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Designing Tab and Menu Icons for Android Apps

When designing Android apps or drawing graphics for Android apps, it is essential to conform to certain guidelines. Re-using graphics designed 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.

Making Tab and Menu Icons for Android Apps Description: When designing Android apps or drawing graphics for mobile apps, one must follow certain guidelines. Using images made for different systems, especially desktop-based, is generally not a good idea. Foreign images will look out of place at best, or will render your Android apps hardly recognizable at worst. Body: There exist precise guidelines published for designing standard-compliant Android icons. Different design guidelines are published for tab icons and menu graphics.

Android Icons for Navigation Toolbars

Tab icons are drawn in individual tabs in tabbed UI. Tab icons should be provided in two different states: unselected and selected. It is required that tab icons are created as simple, flat shapes as opposed to icons drawn in 3D or isometric projection.

Android OS and Android apps are used on a multitude of hardware platforms employing a wide range of hardware. In reference to icon graphics, those devices can have different screen sizes, screen resolutions, pixel dimensions and density. To accommodate the wide range of displays, Android developers must supply all tab icons used in their apps in at least three resolutions to be shown 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 supplying all three standard resolutions, designers can ensure that their apps will display properly on a variety of platforms running the Android OS.

Menu icons are used in the "options" menu, and are displayed to the user when they press the Menu button. Similar to tab icons, menu icons should be flat, grayscale images. Like tab icons, developers cannot use 3D or isometric projections.

Screen sizes for menu icons are described in a slightly more complex way compared to tab icons. Instead of two sizes described for tab icons (inner shape and boundary box), the inner shape of menu icons can be smaller or bigger depending on their shape. If a menu icon is square-shaped, its dimensions should be smaller than for icons with different shapes. The reason for specifying two different sizes 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 should be 22x22 pixels, while non-square icons should fit into a boundary box sized 24x24 pixels. Similarly, mdpi icons should fit 30x30 and 32x32 pixel boxes, while high-definition images should fit into 44x44 and 48x48 pixel rectangles respectively.

Instead of drawing your own graphics conforming to these guidelines, Android developers have an option of getting stock images from professional designers. For example, Android Tab Icons by Aha-Soft include 112 unique tab graphics in selected and unselected states and all three standard resolutions. If an additional size is needed, developers can render images at any size by accessing 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 a variety of bright and colorful icons for database application development. The images are provided in all the typical icon sizes and file formats include ICO, GIF, BMP and PNG.

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

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Large Weather Icons Large Weather Icons represent a number of weather conditions typical in software, weather Web sites, and mobile gadgets. The icons are available in all resolutions standard to Windows, Mac OS, and other systems. The biggest versions are huge 512x512 pixel icons with vector sources in Adobe Illustrator (.ai) format easily available and ready to be printed or used in presentations in highest quality.

Financial Icon Library for Vista Vista Financial Icon Library is a collection of money and shopping related icons in Windows Vista style. The collection is provided as BMP, GIF, ICO and PNG file formats.