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Adaptive icons were introduced with Android Oreo. They consist of a foreground layer and a background layer and make interesting animations and effects possible. If your app has target SDK 26 (Oreo) or higher and you don’t provide an adaptive launcher icon, newer app launchers will downscale your default icon and place it on a white background, which doesn’t look very nice.
In this video we will learn how to change the app icon in Android Studio with the Adaptive Icon Wizard, which also creates a legacy icon (needed for SDK 25 and lower).

Adaptive Icon Playground app: