When designing apps for current generations of Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices, software developers are required to 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 quite a few extra images, such as an icon used by iOS when displaying Spotlight search results and Settings. Apps that can handle certain file types (such as documents, tunes, or video formats) will require icons to represent their supported file types. Most apps will also require a good deal of graphics to draw their navigation bars, tab bars and toolbars.
As a general rule, Apple imposes stringent requirements on how to draw these icons so that every 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 products offered by Apple and other developers.
The Retina Display: Making Icons That Look Great
Apple’s innovative pixel-packed Retina display packs more pixels into a small area than was possible 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 naturally require 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 carvings will produce 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 supported size or resolution, there are a few common sizes your icons must include in order for the system to display them properly in navigation bars, toolbars, and tab bars.
For iPhone and iPod touch toolbar and navigation bars, Apple requires the icon resolutions of 20 x 20 pixels (standard resolution) and 40 x 40 pixels (high definition, 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 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 with the Retina display will benefit from using super-sized images in sizes of 60 x 60 pixels.
Stock Icons for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Navigation Bars, Toolbars, and Tab Bars
Aha-Soft offers a collection of ready-made 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 design great-looking navigation bars, toolbars, and tab bars in iPhone, iPad, and iPod apps. 120 unique application icons are included in all standard sizes of 20×20, 30×30, 40×40, and 60×60 pixels. Each image 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 create icons yourself? Read more at iconeditor.info