Adaptive app icons to signal whether spend is on budget

Monzo have delivered app icons that can be customised. These are great, but how about making them useful too?

Red, amber and green colours are already being used in the app to signal whether spend is on budget.

Why not then use the same colours on the app icon itself to remind the customer, while they’re on their phone’s homescreen, of the health of their account?

I’m not a designer, but my starter-for-ten would be to display one of the following icons, according to whether my spend is within budget (or alternatively, the whole “M” could change colour, as per the existing custom icons):


This would mean the customer would always get a visual cue as to how ther’re doing, as per my mock-up below.

Ideally these would refresh in real time, but if that’s not possible, they could at least refresh whenever the app is opened.

Does anyone else see any value in this?

Looks like a really cool idea!

There’d need to be some decisions made on what is meant by healthy. And I’m not sure if iOS allows adaptive app icons.

Thanks. My thinking was as follows:

Monzo have already made that decision, and use it to change the colour within the budget indicator, as per the first image I shared. I was thinking they could apply the same rules here.

I don’t think icons can be adaptive per se, but surely if the icon can be changed at will by the user, then code could be written so the app could instead change the icon based on certain rules. I’m not an iOS developer, but I’d expect that to be possible.

Unfortunately this is impossible on iOS currently.

Thank you for your feedback. Could you please explain more? I was expecting that if a user can change the icon, surely this can also be done through rules once the app is opened?

Well, I have 100s of apps on my phone. Not one of them is adaptive from conditions within the app. I’d guess that if it were possible, one of those apps would have introduced it by now.

I think it’s a great idea, but we’ll have to wait until Apple allow it before it can be implemented.

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It does seem strange to me that a user can change an icon, but that this apparently can’t be done through rules.

However, you do make a fair point!:+1:

Icon changes have to be confirmed by the user, as such they need to be triggered by the user also, e.g tapping an icon/button.

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And it’s constantly wrong as it just divides by amount of days which when you have your bills all on one day it kinda destroys that logic

I can’t see anything in the Apple documentation to say this can’t be done. It would require the user to open the app for alternateIconName method to be called (not like the clock app which is dynamic and auto updates) but I can’t find anything to suggest this needs to be manually triggered (ie with user intervention)

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@le6o and @walderston, thank you for each providing a different perspective on this. I don’t have the technical knowledge of Apple documentation to know what the correct answer is.

It feels to me like this ought to be feasible. However, as @Anarchist says, if it were possible, it feels likely that another app would already do this. Right now, only two iOS apps (as far as I know) change, and those are the Apple Clock and Calendar apps.

As mentioned, it would require some intervention by the user such as opening the app however once the app is open, I don’t see why the app itself couldn’t update the icon without the user needing to confirm the icon change.

There are actually several games that do this already for different holidays / events.

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I know it is more of an apple app than one that is developed but the clock app “updates” with the current time as does the calander app

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Thanks, @walderston, that’s great to hear.:+1:

I know the fact that customers would need to open the app wouldn’t be optimal, but I still think there could be some value in this functionality for some customers.

I feel the need to open the app would make it only minimally useful to most people. If I have to open the app I’ll check the summary page for this stuff.


@Feathers, I don’t completely disagree with you. However, I’m willing to bet the average customer who uses Monzo as their main account opens the app at least daily, so the icon would never be out of date for long.

And it would actually be more up to date than if a legacy bank were to launch such functionality, since transactions don’t always hit the customer’s account in real time.

I suggested this a few years back! But as has been said above, it can’t be done within iOS…

What they have done is made a custom app logo for things like investors and beta users.

Still a great idea though!

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It can be done on Google play definitely

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