When releasing 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 provide quite a few additional images, such as an icon used by the system when displaying Spotlight search results and Settings. Apps that can open certain file types (such as documents, tunes, or video clips) will require images 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 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 what’s offered by Apple and third-party developers.
Making Use of Retina Displays
Apple’s innovative pixel-packed Retina display packs more pixels into a small area than was imaginable just a few years ago. These high-definition displays allow showing the highest definition graphics to create crisp images with the feel of dimensionality 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 multiple small elements and engravings will produce 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, in general, apps can use graphics in any reasonable size or resolution, there are a few common sizes your icons must conform to 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 definition, for Retina displays). Toolbar and navigation bars in iPad apps employ 20 x 20 pixel versions solely.
Tab bar icons shall come in two resolutions. 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 employing the Retina display will benefit from using super-sized images in resolution of 60 x 60 pixels.
Royalty-Free Icons for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Navigation Bars, Toolbars, and Tab Bars
Aha-Soft offers 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 a simple way to create stunning navigation bars, toolbars, and tab bars in iPhone, iPad, and iPod apps. 120 unique app icons are provided in all standard sizes of 20×20, 30×30, 40×40, and 60×60 pixels. Each icon comes 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 icons yourself? Read more at iconeditor.info