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Designing Tab and Menu Icons for Android

When designing Android apps or designing graphics for mobile apps, it is essential to follow certain guidelines. Using graphics designed for other operating systems, especially desktop-based, is generally not a good idea. Foreign icons will look out of place at best, or will make your Android apps appear hardly recognizable at worst.

Making Standard Tab and Menu Icons for Android Description: When developing Android apps or designing graphics for Android apps, one must follow certain guidelines. Using images made for other systems, especially desktop-based, is not a good idea. Foreign icons will look weird at best, or will render your Android apps appear hardly recognizable at worst. Body: There are strict guidelines available for designing standard-compliant Android icons. Different design guidelines are available for tab icons and menu images.

Android Icons for Navigation Tab Bars

Tab icons represent individual tabs in tabbed interface. Tab icons should be provided in two distinct states: unselected and selected. It is recommended that tab icons are designed as simple, flat shapes as opposed to icons drawn in 3D or isometric projection.

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

Menu icons are used 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 sizes for menu icons are defined in a slightly more comprehensive way as opposed to to tab icons. Instead of two resolutions described for tab icons (inner shape and boundary box), the inner shape of menu icons can be smaller or larger depending on their shape. If a menu icon is square-shaped, its size should be smaller than for icons shaped otherwise. The reason for having two different sizes is to establish a consistent visual weight across the two icon types.

The outer dimensions for ldpi, mdpi and hdpi icons are defined as 36x36, 48x48, and 72x72 pixels respectively. Inner shapes for square, low-definition icons should be 22x22 pixels, while non-square icons should fit into a boundary box sized 24x24 dots. Similarly, medium-definition 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 graphics matching these guidelines, Android developers have an option of ordering stock icons from professional designers. As an example, Android Tab Icons by Aha-Soft offer 112 unique tab images in selected and unselected states and all three standard sizes. If an additional size is needed, developers can produce graphics at any resolution 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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Database Icon Set Database Icon Set brings you lots of bright and colorful icons for database application development. The images are available in all the typical icon sizes and file formats include GIF, ICO, BMP and PNG.

Standard City Icons Create city maps that look perfect both digital and printed. Standard City Icons come in a number of sizes and resolutions and in file formats of ICO, BMP, PNG and GIF.

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

Business Icons for Vista Business Icons for Vista is a stock graphic solution, which is well suited for a number of financial websites and applications. This pack comes in all standard sizes in 256 and 32-bit color.

People Icons for Vista People Icons for Vista depict people of different occupations, social and family roles. They are crafted in Vista style and come with or without shadows. Icons are delivered in various formats and sizes.