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Ahead of Apple’s iOS 7 launch (presumably alongside the new iPhones in September), Apple seems to be asking developers to submit larger app icons. As part of iOS 7’s dramatic interface changes, the Home screen icons have been slightly enlarged compared to the iOS 6 icons.

For example, as shown in the image above, the non-iOS 7-optimized Netflix icon has a small white border compared to Apple’s icons.

In order to avoid this interface issue, developers will need to include larger icons in their applications. iOS 6 icons on the iPhone come in at 114 x 114 pixel resolutions, while iOS 7 icons are slightly larger at 120 x 120 pixel resolutions. For the iPad, iOS 6 icons are at resolutions of 144 x 144, and on iOS 7 they come in at a resolution of 152 x 152:

Screen Shot 2013-08-30 at 12.25.27 PM

Invalid Image – For iOS applications, icons included in the binary submission must be in the PNG format.

  • If your application supports the iPhone device family, you must include square icons of the following dimensions: 57×57 pixels and 120×120 pixels.
  • If your application supports the iPad device family, you must include square icons of the following dimensions: 72×72 pixels, 76×76 pixels and 152×152 pixels

Hinting at the imminent launch of iOS 7, Apple is now telling developers, who have incorrectly submitted app icons, that their icons should be at the new iOS 7 resolutions.

Apple does not explicitly mention iOS 7 in the email, but the resolutions match iOS 7’s requirements. Since the submitted app is an iOS 6 app, it appears that the new icon sizes listed in the email were provided in error. Nonetheless, the mistake seems to indicate that Apple is ramping up its preparations for iOS 7’s debut. Apple will certainly make the new icon sizes are requirement when it opens up iOS 7 app submissions.

iOS-6-vs-7

In addition, the corner radius of iOS 7 icons have changed. This is something developers will likely also want to take into consideration when designing new icons.

When iOS 7 launches next month, in addition to the new design, it will include Control Center, AirDrop file sharing functionality, new sharing options, iTunes Radio, and a redesigned Safari browser. AppleCare employees, earlier this week, started to learn about the iOS 7 changes in order to assist customers during the launch. Thanks, Sascha!

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23 Responses to “Apple inadvertently asking developers for iOS 7-optimized app icons”

  1. Inadvertently? What does that mean?

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  2. Alex Bernal says:

    the problem isn’t the icons resolution, the problem are the UGLIES ICONS from APPLE

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  3. drtyrell969 says:

    Does anyone else find it ironic that after Steve’s passing, iOS is going flat? Growth is flat. Innovation is flat. Image is flat. Etc.

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  4. thejuanald says:

    why do we need larger app icons? Is the iphone for geriatrics who can’t see anything smaller than the size of a quarter? Or for people with enormous, fat fingers? That’s why I won’t upgrade to iOS 7 (if my contract is still not up by then, and if so, hello Galaxy S4) because with a jailbroken phone I can decrease the size of these stupid icons to what they should be. I have 5 rows of 4 on each page of my phone and 5 icons in the bottom bar and there’s a ton of room left over. This enormous icon thing is ugly as hell.

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  5. To quote the Princess Bride (amazing film!)

    “I don’t think it means what you think it means”.

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  6. The white border has nothing to do with Netflix’s icon not being optimized for iOS 7, it’s part of the actual icon image, just a 1px highlight to increase contrast and give some kind of subtle 3D effect. Plenty of app icons have that, so much that most iOS icon design templates already include a layer with that effect. It just looks weird now because the corners of that border are clipped because of the now larger corner radius, so the 3D illusion is kind of ruined.

    Anyway I’m not sure why you’d assume a 6px difference on each axis would result in a 1px white gap only in one axis. Since the bitmap is scaled all you’ll actually get is a slightly blurrier image because of the resampling.

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  7. How can we use 120×120 icon for iOS 6 new submitted app? XCode 4.3 doesn’t accept this size….

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  8. Paul Daniel says:

    Don’t bother trying to find out the radius in photoshop at 3200%. It’s not a radius. This is an example of how an industrial designer has made his mark on a UI. This is a common mathematical technique used in surface modelling.

    The iOS 7 icon silhouette seems to be an example of curvature continuity. The earlier iOS icons used tangent continuity. http://www.core77.com/blog/featured_items/a_periodic_table_of_form_the_secret_language_of_surface_and_meaning_in_product_design_by_gray_holland_12752.asp

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geometric_continuity#Geometric_continuity

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  9. Could it be gearing up for a new pixel density?

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  10. Stuart Suits says:

    “The iOS 7 icon silhouette seems to be an example of curvature continuity.”

    Actually it is a good example of a royal pain in the proverbial and creates even more of a nightmare for designers looking for some sort of continuity when catering for more than just iToys. Content (and this is particularly true for say a business logo) which framed cleanly in the more moderate radii presented in the Android-style icons was already starting to look out of kilt on the iOS6- platform… now we are left to in a position where one often must have one design-set for Apple and another for every other platform… oh and now one for live tiles in Win 8.1. People thought things were fragment before MS and Apple owned 90+ of the PC market… seems a touch naive given the current trends

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