Do you remember what popular app logos used to look like?

Many apps have been around for more than ten years. During this time, not only the apps themselves, but also their icons have changed a lot. A review.

Most apps are now available for both iOS and Android and look almost identical on both platforms. That was not always so. There used to be differences in the design of the app between the two versions – but also in the app logo. The little pictures were often very playful, with a 3D look and shadows. Today almost all of them are flat and follow the material design language. Do you remember what icons on popular apps used to look like?

YouTube

Let’s start with a look at the YouTube app. First released in 2007 with the original iPhone, it has gone through many design changes. It was originally an integral part of iOS – even before there was an app store. YouTube has not been pre-installed on iOS since 2012, and there was also a new icon for the change.

Android also started directly with YouTube and got an icon in 2011 that hasn’t changed much to this day. However, the color gradient has disappeared on Android and iOS. The result is the flat and even richer red that we now know.

iOS Android
2007
2009
2011
2012
2013
2015
Since 2017

 

Spotify

Ever wondered why the Spotify app logo has three dashes that look like the wifi icon? Originally, the lines above the “o” were in Spotify and were supposed to symbolize sound waves. This remnant can still be seen in the old app icon. Spotify later further simplified the icon. Ultimately, the gradient has disappeared and a lighter green adorns today’s app.

Also interesting: Spotify is expanding its audio book division

iOS and Android
2008
2013
2015

 

Google Maps

Until 2012, a map app was pre-installed on iPhones that used maps from Google Maps. When Apple started its own map service in 2012, the iPhone got its own Google Maps app from Google itself. The icon has hardly changed for many years. In 2014, Google’s “g” got smaller. In 2015 it got the new “G” from Google after the company changed its entire logo. Since 2020, iOS and Android have had the exactly identical app logo in the form of a pin.

Google Maps has been preinstalled on smartphones since the start of Android in 2009. Initially, the icon was in the form of a folding map, which, with its new design, lasted until 2014. Then Google adapted the look of the iOS app. The only difference: the pin on the card protruded a bit. A consequence of the freer logo specifications on Android. However, since 2020 only the pin can be seen here as well.

iOS Android
2009
2012
2014
2015
Since 2020

 

Whatsapp

Messenger has had different app logos for iOS and Android since the beginning. Nothing has changed to this day. In general, little has changed. The icons have just become flatter. The iOS app has also lost its color gradient.

iOS Android
2009
2013
2015

 

Instagram

Even before Instagram was launched on the iPhone, the app got a new logo. In the test phase it was still a complete Polaroid instant camera. Shortly afterwards, the logo was greatly simplified. In 2011 it got more shadows and details. The same look was also used when it launched on Android.

Since 2016, both apps have had the logo that we know today. At that time, the change to the significantly simplified design caused a lot of discussion. Hardly anyone remembers the time before that.

iOS Android
2010
2010
2011
2012
Since 2016

 

Twitter

Maybe one or the other will remember the first Twitter icon. In the early days of the social media platform, the app simply started with the letter “t”. The bird with the nickname “Larry the Bird” already existed. However, Twitter only introduced this as an app logo in 2010. Back then, Twitter was so well known that Larry was enough to symbolize Twitter. By the way: Larry is a bird because Twitter is the English word for “twitter”.

The logo got a new, simplified design in 2012. Larry now consists entirely of superimposed circles. Simple but effective.

iOS and Android
2007 (2009)
2010
Since 2012

 

Facebook

The Facebook app has gone through a few changes over the years. The general design with the small “f” has remained the same in principle. The app logo has been simplified over the years. In 2019 there was a new, brighter coat of paint. Interestingly, the current logo also has a slight color gradient again after the 2013 icon was a uniform navy blue.

iOS Android
2008
2009
2012
2013
Since 2019

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