far easier to notice the white text under the icon with a darker background.

How about building the icons on the shape of a circle, i.e. the grey background shape could be a circle. This would deferentiate them from Android and iStuff. Also, when a finger touches the screen, the finger print is round, so this would make sense from a practical perspective.

Looks like Windows 3.1 to me. I hate the grey background (yes, I know it is there to make the text stand out). The PlayBook icon's are much nicer and they can be much improved upon. Come on RIM... use some of that talent from TAT.

I find it quite amusing how people are b*tching and whining about the grey boxes around the new icons. The won't be JUST grey boxes: I'm quite sure there will be some kind of translucent effect or something going on... There just has to be! :P

the icons aren't that bad. geez to some its the end of the world.

hopefully down the line, RIM will allow a lot of customisation so that we can change the icons ourselves.

I wonder what it would look like if the box/border took on the colour and pattern of the background. Kind of transparent but also kind of 3D? Or would that just be silly?

They are unique and I actually love the Grey box!!!!! Taking it a step further....maybe giving it a brushed metal texture within the Grey border. Kudos to RIM for being proactive in the app design!!!! Can't wait to get it in my hands!!!!!!


Am I the only one that prefers the square industrial (minimalist) look? Maybe it's because I haven't seen these in person, but I certainly do not like the bubbly rounder look. Bubble, bubble, bubble!!!

Pls, don't reply with "yes you are". :)

I like the square shape better. When you do a side by side comparison of square vs. non-boxed vs. curved new ones.. The square stand out completely.

Besides making it look extremely organized and easy on the eyes.. They add uniformity and a total sense of seriousness when using the phone.

I just can't stand the look of randomly sized icons like on the PlayBook and this new one is a cut in between. I'm not at all convinced.

But in all fairness, the round edges have been introduced to match the physical form factor of the phone, which do have round edges. The squared icons matched the square look of the DA device.. But they are not final.. So..................................

At this point.. I'm a fan of anything that RIM does for BlackBerry and I appreciate all the efforts they are putting in.. So it's all a win.

I have never complained about BlackBerry design sense and even now there is not much to complaint about..

Personally, IMO if there was some more stuff to discuss about BlackBerry 10.. These icons would not be a concern.

BlackBerry PlayBook 32GB & Torch 9810

they might fit the upcoming form factor of the newer L series but lets not limit ourselves to just rounded phones :P

I guess they'll have to round the active frames too yeah.

the squares just sit nicely. Microsoft knows this :P

As far as opinions go on here, it matters not because 99.99% on here are die-hard Berryheads and will be buying, I hope, a nice new shiny BB10 device when they are released to market.

What matters is that on BB10 release it has to be visually stunning to draw attention to the undecided, floating masses of potential new BB owners.

Magpies and shiny objects spring to mind!

You're right in a way that CB fans will just buy BB regardless.. But the 'others' you refer to. I don't think anyone cares enough about design to chose a platform.

A simpler design actually is more popular than a fancier one.

What people want is relatability.. A device they can identify and can be easily understood. Also, something new.. Once the new App grid of BB10 is launched.. you will understand how everything else looks unorganized and dated from 2005.

The rounded box is not solid grey it's transparent. It just looks grey because the background behind the icons is white. It looks to be a transparent black gradient.

The old and new icons are ok. They are trying to please us while looking different from it's competitors. I like that they are looking at different designs and listening to feedback. I don't know but these icons look like prototypes and not so polished. We'll just have to wait and see :)

I just saw a screenshot on Berry Review of the new icons and I think they look great. It's a happy medium between the PlayBook icons and the old icons. They ARE transparent and I'm glad they have the grey rectangle around them because it makes all the icons the same general shape so they match. Thumbs up definitely for the new icons!

Still gay and far away from noble or high def... Why this (how ever colored) box?!? We will see the decision of RIM in febr. 2013...:-)

I think the border is a good compromise between having a uniform shape and allowing the developers to make their icon any shape that they want. I have to admit that a lot of the icons on ios look really dumb because they have to fill a standard geometry. RIM is taking care of that on their own. When all is said and done, I think that this will be a good thing

Icons are icons, doesn't matter how big or small they are. I don't care about how they look OR their appearance. As long as it's FUNCTIONAL and finger-friendly, that's all what matters to me.

For me the reason icon sucks is that each one are taking separately with no grouping per functional units (organize, communicate, consult, create...) with either spatialization or color set or shapes globally thought... Where have disappeared zoomui, although maybe one consider user to dumb too think in depth. And yes grid sucks, i would prefer richer compositions.
I mean abstract expressionism has so much explored color and shape not to be forgotten, i would love to see some echos to kandisky or kupka composition to structure layouts. Traditional mandala symbolism is also about grouping maybe with echos in delaunay. Of course third part icon can hardly fit the bill, but with categories in app store one can still reshaping a bit.

I like the way the new icons look. A lot smoother with the rounded corners. I'm sure there will be themes for those that want other colors.

I like the new icons. They look much, much better then the previous ones.
The rounded edge makes it look not so rigid.
Glad to see RIM listening to the people for whom the phones are made!

I don't know... Maybe this will look better when there is a nice background behind them. I think the blue gradient background (as seen in some of the dev alpha B screenshots) would make ANY icon design choice look horrendously awful. Something about a blue gradient just looks SO "2005 feature flip phone" :( :( :(

If they are absolutely set on having the icons in these grey containers (whether with squared or rounded corners), then maybe they could *at least* give them some transparency to give them something resembling a contemporary/modern look.

I posted this before I read the comment from CarGuy1368

CarGuy1368: "The box is translucent... Don't worry, they look a lot better actually on the device."

Sweet :)

why not have an icon editor so i can make my own or some creative guy can put them for sale in app world.