Standard Graphics for iPhone, iPad, and iPod: The Different Sizes

When making apps for current generations of Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices, software developers are required to use a specific set of icons 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 provide several extra images, such as an icon used by iOS when displaying Spotlight search results and Settings. Apps that can open certain file types (such as documents, audio, or video clips) will require icons to represent their supported file formats. Most apps will also need a good deal of graphics to draw their navigation bars, tab bars and toolbars.

Icons for iPhone Navigation Toolbars

As a general rule, Apple imposes very strict requirements on how to draw 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 products offered by Apple and third-party developers.

Making Use of Retina Displays

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 showing the highest definition graphics to display crisp images with stunning dimension 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 small elements and engravings will produce the most pleasing effect of three-dimensionality and depth. To look 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 artwork in any supported size or resolution, there are several 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 requires the image 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 shall come in two resolutions. 30 x 30 pixel versions 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 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 ready-made royalty-free icons conforming to Apple’s navigation bar, toolbar and tab bar guidelines. App Tab Bar Icons for iPhone provide a simple way to produce 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 image is supplied in black and white versions. Raster PNG and PSD files and scalable vector AI, SVG, and PDF sources are included.

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