Software developers can include common icons into their apps, websites, and web apps in a variety of ways. Google’s Material Icons collection has been a popular option for years, especially for anything made to appear like Material Design, and now Google has refreshed the collection.
Over 2,500 icons are included in the new Material Symbols library. UI actions, common actions, social, business and payments, photographs and images, text formatting, communication, audio and video, transportation, activities, hardware, Android, privacy and security, maps, travel, brand, household, and home are among the buttons and icons included in the collection.
Each icon can be customised with a different color/background fill, different line weights (thickness), different grades, and any pixel size. There were some customization choices in the previous Material Icons, but most of them could only be turned on or off. On the earlier Material Icons library, for example, you couldn’t adjust the weight of each icon to arbitrary values.
The new icons are primarily intended for usage on the web, as well as in Android and iOS apps, although Google also provides PNG and SVG versions for use in other applications. The icons are being distributed by Google under the Apache License 2.0, which allows anybody to change and distribute them in both free and commercial enterprises.
In addition to the new Material Symbols collection, there are several additional free icon libraries to pick from. Bootstrap Icons has a similar design style and includes over 1,600 icons, including brand logos from Twitter and Facebook Messenger, unlike Google’s collection. Font Awesome is another popular option, with the Google Font API predicted to be the most-used web font script in 2020, but that service restricts some functionality to paying clients (like additional styles and WordPress plugins).