- Get to know the Mac desktop. At the top of the screen is the menu bar and at the bottom is the Dock.In between is what’s called the desktop.The desktop is where you do most of your work. You can change the look of your desktop by customizing the desktop picture and by choosing a light or dark appearance for the menu bar, desktop picture, Dock, and built-in apps.
- Get free icons of Mac app in iOS, Material, Windows and other design styles for web, mobile, and graphic design projects. The free images are pixel perfect to fit your design and available in both png and vector. Download icons in all formats or edit them for your designs.
Sep 16, 2020 Select Applications from the sidebar. Locate the application you wish to change the icon for. Click on the app to highlight it. Press Command + I to reveal the Information Panel. Drag the ICNS file from the icon folder to the small icon in the top right-hand corner of the Information Panel.
Every app needs a beautiful and memorable icon that attracts attention in the App Store and stands out on the Home screen. Your icon is the first opportunity to communicate, at a glance, your app’s purpose. It also appears throughout the system, such as in Settings and search results.
Embrace simplicity. Find a single element that captures the essence of your app and express that element in a simple, unique shape. Add details cautiously. If an icon’s content or shape is overly complex, the details can be hard to discern, especially at smaller sizes.
Provide a single focus point. Design an icon with a single, centered point that immediately captures attention and clearly identifies your app.
Design a recognizable icon. People shouldn’t have to analyze the icon to figure out what it represents. For example, the Mail app icon uses an envelope, which is universally associated with mail. Take time to design a beautiful and engaging abstract icon that artistically represents your app’s purpose.
Keep the background simple and avoid transparency. Make sure your icon is opaque, and don’t clutter the background. Give it a simple background so it doesn’t overpower other app icons nearby. You don’t need to fill the entire icon with content.
Use words only when they’re essential or part of a logo. An app’s name appears below its icon on the Home screen. Don’t include nonessential words that repeat the name or tell people what to do with your app, like 'Watch' or 'Play.' If your design includes any text, emphasize words that relate to the actual content your app offers.
Don’t include photos, screenshots, or interface elements. Photographic details can be very hard to see at small sizes. Screenshots are too complex for an app icon and don’t generally help communicate your app’s purpose. Interface elements in an icon are misleading and confusing.
Don’t use replicas of Apple hardware products. Apple products are copyrighted and can’t be reproduced in your icons or images. In general, avoid displaying replicas of devices, because hardware designs tend to change frequently and can make your icon look dated.
Don’t place your app icon throughout the interface. It can be confusing to see an icon used for different purposes throughout an app. Instead, consider incorporating your icon’s color scheme. See Color.
Test your icon against different wallpapers. You can’t predict which wallpaper people will choose for their Home screen, so don’t just test your app against a light or dark color. See how it looks over different photos. Try it on an actual device with a dynamic background that changes perspective as the device moves.
Keep icon corners square. The system applies a mask that rounds icon corners automatically.
App Icon Attributes
All app icons should adhere to the following specifications.
|Color space||Display P3 (wide-gamut color), sRGB (color), or Gray Gamma 2.2 (grayscale). See Color Management.|
|Layers||Flattened with no transparency|
|Resolution||Varies. See Image Size and Resolution.|
|Shape||Square with no rounded corners|
App Icon Sizes
Every app must supply small icons for use on the Home screen and throughout the system once your app is installed, as well as a larger icon for display in the App Store.
|Device or context||Icon size|
|iPhone||180px × 180px (60pt × 60pt @3x)|
|120px × 120px (60pt × 60pt @2x)|
|iPad Pro||167px × 167px (83.5pt × 83.5pt @2x)|
|iPad, iPad mini||152px × 152px (76pt × 76pt @2x)|
|App Store||1024px × 1024px (1024pt × 1024pt @1x)|
Provide different sized icons for different devices. Make sure that your app icon looks great on all the devices you support.
Mimic your small icon with your App Store icon. Although the App Store icon is used differently than the small one, it’s still your app icon. It should generally match the smaller version in appearance, although it can be subtly richer and more detailed since there are no visual effects applied to it.
Spotlight, Settings, and Notification Icons
Every app should also provide a small icon that iOS can display when the app name matches a term in a Spotlight search. Additionally, apps with settings should provide a small icon to display in the built-in Settings app, and apps that support notifications should provide a small icon to display in notifications. All icons should clearly identify your app—ideally, they should match your app icon. If you don’t provide these icons, iOS might shrink your main app icon for display in these locations.
|Device||Spotlight icon size|
|iPhone||120px × 120px (40pt × 40pt @3x)|
|80px × 80px (40pt × 40pt @2x)|
|iPad Pro, iPad, iPad mini||80px × 80px (40pt × 40pt @2x)|
|Device||Settings icon size|
|iPhone||87px × 87px (29pt × 29pt @3x)|
|58px × 58px (29pt × 29pt @2x)|
|iPad Pro, iPad, iPad mini||58px × 58px (29pt × 29pt @2x)|
|Device||Notification icon size|
|iPhone||60px × 60px (20pt × 20pt @3x)|
|40px × 40px (20pt × 20pt @2x)|
|iPad Pro, iPad, iPad mini||40px × 40px (20pt × 20pt @2x)|
Don’t add an overlay or border to your Settings icon. iOS automatically adds a 1-pixel stroke to all icons so that they look good on the white background of Settings.
TIP If your app creates custom documents, you don't need to design document icons because iOS uses your app icon to create document icons automatically.
User-Selectable App Icons
For some apps, customization is a feature that evokes a personal connection and enhances the user experience. If it provides value in your app, you can let people select an alternate app icon from a set of predefined icons that are embedded within your app. For example, a sports app might offer icons for different teams or an app with light and dark modes might offer corresponding light and dark icons. Note that your app icon can only be changed at the user’s request and the system always provides the user with confirmation of such a change.
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Provide visually consistent alternate icons in all necessary sizes. Like your primary app icon, each alternate app icon is delivered as a collection of related images that vary in size. When the user chooses an alternate icon, the appropriate sizes of that icon replace your primary app icon on the Home screen, in Spotlight, and elsewhere in the system. To ensure that alternate icons appear consistently throughout the system—the user shouldn't see one version of your icon on the Home screen and a completely different version in Settings, for example—provide them in the same sizes you provide for your primary app icon (with the exception of the App Store icon). See App Icon Sizes.
For developer guidance, see the setAlternateIconName method of UIApplication.
NOTE Alternate app icons are subject to app review and must adhere to the App Store Review Guidelines.
Beautiful app icons are an important part of the user experience on all Apple platforms. A unique, memorable icon evokes your app and can help people recognize it at a glance on the desktop, in Finder, and in the Dock. Polished, expressive icons can also hint at an app’s personality and even its overall level of quality.
In macOS 11, app icons share a common set of visual attributes, including the rounded-rectangle shape, front-facing perspective, level position, and uniform drop shadow. Rooted in the macOS 11 design language, these attributes showcase the lifelike rendering style people expect in macOS while presenting a harmonious user experience. To download templates that specify the correct shape and drop shadow, see Apple Design Resources.
IMPORTANT When you update your app for macOS 11, use your new app icon design to replace the icon you designed for earlier versions. You can’t include two different app icons for one app, and the macOS 11 app icon style looks fine on a Mac running Catalina or earlier.
Design a beautiful icon that clearly represents your app. Combine an engaging design with an artistic interpretation of your app’s purpose that people can instantly understand.
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Embrace simplicity. Find a concept or element that captures the essence of your app and express it in a simple, unique way, adding details only when doing so enhances meaning. Too many details can be hard to discern and can make the icon appear muddy, especially at smaller sizes.
Establish a single focus point. A single, centered point of interest captures the user’s attention and helps them recognize your app at a glance. Presenting multiple focus points can obscure the icon’s message.
To give people a familiar and consistent experience, prefer a design that works well across multiple platforms. If your app runs on other platforms, use a similar image for all app icons while rendering them in the style that’s appropriate for each platform. For example, in iOS and watchOS, the Mail app icon depicts the white envelope in a streamlined, graphical style; in macOS 11, the envelope includes depth and detail that communicate a realistic weight and texture.
Consider depicting a familiar tool to communicate what people use your app to do. To give context to your app’s purpose, you can use the icon background to portray the tool’s environment or the items it affects. For example, the TextEdit icon pairs a mechanical pencil with a sheet of lined paper to suggest a utilitarian writing experience. After you create a detailed, realistic image of a tool, it often works well to let it float just above the background and extend slightly past the icon boundaries. If you do this, make sure the tool remains visually unified with the background and doesn’t overwhelm the rounded-rectangle shape.
Make real objects look real. If you depict real objects in your app icon, make them look like they’re made of physical materials and have actual mass. Replicate the characteristics of substances like fabric, glass, paper, and metal to convey an object’s weight and feel. For example, the Xcode app icon features a hammer that looks like it has a steel head and polymer grip.
If text is essential for communicating your app’s purpose, consider creating a graphic abstraction of it. Actual text in an icon can be difficult to read and doesn’t support accessibility or localization. To give the impression of text without implying that people should zoom in to read it, you can create a graphic texture that suggests it.
To depict photos or parts of your app’s UI, create idealized images that emphasize the features you want people to notice. Photos are often full of details that obscure the main content when viewed at small sizes. If you want to use a photo in your icon, pick one with strongly contrasting values that make the main subject stand out. Remove unimportant details that make primary lines and shapes fuzzy or indistinct. If your app has a UI that people recognize, avoid simply replicating standard UI elements or using a screenshot in your icon. Instead, consider designing a graphic that echoes the UI and expresses the personality of your app.
Don’t use replicas of Apple hardware products. Apple products are copyrighted and can’t be reproduced in your icons or images. Avoid displaying replicas of devices, because hardware designs tend to change frequently and can make your icon look dated.
Use the drop shadow in the icon-design template. The template includes the system-defined drop shadow that helps your app icon coordinate with other macOS 11 icons.
Consider using interior shadows and highlights to add definition and realism. For example, the Mail app icon uses both shadows and highlights to give the envelope authenticity and to suggest that the flap is slightly open. In icons that include a tool that floats above a background — such as TextEdit or Xcode — interior shadows can strengthen the perception of depth and make the tool look real. Shadows and highlights should suggest a light source that faces the icon, positioned just above center and tilted slightly downward.
Avoid defining contours that suggest a shape other than a rounded rectangle. In rare cases, you might want to fine-tune the basic app icon shape, but doing so risks creating an icon that looks like it doesn’t belong in macOS 11. If you must alter the shape, prefer subtle adjustments that continue to express a rounded rectangle silhouette.
Consider adding a slight glow just inside the edges of your icon. If your app icon includes a dark reflective surface, like glass or metal, add an inner glow to make the icon stand out and prevent it from appearing to dissolve into dark backgrounds.
Keep primary content within the icon grid bounding box; keep all content within the outer bounding box. If an icon’s primary content extends beyond the icon grid bounding box, it tends to look out of place. If you overlay a tool on your icon, it works well to align the tool’s top edge with the outer bounding box and its bottom edge with the inner bounding box, as shown below.
In addition to the bounding boxes and suggested tool placement, the icon design template provides a grid to help you position items within an icon. You can also use the icon grid to ensure that centered inner elements like circles use a size that’s consistent with other icons in the system.
App Icon Attributes
All app icons should use the following specifications.
|Color space||Display P3 (wide-gamut color), sRGB (color), or Gray Gamma 2.2 (grayscale)|
|Layers||Flattened with transparency as appropriate|
|Resolution||@1x and @2x (see Image Size and Resolution)|
|Shape||Square with no rounded corners|
Don’t provide app icons in ICNS or JPEG format. The ICNS format doesn’t support features like wide color gamut or deliver the performance and efficiency you get when you use asset catalogs. JPEG doesn’t support transparency through alpha channels, and its compression can blur or distort an icon’s images. For best results, add deinterlaced PNG files to the app icon fields of your Xcode project’s asset catalog.
App Icon Sizes
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Your app icon is displayed in many places, including in Finder, the Dock, Launchpad, and the App Store. To ensure that your app icon looks great everywhere people see it, provide it in the following sizes:
- 512x512 pt (512x512 px @1x, 1024x1024 px @2x)
- 256x256 pt (256x256 px @1x, 512x512 px @2x)
- 128x128 pt (128x128 px @1x, 256x256 px @2x)
- 32x32 pt (32x32 px @1x, 64x64 px @2x)
- 16x16 pt (16x16 px @1x, 32x32 px @2x)
Maintain visual consistency in all icon sizes. As icon size decreases, fine details become muddy and hard to distinguish. At the smallest sizes, it’s important to remove unnecessary features and exaggerate primary features to help the content remain clear. As you simplify icons that are visually smaller, don’t let them appear drastically different from their larger counterparts. Strive to make subtle variations that ensure the icon remains visually consistent when displayed in different environments. For example, if people drag your icon between displays with different resolutions, the icon’s appearance shouldn’t suddenly change.
The 512x512 pt Safari app icon (on the left) uses a circle of tick marks to indicate degrees; the 16x16 pt version of the icon (on the right) doesn’t include this detail.