Icons for iPhone, iPad, and iPod: What Image Sizes Do I Need?

When developing apps for all generations of Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices, application developers are required to use a specific set of images meeting Apple’s stringent Custom Icon and Image Creation Guidelines. As a bare minimum, one needs an application icon and a launch image. However, Apple recommends that apps provide quite a few extra images, such as an icon to be used by iOS when showing Spotlight search results and Settings. Apps that can handle certain file types (such as documents, tunes, or video formats) will require graphics to represent their supported file types. Most apps will also require a fair share of images to draw their navigation bars, tab bars and toolbars.

Icons for iPad Navigation Tab Bars

As a rule of thumb, 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 general specifications and visual guidelines. Specifications ensure that your app looks in line with products offered by Apple and other developers.

Designing Icons for the Retina Display

Apple’s innovative super-high density Retina display packs more dots into a small area than was imaginable just a few years ago. These high-resolution displays allow displaying the highest definition graphics to create crisp images with the feel of dimensionality and depth. As such, Retina displays will naturally require higher resolution icons to be used in navigation bars, toolbars, and tab bars. Texture-reach, detailed, and more realistic images with multiple small elements and carvings will produce the most pleasing effect of three-dimensionality and depth. To display good graphics on Retina displays, developers need their icons in resolutions of 60×60 pixels.

Icons for Navigation Bars, Toolbars, and Tab Bars

While, in general, apps can use graphics in any supported size or resolution, there are a few common sizes your icons must include 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 requires the icon resolutions of 20 x 20 pixels (standard resolution) and 40 x 40 pixels (high resolution, for Retina displays). Toolbar and navigation bars in iPad apps use 20 x 20 pixel versions solely.

Tab bar icons are specified in two resolutions. 30 x 30 pixel versions 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 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 guidelines for toolbars, navigation bars and tab bars. App Tab Bar Icons for iPhone offer a simple 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 design icon images yourself? Read more at iconeditor.info

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