Jul 302012
 

Androids vs. iPhones. The discussion continues. When the iPhone was first released, there was really no competition. The iPhone was playing in a class of its own. First Android phones were dismal: sluggish UI response, lags here and there, and the overall “assemble-it-yourself” idea just didn’t with consumers.

iphone icons
Today, the market has changed. With newest iPhone being a great device and a luxurious system, the newest Androids leave little to be desired. Today’s Androids have no UI lags, feature most of the same apps in the Google Play store, and went away with the do-it-yourself, LEGO type approach. Today, picking one system over another is more of a personal preference. Let’s try to discover what’s good about going the Apple route, and what advantages the Android way can bring.

Hardware and Model Selection

With Apple iPhone, you are always limited to just a few models. Or, rather, you can choose from just one current model in several versions that differ very little. There are a few older models you can get from the used market, but that’s about it. “You can have any color as long as it’s black”.

Android devices, on the other hand, come in many shapes, models and colors. Different manufacturers use entirely different hardware. Different displays, processors, memory. Very different quality and usability. Buying an Android phone will require you to do a research on what’s available, whereas you can’t go really wrong with any iPhone you can afford. Are you a techno geek or a gadget guy? Look for an Android phone that flies with you. Others will be served by Apple.

Display

The latest generation of iPhones has a superb Retina display. These super high pixel density displays will render your apps, icons and graphics so smooth it’s hard to believe. Kudos to Apple: they made one of the best screens ever.

Androids come with all kinds of screens. Some of the better ones can reach iPhones in pixel density, but software integration is still lagging. Many apps still have low-resolution icons and images designed to be shown on lower-resolution displays. When choosing an Android phone, you will have to watch really carefully to buy a model with a good screen. If you’re not good with numbers, icon resolutions, angles of view and technical specs, just leave the Androids alone.

Pre-Installed Software and UI

An iPhone is an iPhone. They’re all the same. A single operating system, one UI, the same set of pre-installed apps, exactly the same icons. You can customize it by moving things around and picking a few icons on your own, but there’s only so much you’re allowed to do.

Androids are available in many flavors. Different firmware and dozens of OS versions, builds and editions. Different sets of icons for same apps. Many different shells and launchers. Fully customizable: you can turn an Android phone into pretty much whatever you want (and it’s not all about custom icons) – but you must know what you’re doing. With such a broad variety, some models are simply better as in easier to use, more stable and working faster than others. If building your very own tailored system is fun for you, by all means buy the Android. If you like your phone working out of the box, get an iPhone and start using it right away.

Extensibility

iPhones don’t don’t accept memory cards. You’ll be stuck with the amount of memory you originally got. If you outgrow your iPhone, you’ll have to get another iPhone, bringing more money to Apple.

Most but not all Android phones come with a microSD slot, allowing you to add more memory when you need it. With microSD cards getting cheaper every year, you will be better off in the long run if you get an Android.

With iPhones, you can’t even replace a battery. If your battery dies in some years (they all do; lithium batteries die in 3-4 years), you’ll be mailing your iPhone to Apple for a “major repair” (more money to Apple), or be shopping for a new iPhone (even more money to Apple).

While some Android phones use similarly user irreplaceable batteries, most devices are easy: just lift the cover and throw a new battery in. A new battery will set you back a few dollars, allowing you to postpone the purchase of another phone some more years.

Conclusion

Android phones are cheaper to buy and cheaper to upgrade and maintain. They’re more extensible and customizable. iPhones are perfect right out of the box, and offer one of the best usage experience ever. Which one to pick? The choice is yours.

Source: Apple iPhone vs. Android: the Epic Battle

Jun 202011
 

Through this article the author is imagining to attract more icon lovers who are more excited to know about the various icon designs. However, the visitors are never required to move through the boring reading option. In this article 10 Mistake in Icon Design, the icons designers are offering lots of ideas that are much essential for the designers to design perfect and attractive icons that easily to access. If you are required to get more information about the icons designs, then the Turbomilkers sites are providing many ideas about it. Basically, the icon designs are the right option for the users to access any application and program in their desktop. On the other hand, the icons are the graphical representation of every program and application through which the users can directly access their desire application in quick time. So, well crafted and perfect shape icon designs are much essential for the users.

The icon must be very simple to read and elements it has, better. It is good in case, whole image is very relevant and not just a part of that. Thus, you need to pay close attention to context of making use of icons. Simpler and laconic the icon, better and it is preferable keeping number of the objects in the single icon to the minimum.


Nonetheless, the Microsoft’s designers, which was inspired by new format of the icons featured in the Windows Vista, determined to go big or drew bloated icons for justifying the bloated budget: It is simpler to criticize someone else’s work than making something very cool yourself.

However, in case, you apply the systematic approach for criticizing, then make the numbered list as well as prepare the illustrations, it is regarded as the fully fledged analysis! So. In my view, the icon design undergoes the transitional period.

Jun 102011
 

Designing Android Dialog Icons

Android developers must meet the strict guidelines when designing icons for their mobile apps. Icon Design Guidelines for Dialog Icons specify icon resolutions and provide guidelines for choosing the color palette and visual styling of images used in pop-up dialogs and interactive prompts.

The Android OS can run on a wide range of hardware platforms equipped with screens of different pixel densities. To accommodate the wide range of displays used in the various devices running the Android OS, the guidelines specify three separate icon sizes for low-, mid- and high-definition displays. These resolutions are specified as 24×24 pixels for low-resolution displays (ldpi), 32×32 pixels for medium-resolution displays (mdpi), and 48×48 pixels for high-definition screens (hdpi).

Style wise, Android dialog icons are flat, face-on images designed with the use of a light gradient and inner shadow. These visual features allow dialog icons to stand out against a dark background. No isometric or 3D style is allowed in order to maintain a uniform look across Android-compatible apps developed by different vendors.


The Design Guidelines specify exact colors for icon’s overlay. The gradient overlay is laid out at an angle of 90 degrees. The gradient starts from the bottom as 233, 233, 233 (an R,G,B color), and goes up to 249, 249, 249 (R,G,B) at 75% to the top. The space from that point up is filled with a single color of 249, 249, 249 (R,G,B).

The inner shadow is rendered black at 25% opacity (controlled via the alpha-channel) at -90 degrees. The distance from the main picture is 1px, while the size of the shadow is 0px (meaning that the shadow is the size of the main shape itself).

Creating Android-style dialog icons is a fairly easy, step-by-step process. You can create your icons in a graphic editor such as Adobe Photoshop by downloading the Icon Templates Pack for Android 2.3 from the Android Web site. However, a raster editor may not be the perfect way, as you will end up drawing each of the three icon resolutions separately.

To save time producing the three resolutions (ldpi, mdpi and hdpi), a vector tool is advised. You can draw the basic shape of the icon in your favorite vector editor such as Adobe Illustrator and export the shape into Adobe Photoshop, rendering the vector source into the required reaolution (24×24, 32×32, or 48×48 pixels). The rest is simple: add an overlay gradient in a separate layer, and specify the appropriate inner shadow in yet another layer.  Save the image as a PSD file for future editing, and export it as a PNG file with transparency enabled to add your newly created icon into your Android app.

To save time designing icons for your Android app, you may choose a ready-made collection instead. The collection of Android Dialog Icons by Aha-Soft provides 86 different icons designed in strict accordance with the Dialog Icons Design Guidelines. This royalty-free collection is supplied in the form of PNG files with alpha-channel, and offers PSD source images. In addition, scalable AI and SVG vector sources are available. You can view and purchase the set at the company’s Web site.

Jun 102011
 

Implementing Stock Images in Your Application
Choosing the right collection of stock images was not an easy task. But you’ve made the choice, and bought yourself the right set to use in your project. Now when you bought the images, how are you going to integrate them with your project? Do you know what file format should be used where, and what size, color depth or image style to embed into your project?
There are a few common questions asked by developers. Where would I use 32-bit icons with alpha-channel, and why choose them over traditional 256-color images? What development environment support translucent graphics, and what file formats should be used there? Finally, which versions of stock icons to use for the various Windows control elements? Let’s answer these questions one by one.

Ready-made icon files for designers

Picking 32-bit icons over their 256-color counterparts seems logical. 32-bit icons feature an extra layer defining a semi-transparency mask. The layer is called alpha channel. Thanks to that alpha channel, images with 32-bit color depth can integrate nicely with any background, having smooth edges and looking great even if your background has a busy color, gradient, or has an image or pattern. In addition, the alpha channel makes shadows and reflections display semi-transparent, making them look natural and overall rendering extremely pleasing.
So, 32-bit icons are just the right type to use. The real question is if you will be able to use them for your project. In reality, 32-bit icons can be used in most situations – and cannot be used in others. If you’re designing a Web site, the chances are that your target audience already has a compatible browser installed that can show 32-bit graphics with full alpha-channel support. Exceptions are far and between, and include Internet Explorer 6 and earlier versions, ancient builds of Mozilla, and a few resource-stranded mobile browsers (although most mobile platforms can still show 32-bit images).

For Web use, you should use 32-bit icons in PNG format wherever possible. If maintaining support for legacy browsers is important, you can fall back to 24-bit PNG icons, converting the original 32-bit images with an icon editing tool such as IconLover. 8-bit GIF files can be used for designing light Web sites to be used with the slowest mobile browsers. Note that GIF files don’t have a full alpha-channel support; instead, they offer a single-bit transparency mask. Again, you can render your 8-bit icons from 32-bit originals with IconLover, or use the GIF versions of icons supplied with your stock icon collection. The GIF icons provided with your set will display nicely on most types of backgrounds, but you can produce your own versions if you need a bright, colourful background and want your icons blend with it.

Windows programs can normally only use a single type of file depending on what exactly you’re going to use it for. For example, ICO files are normally used as application icons. ICO files contain the same image (or, sometimes, different images) in a number of sizes and color depths within a single file. The system will automatically pick the right size and color depth depending on the user’s display settings and the location of the icon. It’s best to assemble all standard sizes and color resolutions in a single ICO file. Our stock icons already include all standard resolutions and color versions stored in the ICO format; if you want to build your own ICO, you can use IconLover.

There are dozens of other things we’d love to tell you about using your newly purchased stock icons. You can read an extended version of this article detailing the many Windows controls and development environments such as Java, C#, .NET and Visual Studio, at http://www.aha-soft.com/faq/integrating-icons-development-environments.htm. You can always find the right icons for your projects or Web sites at www.aha-soft.com.

Jun 102011
 

Find Ready-Made Icons from Your Computer

Sib Icon Catalog indexes hundreds of royalty-free image sets and thousands of individual graphics, making it simple to find graphics and select icons you need. All images indexed by Sib Icon Catalog come directly from the source, with on-time delivery guarantee, pre-sale and after-sale customer support and no watermarks.

Royalty-free stock icons are a great way to cut down costs of graphic design. Available instantly, stock images are a perfect way to meet the deadline – no matter how close it happens to be. However, not all ready-made images are created equal.

Icon Catalog

Ready-made graphics vary in appearance, technical parameters, and flexibility of their licensing terms. Some image packages are available on per-project terms, and some require licensing fees, or royalties, paid from every sale of a product using those icons. It is in the best interest of the buyer of images to avoid licenses with royalty payments.

There are, of course, plenty of royalty-free ready-made collections on the Internet. In fact, there are so many that it is easy to get lost. Googling for stock icons will return hundreds of thousands of results. Are there that many image designers? Not really. Many stock graphics are sold through various affiliate schemes with often cumbersome licensing terms and conditions and dubious customer support.

Searching quality stock graphics with acceptable licensing terms and appropriate technical parameters such as resolution and image format support becomes complicated. Here comes Sib Icon Catalog. Developed SibCode, Sib Icon Catalog contains hundreds of royalty-free ready-made icon packages and thousands of individual icons, making it easy to search icons and pick images you need. All icons indexed by Sib Icon Catalog come straight from the source, with on-time delivery guarantee, pre-sale and after-sale customer support. Needless to say, all icons in the Sib Icon Catalog database are supplied with a very simple license allowing customers to re-use them in as many products, services, or other media as needed without paying any extras in royalties or additional license fees.

Sib Icon Catalog makes it easy to find ready-made images, select and purchase graphics with watermark-free instant previews. Thousands of full-size images are provided with Sib Icon Catalog with no watermarks. All graphics are carefully tagged, making it simple to search for the right icon. Sib Icon Catalog helps software developers and webmasters to meet the toughest deadlines with on-time delivery guarantee. One can cselect and purchase images and image packages directly from Sib Icon Catalog.

All software icons indexed by Sib Icon Catalog are technically sound, available in numerous sizes, file formats, versions, and color depths. Typically, every icon or icon collection is supplied in ICO, GIF, PNG, and BMP formats in three versions: standard, highlighted, and grayed out. Sizes of 16×16 to 256×256 pixels are available in both 256-color and 32-bit True Color resolutions. Sib Icon Catalog is free and can be downloaded at sibcode.com.

Jun 082011
 

File icons are a crucial component of nearly every application developed today, and impressing users with something fresh and new can say a lot about the application’s style and quality. Choosing professionally-designed file icons like those found in our large collection can help make any program or project take on an appealing look without sacrificing important issues of usability.

Our file icon set includes graphics for many basic functions, such as saving, opening, creating, and deleting files, and also features several icons for conveying information to users precisely and clearly. From text importation and exportation icons to various reports and lists, this set will keep you covered as you assign icons to your application’s toolbar options. The availability of three specific transparency modes for each article, including normal, highlighted, and gray scale, will help make your menu look more organized.

Each toolbar icon in this set features an easy-to-understand graphic that lets your users easily associate them with the unique functions and options of your program. The icons’ uniformly smooth edges offer a polished look that will add a great sense of style to any project. Perfect looks are matched by perfect usability in this collection, and you can count on having the right graphic every time you add a new option to your menu.

All of our file icons are available in a range of sizes. Choose from 16 by 16, 20 by 20, 24 by 24, 32 by 32, or 48 by 48 to achieve the best look possible in any visual environment. The icons’ beautiful, eye-catching colors support both 256 and 32-bit True Color, and every piece in the set can be found in regular, hot, and disabled modes. These distinct transparencies let you visually define the status of any option while keeping the same great looks. Icons also come in ICO, PNG, and BMP formats.

Your project can greatly benefit from the stylish looks and clear symbology of these professional file icons.

Jun 072011
 

Speed up development of telephone-related products and services and improve the usability and appearance of your new project with premade Phone Toolbar Icons.

Telephone communication is a hot topic in today’s world of global connectivity. The communications market is growing faster than ever. In order to be a successful player in this hot market, you have to be the first to offer a perfectly usable product or service.

A graphical user interface plays an important role in the usability of software products and services. By providing clean, easily recognizable graphics in your application, you can build a perfectly usable product. But where do you get the right graphics if you are on a tight schedule and an even tighter budget?

Hiring a designer to be part of your team may be the quickest solution, but it’s also the most expensive. Contracting a third party is less expensive, but you are not guaranteed satisfactory, timely results. Can you afford putting your project at risk because of a third party contractor?

Ordering a set of readily available icons is the best possible option for your development. With Phone Toolbar Icons you get icons that are professionally designed and are assembled as a matching set. To place a custom order for icons of similar quality you would have to spend over ten times as much! Phone Toolbar Icons only cost $79.95 for a whole set, or just $5 for a single icon.

Phone Toolbar Icons includes icons that represent typical symbols and actions that are often used in telephone application development. There are icons to represent different kinds of phones, dial and redial, disconnect, contacts, phone number and a lot more.

Phone Toolbar Library icons are available in BMP, GIF, ICO, and PNG formats, in 256 colors and 32-bit True Color (16.7 million colors with transparency). Each icon comes in several sizes including 16×16, 20×20, 24×24, 32×32, and 48×48 pixels.

Jun 062011
 

Here is a High Resolution App Tab Bar Icons collection, which will help each iPhone or iPad application developer get his graphic user interface in order. The icons from this set can be used in navigation, tab bars and toolbars, as they specifically meet the icon guidelines for iOS application design.

A wide range of images, including symbols for Camera, Zoom, E-mail, Cut, Copy, Save, Profile, Search, Help, Lock and Unlock, along with navigation arrows and lots of other general purpose graphics is included into this collection. All the images have a transparent background and are available in two colors: black and white.

Technically, there are 505 unique app icons created in matching style in a PNG format. The sizes for navigation bars of the following devices are available: 20×20 and 40×40 pixels (high resolution) for iPhone and iPod touch, 20×20 pixels for i Pad. The tab bar sizes include a 30×30 pixels icons for iPad and 30×30 and 60×60 pixels icons for iPhone and iPod touch.

All the icons from this set are available for immediate online preview. A trial download is also provided for your convenience.

After you’ve decided on the appearance of your icon, follow these guidelines as you create it:
Use pure white with appropriate alpha transparency.
Do not include a drop shadow.
Use anti-aliasing.
If you decide to add a bevel, be sure that it is 90 degrees (to help you do this, imagine a light source positioned at the top of the icon).

For toolbar and navigation bar icons, create an icon in the following sizes:
For iPhone and iPod touch:
About 20 x 20 pixels
About 40 x 40 pixels (high resolution)
For iPad:
About 20 x 20 pixels

For tab bar icons, create an icon in the following sizes:
For iPhone and iPod touch:
About 30 x 30 pixels
About 60 x 60 pixels (high resolution)
For iPad:
About 30 x 30 pixels

These icons are here: http://www.aha-soft.com/iconlibs.htm

Jun 032011
 

Version: 4.1
Language: English
License Type: Shareware

Description:
CustomIcons is an ultimate tool for customizing the icons on your desktop, in Windows Start menu, for your folders and many other locations. Using CustomIcons you can easily replace default Windows icons with the ones to your choice and customize a wide variety of desktop attributes. Are you bored with your standard run-of-the-mill desktop, which looks exactly like thousands of other desktops all over the world? CustomIcons provides an easy and elegant solution for this problem! Using this small handy tool you can easily replace standard Windows icons with the ones you like and customize desktop attributes. You can change even those icons that cannot be changed using standard Windows tools. With CustomIcons you can: 1) Replace the default icons Windows uses to display My Computer, Recycle Bin, Internet, Start menu items, drives, shortcut and share overlays, system folders and other objects. 2) Customize user folder icons. 2) Colorize icons and Start menu items. 3) Export any standard Windows icon into an individual ICO, BMP, GIF, PNG or JPEG file. 4) Remove shortcut overlays or replace them with your own images. 5) Change icons size and color resolution without changing your monitor settings (make those icons really big if you want!). 6) Rebuild and repair the icon cache (this feature lets you restore the desktop after a system crash). 7) Create stylish icons from your photos and images. 8) Customize folder and file type icons. If you like to tweak your system, CustomIcons will definitely be a great addition to your utilities collection.

Jun 032011
 

Version: 2.6
Language: English,Russian
License Type: Demo

Description:
The quality of application icons plays a vital role for application development. The more informative and eye-catching an icon is, the faster users can find it on the desktop or access the necessary function on the toolbar. The initial impression is based not only on the program’s functionality, but on its visual appeal as well. The communication value of an icon is often underestimated, but virtually any person would agree that our attention is initially drawn by the image, not the contents underlying it. Therefore, it should be a rule of thumb for any serious developer to think about the visual aspect of the application well in advance. Nevertheless, things do not happen the way we want, and deadlines are often closer then we assume. If you are approaching your deadline and are experiencing time shortages because of testing, bug fixing and rechecking, and your designer has taken a sick leave, do not give way to despair. Your client will sign the close form in time, because your interface icons are right here! The Icon Empire Hardware Icon Library is a comprehensive set of items that cover most of the possible hardware-related application’s needs. From a floppy drive to a web camera, from an audio cable connector to a bar code scanner, from a calculator to a GPS navigator – this fantastic icon set has everything you can think of! The designers of Icon Empire Hardware Icon Library have spent many an hour working on the product that was intended for the most meticulous clients. The level of detail and the exquisite look of each icon reflect the desire of the developers to provide their customers with a single option of immediately integrating the icons into the application. Your competitors will envy you, your client will be happy and you will know that the interfaces and the files of your future projects are safe with Icon Empire Icon Libraries and the team of professionals who do not simply design icons, but do it the way you want!