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Designing Tab and Menu Icons for Android Apps

When developing mobile apps or drawing graphics for mobile apps, one must follow certain guidelines. Using icons designed for other operating systems, especially desktop-based, is generally not a good idea. Foreign images will look weird at best, or will make your Android apps appear hardly recognizable at worst.

Making Standard Tab and Menu Icons for Android Description: When designing Android apps or designing graphics for Android apps, it is essential to follow certain guidelines. Re-using icons made for different systems, especially desktop-based, is not a good idea. Foreign images will look out of place at best, or will make your Android apps appear hardly recognizable at worst. Body: There exist strict guidelines available for designing standard-compliant Android icons. Different design guidelines are published for tab icons and menu graphics.

Android Icons for Navigation Bars

Tab icons are drawn in individual tabs in tabbed UI. Tab icons must be supplied in two distinct states: unselected and selected. It is recommended that tab icons are drawn as simple, flat shapes as opposed to icons shown in 3D or isometric projection.

Android OS and Android apps are used on a wide range of different platforms using a wide range of hardware. In reference to icon images, those devices can have different display sizes, display resolutions, pixel density and dimensions. To accommodate the wide range of displays, Android developers should provide all tab icons used in their apps in at least three resolutions to be displayed on low, medium, and high density screens. Resolution-wise, the outer boundaries for the three resolutions are defined as 24x24, 32x32, and 48x48 pixels. The size of the shape itself should not exceed 22x22, 28x28, and 42x42 pixels respectively. By providing all three standard sizes, developers can ensure that their apps will be shown properly on a wide range of devices running the Android OS.

Menu icons are displayed in the "options" menu, and are shown to users when they press the Menu button. Similar to tab icons, menu icons are specified as flat, grayscale images. Just as tab icons, developers should not use 3D or isometric projections.

Screen resolutions for menu icons are defined in a slightly more comprehensive way compared to tab icons. Instead of just two resolutions defined for tab graphics (inner shape and boundary box), the inner shape of menu icons can be smaller or larger depending on whether they are square-shaped or not. If a menu icon is square-shaped, its dimensions should be smaller than for icons with different shapes. The reason for having two different size limits is to establish a consistent visual size across the two icon types.

The outer dimensions for low, medium, and high resolution icons are defined as 36x36, 48x48, and 72x72 pixels respectively. Inner shapes for square, low-definition icons is 22x22 pixels, while non-square icons should fit into a boundary box sized 24x24 pixels. Similarly, mdpi icons should fit 30x30 and 32x32 pixel boundaries, while high-definition images should fit into 44x44 and 48x48 pixel boundaries respectively.

Instead of designing your own images conforming to these guidelines, Android developers have an option of ordering stock images from professional designers. For example, Android Tab Icons by Aha-Soft include 112 unique tab graphics in both states and all three standard resolutions. Should additional resolutions be required, developers can produce graphics at any size by opening scalable vector sources. Android Tab Icons can be previewed and downloaded at http://www.aha-soft.com/stock-icons/android-tab-icons.htm.

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Large Weather Icons Large Weather Icons depict different weather conditions typical in software, weather portals, and mobile gadgets. The images are available in typical resolutions standard to Windows, Mac OS, and mobile devices. The biggest versions are huge 512x512 pixel icons with vector sources in Adobe Illustrator (.ai) format easily affordable and ready to be printed or used in presentations in highest quality.

Free Business Desktop Icons Free Business Desktop Icons is a pack of 10 stock icons to be used in commercial and personal projects, such as software, websites, blogs, and presentations. The images are free for personal, frequent and commercial use.

People Icons for Vista People Icons for Vista depict people of various occupations, social and family roles. They are created in Vista style and are available with or without shadows. Icons are provided in various formats and sizes.

Standard City Icons Create city maps that look perfect on screen and on paper. Standard City Icons are provide in a variety of sizes and resolutions and in file formats of GIF, BMP, PNG and ICO.

Classic Hardware Icon Set Hardware Icon Set is a pack of hardware icons, available in ICO, PNG, BMP and GIF formats and 16x16, 24x24 and 32x32 sizes. The collection contains both 32-bit and 256-color icons.