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Designing Tab and Menu Icons for Android Apps

When developing Android apps or designing graphics for Android apps, one must conform to certain guidelines. Re-using graphics made 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 hardly recognizable at worst.

Making Tab and Menu Icons for Android Apps Description: When developing Android apps or designing graphics for Android apps, one must conform to srict guidelines. Re-using icons designed for different systems, especially desktop-based, is generally not a good idea. Foreign graphics will look weird at best, or will make your Android apps appear hardly recognizable at worst. Body: There exist precise guidelines published in reference to Android icons. Different design guidelines are available for tab icons and menu icons.

Android Icons for Navigation Bars

Tab icons are drawn in 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 images shown in 3D or isometric projection.

Android OS and Android apps can run on a variety of different platforms employing a wide range of hardware. In connection to icon graphics, those devices can have different screen sizes, display resolutions, pixel dimensions and density. To accommodate the variety of screens, Android developers must provide 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, designers 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 displayed to users 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 sizes for menu icons are described in a slightly more comprehensive way as opposed to to tab icons. Instead of two sizes defined for tab graphics (inner shape and boundary box), the inner shape of menu icons can be smaller or bigger depending on whether they are square-shaped or not. If a menu icon is square-shaped, its size should be smaller than for icons with different shapes. The reason for having two different size limits is to establish a consistent visual weight across the two icon types.

The outer dimensions for low, medium, and high resolution icons are described 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 dots. Similarly, medium-definition icons should fit 30x30 and 32x32 pixel boundaries, while high-definition images should fit into 44x44 and 48x48 pixel boxes respectively.

Instead of drawing your own images conforming to these guidelines, Android developers have an option of getting ready-made graphics from professional designers. For example, Android Tab Icons by Aha-Soft offer 112 unique tab icons in both states and all standard sizes. 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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Perfect Database Icons Perfect Database Icons is a set of wonderful hand-made graphics for use in different database products, including software applications, Web pages and presentations.

Free Business Desktop Icons Free Business Desktop Icons is a collection of 10 stock icons to be used in commercial and personal products, including software applications, websites, blogs, and presentations. The graphics are free for personal, frequent and commercial use.

Design Icon Set Design Icon Set is a collection of wonderfully-crafted stock icons for use in commercial and private projects, including graphic editors and viewers. The images have bright colors and smooth edges.

Large Money Icons Large Money Icons is a collection of hand-made icons for use in any spftware or Web projects, such as software applications, websites, blogs and presentations. The icons present a bright color palette, and smooth edges.