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

When developing apps for all generations of Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices, application developers must use a specific set of icons 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 supply quite a few additional images, such as an icon to be used by the system when displaying Spotlight search results and Settings. Apps that can open certain file types (such as documents, music, or video clips) will need images to represent their supported file formats. Most apps will also require a fair share of images to draw their navigation bars, tab bars and toolbars.

Icons for iPad Navigation Toolbars

As a general rule, Apple has stringent requirements on how to implement these icons so that every 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 apps offered by Apple and other developers.

Designing Icons for the Retina Display

Apple’s new super-high density Retina display packs more dots into a small area than was imaginable just a few years ago. These high-definition displays allow showing the highest definition graphics to display crisp images with stunning dimension and depth. As such, Retina displays will naturally require higher resolution icons to be employed in navigation bars, toolbars, and tab bars. Texture-reach, highly detailed, and more realistic images with small elements and carvings 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 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 several common sizes your icons must conform to in order for iOS to display 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 resolution, for Retina displays). Toolbar and navigation bars in iPad apps use 20 x 20 pixel versions exclusively.

Tab bar icons are specified in two resolutions. 30 x 30 pixel icons are used 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 great-looking navigation bars, toolbars, and tab bars in iPhone, iPad, and iPod apps. 120 unique app icons are included in all standard sizes of 20×20, 30×30, 40×40, and 60×60 pixels. Each icon 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 create icons yourself? Know more at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *