When designing apps for all generations of Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices, software developers must use a certain set of images meeting Apple’s strict Custom Icon and Image Creation Guidelines. As a bare minimum, developers need an application icon and a launch image. However, Apple recommends that apps supply several additional images, such as an icon used by the system when showing Spotlight search results and Settings. Apps that can handle certain file types (such as documents, tunes, or video clips) will require graphics to represent their supported file formats. Most apps will also require a good deal of icons to draw their navigation bars, tab bars and toolbars.
As a general rule, Apple has stringent requirements on how to design these icons so that each app running on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod platform conforms to general specifications and visual guidelines. Specifications ensure that your app looks in line with apps offered by Apple and third-party developers.
Making Use of Retina Displays
Apple’s new super-high density Retina display packs more dots into a small area than was possible just a few years ago. These high-resolution displays allow showing the highest definition graphics to display crisp images with the feel of dimensionality and depth. As such, Retina displays will demand higher resolution graphics to be employed in navigation bars, toolbars, and tab bars. Texture-reach, detailed, and more realistic images with multiple small elements and carvings will create the most pleasing effect of three-dimensionality and depth. To display great graphics on Retina displays, developers need their icons in resolutions of up to 60×60 pixels.
Icons for Navigation Bars, Toolbars, and Tab Bars
While, generally, apps can use artwork in any supported size or resolution, there are several common sizes your icons must include in order for iOS to draw them properly in navigation bars, toolbars, and tab bars.
For iPhone and iPod touch toolbar and navigation bars, Apple requires the icon sizes of 20 x 20 pixels (standard resolution) and 40 x 40 pixels (high resolution, for Retina displays). Toolbar and navigation bars in iPad apps employ 20 x 20 pixel versions exclusively.
Tab bar icons are specified in two sizes. 30 x 30 pixel icons are employed in tab bars displayed in iPad, iPhone and iPod touch apps in standard resolution. In addition, iPhone and iPod touch apps with the Retina display will benefit from using super-sized images in sizes of 60 x 60 pixels.
Royalty-Free Icons for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Navigation Bars, Toolbars, and Tab Bars
Aha-Soft provides a collection of readily available royalty-free icons conforming to Apple’s navigation bar, toolbar and tab bar guidelines. App Tab Bar Icons for iPhone offer a simple way to produce great-looking navigation bars, toolbars, and tab bars in iPhone, iPad, and iPod apps. 120 different app icons are provided in all standard sizes of 20×20, 30×30, 40×40, and 60×60 pixels. Each image is supplied in black and white versions. Raster PNG and PSD formats and scalable vector AI, SVG, and PDF sources are provided.
Do you want to create icons yourself? Know more at iconeditor.info