BlackBerry 10: Is the icon design 'hideous'?

Icons are a huge part of the design in an OS. How do you feel about the BlackBerry 10 icons?

By Bla1ze on 27 Jun 2013 10:30 am EDT

When BlackBerry 10 details started emerging there was a lot of debate about the icons being used. Many folks hated them and thought they should be redesigned. As we got closer to launch the icons were changed and some people who once hated the design found they liked the new ones better.

That's not to say everyone liked them though, and with recent talks surrounding the huge change to the design in iOS 7, the debate about whether or not the BlackBerry 10 icons should be revamped yet again has come up in the CrackBerry forums. So, in the spirit of brainstorming BlackBerry 10 and future changes, I figured we should have a look at some of the thoughts folks are sharing.

Is it possible to switch the icon design on BB10? As a iPhone and Blackberry user I must say that the BB10 design looks like something from the first generation Android phones.EddieAIG, CrackBerry Member

Personally speaking, I'm not overly fond of the icon design either and I really kind of wish BlackBerry had stuck with the 'old design', as seen here. I don't mean those icons specifically, those could have been polished up, but their design is more in tune with what I like. The current design blocks out a lot of the background due to the boxes around the icons and as such using a wallpaper or personal image is kind of out of the question unless you move icons around and essentially force it to work. But not everyone agrees with that either, because for some, the boxes are a quite useful and well utilized design element. Some folks like how they sort of act like a chameleon and blend in.

The boxes I don't mind, and I understand and appreciate their usefulness - they unify the icons, provide a backdrop for the icon text to be legible even on light backgrounds.DaedalusIcarusHelios, CrackBerry Member

A huge part of owning a smartphone is customizing its looks. People enjoy the ability to do that; there's really no doubt about it. Because of the current design, I've dubbed a straight up black wallpaper as the best BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 wallpaper ever because it hides the surrounding boxes and just gives me straight up icons. Sadly, it gets a bit bland after a while when I know if the icon design was different I could have a much better wallpaper.

Do you really need to see a high-quality work of art for the 1/4 second between identifying the app you want and your finger tapping the icon?TheScionicMan, CrackBerry Member

Although there are plenty of folks out there who think 'who cares, they're just icons?', there's a lot of work that goes into designing these elements. The right fonts, the right interactions, and those moments of charm have to be right. It's the reason BlackBerry provides all developers with their HIG (Human Interface Guidelines) right on the BlackBerry Developer website. They know design is a crucial part of making it all work and ultimately selling devices. If a device doesn't look appealing, then how are you supposed to sell it? For a lot of folks, icons and design speak volumes.

So with all that being said and knowing that BlackBerry 10 is an evolving operating system for BlackBerry, how do you folks feel about the icons and the icon design? Should it all be revamped in a later BlackBerry 10 build, or are they fine just the way they are? Should BlackBerry be putting more emphasis on design, not only for themselves but also enforcing some of those design rules on developers? I know I'd like to see some of that because honestly, if I see an app in BlackBerry World using a terrible icon, there's a good chance I'm going to pass it over and not even try it out. Design is the face of your product.

Join the community discussion

How do you feel about the icons and the design on BlackBerry 10, should it changed? How does it compare to others on the market?

Reader comments

BlackBerry 10: Is the icon design 'hideous'?


Personally I don't like the grey box surrounding the icons, because unless you have a black wallpaper then it doesn't look good. but is it hideous? no. is it pretty? no.

I don't see any gray. The icons look fine to me besides some sideloaded icons that can use updating.

Posted via CB10

If you don't see the grey, then your background is either grey or too dark to see it. Change your background to a lighter colour and you'll see it.

You definitely need the grey background around the text but other than that, I completely agree with you.

Well, how about only have a grey box behind the text and leave the background behind the other icons transparent?

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

Nope, you don't need it around the text. Look at ios7. If you set a light wallpaper it sets the text as black and if you set a dark wallpaper it makes the text white.
Basically the OS counters colourwash by using the alternate. Note ios7 also does this for signal indicators too. That's a very clever way to handle stuff for sure.

Posted via CB10

I agree completely, but then again one of the reasons I hate Android is the non-uniformity of everything. I hate widgets, and active frames are the idea alternative. I say keep it the way it is and work on the actual issues. The icons are fine.

Posted via Zee-10 BBOS10-

The PlayBook had a grey app tray that provided the same "functionality" as the individual backdrops for the icons in BB10. Maybe we should be able to customize the backdrop in some way

A red backdrop with black letters and an all black background... yeah that would be nice!

Cracked it out with the amazing Z

disagree, these actually match the active frames and gave the OS more uniformity.. i was dissapointed when they changed them to what we have now

Not really my cup of tea, and I wouldn't mind them to be more polished (losing the grey boxes would be a good start)

I am 50/50 on the icons. It doesn't bother me but it isn't my favorite thing either. People do mistake my Z10 for an iPhone if I have the icon menu open when they first see it.

BlackBerry took an extremely conservative route with their icons. They're very corporate. I'd like to see them to think outside the box a little bit and have an icon set that is a little more "young".

Please no!

It looks like Apple has already captures 'young' with the Fisher-Price look of the iOS 7 icons.

I like the icons. With a picture on the wallpaper and the translucent boxes, I get a good view of the picture. I think it really comes together when you gave a mix of single program icons and some multi-program icon folders.

Posted via CB10

But we don't want tiles either haha :P. But I agree that the icons could definitely look more "fresh" and "youthful"

I don't hate them. I think they are okay, but again at the end of the day its just an icon. It just needs to open by app.

I have to say to all the haters out there; if you don't like it, then show me what you do like! Examples are needed to get a frame of reference.

Posted via CB10

I don't think the icon design is hideous... I do think we can lose the transparent boxes though and it would also be nicer if the typeface was bolded. The font looks so puny.

Lose the boxes and I'd be happy. I liked the look until I got my Q10. Now I can hardly see the background at all. I would also love the ability to shrink the icons by about 25%.

Posted via CB10

The screen is beautiful on my phone and in order to maximize on the wallpaper I would prefer they get rid of the box. Besides that I'm not offended or blown away by the icons. But really I have yet to see a phone get my attention in this category.

Posted via CB10

I look at the icons for a split second to open the app, after that, its my active frame that's the eye candy.

As long as I can easily identify it, I'm not bothered.

Its like the Windows Start button, I don't care what it looks like, as long as its there (can't say much for windows8, no wonder Microsoft U turned and are bringing it back) :)

I miss the "active" icons from legacy devices. Like the Beweather app that didn't need to be opened to glance at the current conditions and temps. Something like that would be great for BlackBerry 10.

Posted via CB10

Yeah but third party apps can't do this. I would have to leave Beweather open as an active frame, if it was on Legacy OS devices it could be closed and the icons would show current conditions and temp. Maybe on 10.2 it will be able to when headless support comes...

Posted via CB10

What is up with the top picture in the first article you linked to in regards to the older BlackBerry 10 icons? The picture shows the active frames to the right of the home screen icons. Was bb10 ever that way, or was something funny going on?

Posted via CB10

Some of them are pretty nice, but the picture app icon is brruuuutalll. Would not mind a new icon for it and videos.

Posted via CB10

Have we run out of stuff to complain about? They're freaking icons! You need them for maybe 1 second and then its moot.
And the OP that started this thread "probably" doesn't even have a BB10. The first pic is an image from the web, look at the quality of it, and the other as Bla1ze said is a BBOS Theme, and then the OP goes on to whack off over the beauty of My Little Pony meets Rainbow Brite meets Hello Kitty meets a bad hangover iOS7 Design.
The UI in the apps is what matters not the little picture that launches it. I was going to buy Ferrari, but I didn't like the look of the gas pedal, so I bought a Camry cause that gas pedal is asthetically pleasing

Sorry but the Icons are something that people SEE on a regular bases. I agree that there are more important thing that need to be addressed. But the Icons on BB10 do make the OS look more dated.

Your right!!! Lets complain about the way the App Drawer is set up. i want something else, as this is a bit too plain. i understand that "its works" but i want something that says "Mobile Computer". Something that shows that BB10 is more than just a phone.

It's not moot. They're there every time you look at the phone. They're there every time someone considering a BlackBerry picks up the device. They're in the forefront of your marketing.. for some they are the start of your marketing. If they're not visually appealing then you've already started to turn some customers away. 

Just like the rest of the phone, they are a selling point of the asthetics. Yes, it may seem to small to you but like it or not icons and iconography are very vital thing to address. Even more so recently, because technically speaking, users have no way to change the icons. You're stuck with what BlackBerry has chosen and what each individual developer has chosen. 

I wasn't joking when I said I will skip over an app if the icon is ugly.. if you don't care enough to make your icon beautiful, then chances are the rest of your app is just as ugly. It's little details that mean a lot to a lot of people, if you think no one cares or no one notices then that's the start of a problem because I assure you, they do care and they will notice.

Bla1ze, I understand what you're saying, from a design perspective. But my opinion is that, lipstick seems to be a big problem. Just because something looks pretty doesn't mean it is. My opinion is also that if you're skipping an app simply because of the icon, you'll be missing out on a potentially great app. Take CB app for instance, the icon is pretty basic and not very appealing. However, the UI and features of the app keep me coming back. The CB app isn't even launched by an icon anymore, I never look at it it, my thumb knows where the icon is located and it's launched when I need it without thinking about it or looking for the icon. This may just be me however as I find the iOS7 to be utterly disgusting, and the majority finds it beautiful, go figure. I don't have Fine arts degree so maybe it's my opinion that is moot, but I tend use my phone quite well and the design of the icons don't prevent me from completing tasks with it. You do have some very valid points with marketing and the appeal to potential users.

Sent from the future on my QNX® powered BlackBerry® Z10

I have no issues with the icons. What I would like to see however, is an update to the OS so that we can place the icons anywhere we want on the screen instead of being restricted to a grid where the first icon always starts at the top left hand corner and ever icon after that follows suite. This way we can place icons around the perimeter of the screen allowing more of the wallpaper to be displayed.

Posted via CB10

To take that a step further, I think the icons should be able to be placed in any cell of the grid, regardless of starting top left. It would seem to me that with so much emphasis on one handed operation of BB10, one would want the most used icons along the bottom row, so as not to have to stretch your hand or move the phone in your hand to reach the top left (or top right for lefties) . Now that would be innovative home-screen thinking!

That's one of the first things i tried with the Z to have a couple of grids with icons aligned only at the bottom. I did get used to the fact just like previous legacy models...

However, I do hope BlackBerry gives a little more space in coming updates to customise the grid however much you want and being able to change the colour of the backdrops ... just an idea!

Cracked it out with the amazing Z

Icon grids are lame, I mean lame in the true sense of the word. Microsoft has the best app launcher by far, an alphabetical list, so much more productive.

Posted via CB10

I think the icons are ok. They're not beautiful but they're not horrible either. I do agree with others that the icon background should go. It serves absolutely no purpose. Not visually nor from an interaction perspective. It feels like the background is only there to 'look different'. Now that Apple has chosen to 'look different' themselves let's please just get rid of it.

It's nice to see people care so much that they want (or expect) the best looking phone available, although I think hideous is over blowing it, don't you think? Really now, does it make you sick to your stomach? Need a vomit bag? Give me a break with this garbage....and I mean that literally.

Sent from the future on my Z10.

Option to remove/ change the colour of the border ard icon would be nice, dun limit us. Puh-lease

Change the Icons! It freshens up the entire look of the OS. Grey boxes are ugly, I actually like the iphone icons because they are all square. it creates unity rather than little cutout silhouette icons which tends to be a design nightmare. It doesn't have to be square. Firefox OS' circles or MeeGo's square circles are good too.

I like the look of the BB10 icons in the old version - hadn't even seen those!
I suppose just having some way of customising icons is out of the question? That way everyone could have what they like and be happy! :D

I don't like the boxes, but I don't know if I'd eschew them completely, as they serve a functional purpose, I think.

The icon designs are bland, for sure, and I wouldn't mind seeing them updated to something simpler, flatter, and more graphic. Or at least something with a forward-looking theme and design to match the forward-looking OS experience and interaction/hub.

For all of you saying: who cares, they're just utilitarian icons. I say, why not build an OS where everything seems to be designed in concert. As it stands, the icons look like an afterthought, pulled from a previous decade.

Posted via CB10

I think it's interesting to see Google and iOS going "flat" with their icon design. BlackBerry did this awhile back when the Bold 9000 first rolled out, and to date I think it was their best, most unified look. 

Gotta say, first time I saw the BB10 icons I almost threw up in my mouth a little, probably because of that no-good for s#*t grayish field surrounding the icon & label.

On further reflection though, between iOS's "rounded corners-squares" and droid's "sharp corner-squares" vs. Msft's "rectangular tiles" BBRY is left in the giant void of "whatever crap you end up with so the patent lawyers don't have an easy time with you."

Maybe BBRY can go"over the top" to the opposite of iOS's "rounded corners-squares" with a radically new shape: "the angular-shaped circle / ellipsoid." Now THAT might raise a few eyebrows ...

Maybe BBRY can go"over the top" to the opposite of iOS's "rounded corners-squares" with a radically new shape: "the angular-shaped circle / ellipsoid."

Sounds like you are describing the icons on the Nokia N9. Those are sweet. If it wasn't such a dated phone already it would be tempting to buy one for use in the U.S. It would also mean having to give up Verizon cellular service.

Yes, hideous. Would like a more squarish design, if they have to stay with this "block" format, or at least get rid of the grey border - otherwise something more akin to BBOS 7/7. 1 would be preferable .... And for goodess sake allow users to decrease their size - largesse takes up space on Q10 (not to mention stock system font)

they are functionally adequate, what I would like would be themes, dynamic icons for ongoing operations and size and placement flexibility.

Via my Mighty Z10

I definitely don't hate them. They are good and will/should get better as with everything else.

Posted via CB10 - Channel C00016D81

I don't think the grey boxes around the icons are relevent.i would also love to see smaller icons.only then my nissan gtr wallpaper will be more obvious.

Posted via CB10

I want uniformity.

That's probably the ONLY thing I like about the iPhone, is that all icons must meet a uniform standard.

That mean - ALL icons are basically the same size (fit within alotted size standard)

Much like windows PC has the ability to customize the border colors, translucent effects, and fonts...that would allow all users to customize to their liking. "You cant please everyone, but you got to please yourself"....with more options we can all make it work. i prefer the stock wallpaper and icons.....but would love a translucent blue icon border with landscape icon viewing.

Posted via CB10

I wish there was a setting to decrease the size of the application grid. I like the size of the grid when I swipe up from the bottom of the screen and have all the icons shrink together in size. I'd like to keep that size as default. It looks cleaner and different from other OS's. This could be an option in the Settings app. Something they should consider for 10.3.

I think the icons look drab because of the frame and give the impression of the phone being out of date.

Personally I have no problem with the icons being in the grey rectangles. I have not paid much attention to them. However I feel that this adds to the character of the BlackBerry 10 platform. Unless there's a way to redesign the icons in such a way as to not invoke the wrath of the patent trolls I'm fine with the current scheme.

Posted via CB10

I don't agree with EddieAIG, icons on BB10 don't look old, they're just simple and that's good.
And even if I do think that icons are an important part of an UI and so shouldn't be left aside, I like how they look for now, and like DaedalusIcarusHelios I appreciate the boxes.
But BlackBerry should definitely be thinking at this time at their evolution : always keep moving !

Personally I don't know why they don't offer a list and based on usage have the most used app at the top of the list. IOS and android have the app grid. Why do we need it? At least have an option. Most people use max 10 apps per day and most of these you can fit on the Z10 length ways.
Anyone have any thoughts?

Its pretty gross.... The gray background is very unappealing. The grind like set up, though found on many if not all devices, is tired. On the Q10, the icons look huge and out of place. I also miss an actually homescreen. I would like to be able to customize weather and other items ON my homescreen. These are minor things with BB10, however, its what we see the most. So it should be fixed.

I sort like the look of the icons. Simple, organized with a bit of elegance. You can always spice them up a bit with some subtle 3-D effects, etc I think the shaded box helps with the organization as when I look at an iPhone, the first word that comes to mind is clutter and disorganized.

There's definitely room for improvement. One thing that makes the iphone really attractive is because it has a unified design all throughout the UI. It's the attention to detail that makes every element look unified.

That said, I think the compass app is a great example of the potential of BlackBerry designers. We just need the design to look more consistent.

Posted via CB10

They look conservatively food except for the pix, music, video and editor. Of course it's no iOS design.

I can see why BlackBerry have the current BB10 icon design but like some I prefer the "old design" previewed from last year. Ultimately, I think they should find a way to bring back BlackBerry Themes for BB10 so we can have more power to customize our phones. I myself would not mind bringing back the transparent BBOS5 icons into the new wide world of BB10.

I think the icons are too boring, black seems to be the dominant colour, everything just screams "not fun"

Posted via CB10

Maybe if BlackBerry allowed users to change their entire themes like we can do on our legacy devices this would be a total non factor...give the user choices...let us make our device our own in our own unique way #teamblackberry

Posted via CB10

Ok, so the gray box needs to go away. I had forgotten about that because I always run a straight black background.

But really, I'm with the other poster. Is this really what we've come to? Grousing about icons? I like what I've got, but when it comes to icons, I've got bigger fish to fry.

Posted via CB10

Not the freshest for me. More of a spruced up version of older ones. You could say conservative but BB i think was never known for being loud. BB has always been utilitarian and the icons say that. But a little evolution in the future updates won't hurt. ;)

Posted via CB10

As stated in the article...I'm one of those who says "who cares - they are just icons." It's a bout the FUNCTIONALITY. Do they work? Do they work well? Yes? Then worry about pretty later. Function first. Too many people putting too much focus on the lipstick IMHO.

I like the icon set up. It's clean and makes the icon look "organized" in a sense. The box of the icon makes it stand out from the background and I like that.

Posted via CB10

I'm really surprised how many people seem to dislike them. I mean I don't LOVE them, but I don't want them to look the same as Android, and they need more individualization between each other compared to what iOS offers.

I really hated the original "square" icons, these are a huge improvement.

When I look at the picture above, the iphone ones are looking most ugly.
BB could make a little chechbox in the settings where we can switch the icon-box on or off or replace it with a shodow. Then everybody should be happy.

Give us the option to use or not use the grey box. I can't stand it myself, but it may be beneficial to some. It's not like they can't do it. They got rid of it briefly in an earlier (old) update to the Dev Alpha.

I like the PlayBook layout the best. Some animated icons would be great. Ni candy-like ones like the new iOS icon design-yuk!

Bring on animated wallpapers and lock screens!

Posted via CB10

....and no I'm not concerned about battery consumption. It should all be able to be turned on or off though.

Posted via CB10

I prefer the "old" icons and personally don't like the drop shadow.
I'd like to see the hub get a dark theme, especially on the Q10.

Posted from The Force wielding tap-dancing mouse on secret pantless missions

Yeah - change them to dancing Octagons with flashing borders! YEAH!

Seriously though, the biggest compaint seems to be around the ability to see ones wallpaper, so why not a setting that hides the Icon until a 5 finger swipe, bringing them to the foreground, ore something like that?

Or Triangles! Why is every phone stuck on the "box shape". Circles (super rounded corners baby!) Ellipses! Pentagons! Hexagons! Heptagons! So many options, so little time!

You need to be able to have icons on the first screen that are only around the outer edge and top of page so you can have the picture you like in the middle surrounded by most frequent apps. Anyone agree?

Posted via CB10

Icons? My phone reboots so often that I do not pay attention to icon design. I feel that my attention is being diverted so I do not think about my Z10 REAL problems. This post reminds me of the politicians in the country, does not work but it sure looks good.

I hate the grey edges around the icons. It looks cheap and ugly in my humble opinion. Others might not agree, but for me that's why I sport a black background, it eliminates the grey around the icons and they look so much more sleeker and better. I think BlackBerry needs to get rid of them because I want to change my wallpaper but I can't because those dreaded grey surrounds will appear again. My 2 cents worth.

Posted via CB10 from my Awesome Z10

Saying they are hideous is going a bit too far, they are not amazing either, but they get the job done.

Posted via CB10

I like the icons, however the app world could use a bit better look to apps bei.g advertised, but this will improve in time.

Posted via CB10

I like the icons the way they are.

I am especially thankful for the bit of text that says what they are. Believe it or not, but I prefer text to images so an image with text us ideal for me. (some icons I'll remember but not to all)

Posted via CB10

Hardly a big deal to me personally as I'm still using my 9930 but I would utilize a black background anyway if I had a Q10. I will admit that the box icon is a bit bulky in my opinion. My favorite icons were the Bold 9000 icons, talk about sexy. So sexy that I use the Imagining Theme.

I agree on making it look like a playbook. Thought developer icons are hideous, it looks so bad when you compare an app picture from Apple to BlackBerry.
I would say get rid of the Grey background, make the app icon image requires so that they are more beautiful, and change the layout so that more space is used. I personally feel that a lot of space has been wasted in every app.

Posted from Q10 and CB10.

I want themes for BlackBerry 10. That way I can choose the icon set I like best. That was the greatest part about customizing a BlackBerry for me.

Posted via CB10

Like several people have said, the icons are the same or quite similiar to every other smatphone out there. I am waiting for BB ro go a little bold with hardware design and software. BB10 runs great, I love the peak and flow. But the actual appearance of it is rather bland. Couldn't they do some sort of 3D type icon. why couldn't they spin, or why couldn't we as the user be allowed to change the size of certain icons? Be bold, step out with something new.

I don't like the menu bar on the Z10 at the bottom. Its to big. Or they can do it like on the BB Q10, it disappears. The icons are not that big of a deal for me.

I like the vertical alphabetical listing that Windows Phone 8 uses better than the icons view that ios, android and blackberry 10 have adopted. It makes it much easier to find apps and eliminates the need for folders and crap...

Posted via CB10

I would describe the BB10 iconography as standard. It's conservative, which is a shame as it doesn't reflect the 'new' Blackberry brand. I work in branding, which by no means gives me any kind of 'better' opinion, but I do have insight into this world and would prefer the icons to have a more slick, subtle feel. Currently I feel as if the icons are lacking 'zing', they come across quite stale or even could be described as boring and lets face it, this is exactly the opposite of what we want the Blackberry brand to convey in 2013.

All in good time though - Blackberry have completely redesigned the legacy OS from the ground up and the result is a fantastic, smooth, slick, sharp, professional system. Are the icons hitting the mark right now? Probably not, but in good time I am sure we'll see a more refined design in general, and the icons will be just one of many facets going through the creative process at Blackberry.

This is my very first comment on a CB article.

While I'm loving my Z10 (Verizon), after seeing the new iOS7 design, I think getting rid of some of the skeuomorphism is a good idea. I switched from the BlackBerry Storm 2, so I was accustomed to minimalistic icons.

In all honesty, I think BB should artfully "borrow" from some of the concept icons that were put out before the official release of iOS7. Like this one...

...because, the rounded corners are so subtle, a lawsuit from Apple could be avoided.

Posted via CB10

I agree with the opening comments - the icons are a step backwards and need to be revamped ASAP.

I think BB needs to move off the notion that bc you want to get things done you want stale and or uninspiring icons. Remember BB was beaten back for many reasons one of which was losing the UI battle.

If you want to stay in business and reclaim lost market share you need to strive for best in class every where you can do it & be profitable. Having a more visually inspiring UI is something they can afford.

The HTC One is stealing thunder on materials and overall design. IOS7 and Android 5.0 will (good or bad) push the design model further forward.

BB10 icons like the design of the OS and the phone itself would be great if it were Jan 2012 but we are in mid 2013 and the market demands more.

BB needs a true flagship phone and a UI/Icon refresh that is a visual stunner. They need to get one of the best graphic artists/UI guys out there to make this device more of a visual stunner.

Combine that with a flagship phone that has the best screen (4.8- 5.0") on the market and they will find another gear when it comes to interest beyond the installed base.

The current design is fine but could be improved to look a little more modern.

I have to say the ios7 is the most hideous thing I've seen in a long time. PLEASE don't go in that direction.

I believe this is just part of an overall terrible graphic design for BB10. I am hoping it improves over time I know there was a lot of pressure to get the OS out as quickly as possible and this is typically one of the things that suffers (speaking of graphic design in general) in such a case. Android design was generally considered poor until recently it took some time to get it on a par with iOS. BlackBerry needs to work on this as well.

They look dated. Should be customizable and dark theme option would be nice especially for the hub z10

Posted via CB10

LOL... The thread make it to the front page.

I agree. The BB10 icons ARE hideous. And if blackberry is going to do something about it and too busy/lazy to create a new set of icons, just bring back the playbook/OS7 icons to BB10. Those set of icons are the true icon of BlackBerry.

Using the black background and it looks awesome. But yes, I agree .. get rid of the gray backing or go to the PB icons. However, not a huge issue for me. It could be worse.. it could look like the Apple iOS7 coloured icons

"Ladies and Gentleman! This car has been rated Best In Class for Performance. Best in Class for Safety. Best in Class for Mileage. Best in Class for EVERYTHING!"

Audience: "Yeah, but the Odometer background is GREY!" NEXT!

I love consistency and I think the grey boxes create consistency on the app grid screen. Unifies all apps regardless of their logo or logo design / quality

Posted via CB10

I'm not a big fan of the gray boxes around the icons. I find myself using very dark backgrounds so I can't see the boxes. Not a huge deal but I'd like to see an update.

Posted via CB10

The BB10 icons can be improved but I really don't dislike them. They stand apart from iOS and Android, and BlackBerry icons have a more professional look (a professional, mature design is one of the main reasons I prefer BB over the competition). I really dislike iOS7 icons, too colourful and completely unprofessional in design.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

Have the option of the box outlines or not. Personally I think it would be better without the boxes.

Posted via CB10 on the Z10

Much more important than the icons in my daily use are the fonts used by the Z10. Love the default font chosen.

Posted via CB10 on BlackBerry Z10

It's not that serious lol people need to quit complaining. It's an icon for crying out loud. Loo

Posted via CB10

I totally agree, however it's not just the icons, the overall lack of eye candy in the current design makes the devices appear dated. People want functionality mixed with good looks. I constantly compare my Z10 to my wife's GS4 and I have to say the Z10 feels superior when it comes to practicality but lacks behind in looks. BlackBerry needs to be in the cutting edge when it comes to this field as well...I thought that's the reason they bought TAT.

Posted via CB10

theyre pretty ugly... and are 1 out of the big 5 or so reasons i havent bough a q10 yet.... prob gonna wait for 2nd gen q10 or at least until many issues get fixed

The grey background should just outline the text so it's clearer to see just the text, there's no need for the massive grey box
Without that thing there's possibly room for another row of icons

But I do like the icons BlackBerry have designed with the exception of the videos app

Posted via CB10

Truly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Personally I love the current design, black bounding boxes and all.

Lots of shallow people getting in a tizzy over what is the current fashion in trivial things. I'm old enough to know what the California term 'Valley girl ' means, a more childish Hollywood housewife . And there seems to be lots of those posting today .

Posted via Z10

I disagree that the design crowds the background because i use a plain jane black background for the q10 which drowns out the grey pane and in turn, looks like Android...i do think it is important to differentiate the icons from competing OSes

I'm personally not a fan of the icon design, I hope in future they make it a lot more modern and simpler, and bigger too.

Posted via CB10

Honestly couldn't care less about the icons on BB10. I didn't take a real good look at them until I opened this article. They're fine to me. If you're that bothered by icons, you need to reevaluate the priorities in your life lol.

Posted via CB10

I personally like them the way they are. Fits good to the new, fresh OS. Keep them for a while. Or maybe to switch between two different styles, if they wanna make them new.

Posted via CB10

I don't mind the design so much, but give me the option to design my own layout (two rows of icons at the bottom of the home screen, for instance, which would show off my wallpaper) AND most importantly, allow me to make the icons bigger. I find myself not using my Z10 very much because the tiny font/icons make my eyes hurt. (Yep, am old.)

I really care about looks, but I think the BB10 homescreen design is good on my Z10. Nice padding, margins (and there is a difference between the two), that gives enough prominence to the logo, yet keeping an uncluttered look. They should put more thought into the Q10 UI design though... it kinda sucks.

Posted via CB10

Guys, you have to think about making sure these icons come across as being identifiable. That's hard to do without being too modern from our fan base.

But overall, I would like to see more of TAT with animation within the UI similar to iOS7. They can do it especially with 2GB of RAM.

Posted via CB10

I think they are better then they were before they revamped them, but they still need work. That being said, it's not a big problem. I would rather they spent their time improving other parts of the OS. When BB11 comes out they can have new icons.

Just please do NOT get any inspiration from Apple's iOS7 icons. Those icons looks like Ronald McDonald puked them out.

Posted via CB10

What I would like is the ability for developers to have active icons like we use to have on legacy BlackBerry's. Then weather apps could tell you the wx without you having to open the app

Posted via CB10

Simple (or maybe not to simple) solution would be to make the icon set fully customizable. Now there's a toolkit for TAT to develop.

I agree with a few users who questioned even discussing this! If you are so concerned about seeing your wallpaper behind your icons, then you aren't making good use of your BB10 device! I actually use my Z10 so much that I never see more than a fleeting glance at the icons!

But if I have to comment on them... I like them, including the gray background box. Without that box, some icons looks smaller than others, giving the screen an unprofessional look. Noticed that on my Bold. Could some be redesigned? Sure... but who really cares as long as you can find the apps and get your work done?!

Buyers care. That's the point. If someone picks up a device and think it's ugly in some way, looks unprofessional or stupid.. they won't buy the device. We want BlackBerry to move units and be on top? Then that's why the icons are being discussed because while they might not be important to you, there is PLENTY of people out there who will be turned off by the design and not even bother to look any further. Finer details matter!

The BlackBerry icons are so ugly that iPhone (known for the pretty icons), has decided to copy them!

I am sporting the batman black wallpaper and it looks great!
I can't wait for an update to allow for an all-black theme.

In the meantime, I'd prefer to see BlackBerry work on the active tiles showing better updates; y'know, the way that the Crackberry tole does!

Posted via CB10

I don't like the icons. I think there is a lot they could do to improve them and make them look more modern and contemporary. And I can't stand the fact that they are surrounded by grey boxes... Looks ugly to me.

I think with the launch of the A10 coming soon we might have some changes to the icons as the Aristo is supposed to stand for the 'best '.

BlackBerry better pull out all the stops for this product. The icons could be the perfect place to start.

Posted via CB10

How about a poll? I know we did it before BlackBerry 10 was unveiled. But this would be sort of a 6 months down kinda scenario.

Posted via CB10

I would love to see customization options for the icons. Or at least allow developers to let us choose what icon we want to see. If that's not already available

Posted Via CB10 from Z10.

I love my BlackBerry, but the icon stylings in BB10 are a little... off.
Not a fan of the borders, either.

I think the design was more unified in legacy BBOS.

Yup grey boxes look bad I tried putting a black wallpaper n the icons looked much better!

Posted via CB10

I might be in the minority but I really like the grey boxes. I think it gives a sense of unity. I hate on os7 when you had apps that had different sized icons next to each other something just looked off. Now they all are the same size regardless of the actual icon

Posted via CB10

Instead of a grey box for the icon background, it would be nicer to use a text shadow. White text with black shadow, or black text with white shadow/glow. Could be done based on the average luminosity of the chosen wallpaper.

I find the icons on my Z10 perfect for myself. If they have to use a color behind them, I think grey makes the most sense. It's the only color that doesn't clash with the billions of possible wallpapers out there. Also, I don't find the icons look outdated at all. Everyone is different though.

Posted via CB10

I should have said that I just downloaded the totally BLACK wallpaper mentioned in the article. The Grey is gone and I love the new look

Posted via CB10

I was loving the os7 standard theme and the bb10 too :)

I hate the IOS themes with all the ugly looking colorshemes and the most of actual android standard themes I don't like too.

I think the minimalize bb10 icon and theme style is what it say "Style"

Posted via CB10

Being able to change the size and font being used for the icons and even the changing the icons itself to what we want would be cool

Posted via CB10

Yes. They are from the 80s. The design will hold back sales, so they should improve ti stay current.

Z10 via T-Mobile (

I could care less what the icon looks like I just want my email icons back with a splat to indicate which email account has messages. Because they are no longer on BB10 my screen is always in the hub which looks really drab so I hardly use the icons any more.

Posted via CB10

We should have a settings menu specifically for customizing our icons size Icon font type and font size and icon background hence being able to either remove the gray and make it clear or change the gray to other colors

Posted via CB10

I really don't care for as long as those icons would lead me where I intend to go. And no, they are not hideous.

Posted via CB10

Not overly concerned with it. Customization options are always appreciated, but it won't keep me up at night.

Posted via SEGA master system

I agree....I like the "old" design as you posted....they look much closer to Playbook style. The ones now with the "tile" background....hideous

Icons are like girlfriends. You don't use it everyday but you have to look at it all the time. I just got a new girlfriend called Q, I'm in my honeymoon period so everything is pretty right now.

Posted via CB10

There's nothing wrong with the icons and if some clown decides "BlackBerry 10 icons are hideous", it just means that individual is harboring some very scary skeletons within their closets and will exhibit behaviors such as declaring something is wrong externally when there is really something wrong internally, with the person. They (these psychos) often project what their weak minds are thinking is wrong with themselves. Peace.

Posted via CB10

I think the icons are a small part of the problem. The OS as a whole needs to be refined and fleshed out. Next to iOS (post-redesign), Android, and Windows Phone, BB10 looks a little uninspired.

I'd just like the shaded part to be gone and maybe clean up the apps to make them more clean and simple, not so flashy

I don't mind it... neither here nor there. What I like is that you can distinguish it from the competition and that's the best part (refreshing to see change if you use one device then take out your Zed or Q!)

I don't care for the grey blocks, and I agree they make almost any background look bad. I would do away with both the grey and the text. Looking through my pages of apps, I can't find a single one that I can't tell what it is based on the icon alone. The text serves no purpose to me and I'd love to just turn it and the grey blocks off. The icons themselves look great.

What I don't like is that they are all different styles. Like, for instance, why is the Text/SMS/MMS app in cartoon!?!?

My Tech-Fleet: Q10; Z10; PlayBook; Surface Pro; Xbox 360; HP TouchPad; iPod Touch 5

YES! They're freakin' NASTY. I like BBOS 7 icons a lot. These ones, I hate. It's like the designers didn't put any effort at all. The pictures one looks like they did it on Paint (Windows).

Gaaah! The boxes aren't gray - they're transparent black. That is why they seem to disappear on a pure black background. Sorry, it just bothered me seeing it described gray so many times.

I'm fine with the boxes and I do think they give the icons a unified look. I think many of the icons themselves could be better. I like manyof the PlayBook's icons better (Contacts, Browser) and some BB7 icons better too. I'm hoping for some extra bling such as cool effects.

I hated the BB10 square icon design that was revealed prior to release. The existing design is way better than that. Just polishing is necessary. I would like to see real themes available to change how icons are treated - different or no boxes, text appearances such as having its own box, shadows, fonts, etc. Even changing the sizes. Options would satisfy everyone.

They shouldn't put too many restrictions on the developers, if they want to make a crappy looking app that is on them...that being said, if the os and icons look good it will attract more people to the phone...Hate to say it but the new ios looks sweet. BlackBerry has some updating to do. If an os looks traditional or 1st generation no one is going to want ur new fancy hardware.

At first I hated the Grey background but now I prefer it, it brings some nice uniformity and keeps the display looking elegant.

Keep it I say. Just allow us to edit the title for apps.

Posted via CB10

Have you seen how ugly the new ios7 screen is. We need to keep ours the class leader which it is compared to the disjointed android, and non intuitive windows.

Posted via CB10

Actually, I liked the first icons better than the ones now. It doesn't really make a difference though.

I think their icon design looks old. Which is very bad for BlackBerry because when a prospective buyer picks up the phone in Best Buy (or where ever) with the notion of "hmm.. BlackBerry.. I wonder if they've changed for the better or not.." And then they see the old looking icons, they'll simply think BB is still old and for old people and decide not to purchase one..

I guarantee this is happening all across the U.S. right now and it's hurting their sales. Badly...

I wish we could re size the icons to our preferences personally I think they are a wee too big, and get rid of the grey box around them

Posted via CB10