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Designing Standard Tab and Menu Icons for Android

When developing Android apps or drawing graphics for mobile apps, one must conform to srict guidelines. Re-using images made for other systems, especially desktop-based, is generally not a good idea. Foreign graphics will look weird at best, or will render your Android apps appear hardly recognizable at worst.

Making Tab and Menu Icons for Android Apps Description: When developing mobile apps or drawing graphics for Android apps, one must conform to certain guidelines. Using icons made for different 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. Body: There are precise guidelines published in reference to Android icons. Different design guidelines are published for tab icons and menu icons.

Android Icons for Navigation Tab Bars

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

Android OS and Android apps can run on a wide range of hardware platforms employing a wide range of hardware. In reference to icon images, those platforms can have different display sizes, screen resolutions, pixel density and dimensions. To accommodate the variety of screens, Android developers must provide all tab icons used in their apps in at least three resolutions to be shown on low, medium, and high density displays. Pixel-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 resolutions, designers can ensure that their apps will be shown properly on a variety of devices running the Android OS.

Menu icons are drawn in the "options" menu, and are shown to the user when they press the Menu button. Similar to tab icons, menu icons are specified as flat, greyscale images. Like tab icons, developers cannot use 3D or isometric projections.

Pixel resolutions for menu icons are defined in a slightly more comprehensive way compared to tab icons. Instead of just two sizes defined for tab icons (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 resolution should be smaller than for icons shaped otherwise. The reason for specifying two different size limits is to establish a consistent visual weight across the two icon types.

The outer dimensions for ldpi, mdpi and hdpi icons are described 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, 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 icons matching these guidelines, Android developers have an option of obtaining stock icons from professional designers. As an example, Android Tab Icons by Aha-Soft include 112 unique tab graphics in selected and unselected states and all three standard sizes. Should additional resolutions be required, 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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Large Weather Icons Large Weather Icons represent different weather conditions typical in software, weather Web sites, and mobile gadgets. The icons arprovided in all sizes standard to Windows, Mac OS, and other platforms. The largest versions are huge 512x512 pixel images with vector sources in Adobe Illustrator (.ai) format easily available and ready to be printed or used in presentations in highest quality.

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, BMP, ICO and PNG.

People Icons for Vista People Icons for Vista depict people of different occupations, groups and family status. They are created in Vista style and come with or without shadows. Icons are provided in various formats and sizes.

Money Icon Set Money Icon Set is a pack of wonderfully-crafted icons for use in commercial and personal software and Web projects. Icons have a stunning color palette, smooth and well-rounded edges.

Toolbar Icon Set Toolbar Icon Set is a pack of wonderfully-crafted stock icons for use in commercial and personal programs and websites. A variety of formats and sizes is provided.