When developing apps for all generations of Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices, software developers are required to use a specific set of images meeting Apple’s strict Custom Icon and Image Creation Guidelines. As a bare minimum, one needs an application icon and a launch image. However, Apple recommends that apps supply several extra images, such as an icon used by the system when displaying 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 need a good deal of icons to draw their navigation bars, tab bars and toolbars.
As a general rule, Apple imposes very strict requirements on how to design these icons so that each app running on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod platform conforms to common specifications and visual guidelines. Specifications ensure that your app looks in line with what’s offered by Apple and third-party developers.
The Retina Display: Making Icons That Look Great
Apple’s innovative super-high density Retina display packs more pixels into a small area than was possible just a few years ago. These high-resolution displays allow displaying the highest definition graphics to display crisp images with stunning dimension and depth. As such, Retina displays will demand higher resolution graphics to be used in navigation bars, toolbars, and tab bars. Texture-reach, highly detailed, and more realistic images with small elements and engravings will create the most pleasing effect of three-dimensionality and depth. To look good 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 reasonable size or resolution, there are a few common sizes your icons must conform to in order for the system to draw them properly in navigation bars, toolbars, and tab bars.
For iPhone and iPod touch toolbar and navigation bars, Apple specifies 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 will display 20 x 20 pixel versions solely.
Tab bar icons shall come in two sizes. 30 x 30 pixel icons are used 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 having super-sized images in resolution of 60 x 60 pixels.
Stock 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 guidelines for toolbars, navigation bars and tab bars. App Tab Bar Icons for iPhone provide an easy way to create stunning navigation bars, toolbars, and tab bars in iPhone, iPad, and iPod apps. 120 different app icons are included in all standard sizes of 20×20, 30×30, 40×40, and 60×60 pixels. Each image is provided in black and white versions. Raster PNG and PSD files and scalable vector AI, SVG, and PDF sources are provided.
Do you want to make icon pictures yourself? Read more at iconeditor.info