You can now create a custom profile picture for Gmail on Android

Google plasters your profile picture in each of its apps, but most people will see it more often than not in Gmail or YouTube comments. However, for one reason or another, you might not want to have your real image appear in the said apps. Luckily for you, Google has come up with an innovative idea to help you out.

In what the company is calling “Google Illustrations”, Google has created a collection of customizable images that anyone can use to design the image of their choice to represent them across most Google products.

This addition is the fourth way a user can change his or her avatar for Google apps on Android, the first three being taking a brand new picture, finding an image that is already on the device or using a photo stored on Google Photos.

In a blog release, Google notes that the illustrations are plentiful with images from various cultures, interests and backgrounds so that anyone with a particular interest is certain to find an illustration that suits their need.

“We all have different tastes and preferences. Whether you are a cat person, a foodie or an avid traveller, we’ve got you covered. Try searching for a place in your home country, a hobby you share with your friends, an animal or mythical creature that you like. Our collection of illustrations is inclusive of various cultures, interests and backgrounds,” notes Google in a statement posted on its blog.

Once you settle on an illustration that you like, you can still make some changes to it. Things such as different colours, only selecting a part of the object that you like or changing what is the focus can all be customized easily to give you a result that might be completely unique and different from what you started with.

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To get started with Google Illustration, you can head over to Google Workspace or use the Contacts app, as it is easier that way on a mobile device.

Access the illustrations through the profile picture in the top right corner of the app, then browse through the collection to find what suits you. You can also search for a specific image or theme that you want.

Once created and saved, your custom avatar will then be updated across Google’s range of products instantly including contacts, Google Workspace(Gmail, Docs etc), Maps, YouTube and so on.

These illustrations add Google to the list of companies that let you make stylized representations of what you like. Snapchat already had Bitmoji, Microsoft has Xbox avatars, while also Reddit recently started allowing users to create little different avatars based on the iconic Reddit’s avatar.

At the moment, the illustrations are only available to Android users, but the tech giant has outlined plans to bring them over to other platforms iOS and Web in due course, so probably late this year or early 2022.

Google has also pledged to continuously update the illustrations, adding more content to keep the collection relevant with up to date images that will probably be in line with what is trending in that specific moment in time.

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Naftaly is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for tech, video games and pop culture. When he is not writing articles for AndroidKenya, he is probably rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the hundredth time. Email at criskariuki@gmail.com Twitter @KarisNaftaly