App Store Optimization and Localization: App Icon (iOS&Android)

Being noticed on app stores is a hard thing to do. You have to do constant tweaks and adopt to the market while playing in the rules of app stores. App Store Optimization and Localization is the most important thing to “be” in app store next to being an awesome app. And there are couple things that you must consider to be noticed to browsing users. What your app does and how to stand in market with your title and keywords are two things but there is another thing to get you more views: App Icon

Before that, if you want to know more about App Store Optimization and Localization, you can also read the blog posts below:

App Store Optimization and Localization: App Name (iOS&Android)

App Store Optimization and Localization: Keywords (iOS&Android)

App Store Optimization and Localization: App Description (iOS&Android)

On this day, there are more than 4 million apps on both Google Play and Apple AppStore. And there are atleast 2 billion users to promote your app. When users browse or search the app stores, first visual impression of your app is your app icon assuming you did everything right with ASO.

App icon is exactly a logo about your business and obviously your app. And you are going to use your app icon everywhere!

Having a great app icon doesn’t necessarily means that you will get more downloads only because of it. But it will surely help users to get an impression about what your app does and how professional is. And your app icon leads users to your description, to your screenshots and eventually to download button.

There are few tricks and tips to create an awesome app icon that impress users to visit your app page.

I’ve been talking about app stores separately but for this case, there are lot of similarities designing an app icon for both Google Play and AppStore. So the tips below are valid for both market.

Designing App Icon for AppStore and Google Play

First of all, whether you are a well-known brand or not you should avoid using words on your app icon (if you can). You aldready have app name place for it and it’s too hard for anyone to read a word on a small icon field. Simple but giving a gist of what your app does, app icon design is really important. Also make sure that your app icon stands out in crowd! Remember there are more than 4 million apps on market. You can design a well detailed app icon if you want to make it look even cooler but the first impression of your app icon should be about what your app does. Focus a single focus point to capture the attention of a browsing or searching user. Your app icon should be descriptive, simple and unique. And with combining your app name, your app icon should reveal your app’s purpose.

Here’s the thing, when you are done with your design, you must test it with lot of wallpapers and background colors. And you must make sure that your app icon still pop out.

Quick Google search would help: default phone wallpapers
App store backgrounds on platforms your app supports
ROYGBIV and B&W spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, black, white and gray)

Overall App Icon Design to-do list

  • Remember your app icon is your app’s first impression
  • Use one focus point to capture attention
  • Using high-res images and optimizing them for each device is important
  • Your app icon should be simple and unique, so users remembers
  • Don’t use text if you can, nobody wants to read a text that small
  • Test your app icon with different background colors and wallpapers
  • When you combine your app icon with your name, is it shows what your app does or its purpose?

App Icon design differences between AppStore and Google Play

Now there are couple iPhone and iPad models with different screen resolutions. And there are more than hundred different Android Mobile Phones. For the first step, make sure that your app icon looks really good on a perfect square 1024×1024 resolution. This one is also App Store large icon scale. On Google Play, icon size is: 512x512px.

AppStore App Icon Design Requirements:

iPhone 6 Plus / 6s Plus: 180 x 180px
iPhone 6 / 6s / SE: 120 x 120 px
iPad Pro: 167 x 167px
iPad, iPad mini: 152 x 152px
App Store large icon: 1024 x 1024px

Provide different sized small icons for different devices. Make sure that your app icon looks great on all the devices you support.

Mimic your small app icon with your large app icon. Although the large 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.

And also there are Spotlight and Settings Icons Requirements(not AppStore related):

iPhone 6 Plus / 6s Plus: 120 x 120px
iPhone 6 / 6s / SE: 80 x 80px
iPad, iPad Pro, iPad mini: 80 x 80px

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.

Important Tip: 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.

Google Play App Icon Design Requirements:

Icon size: 512 x 512px
Maximum file size: 1024kb
File format: 32-bit PNG (with Alpha)

There is an awesome website called Material.io. You should check that.

Last thing: there is no localization option for app icons. You should set a universal design standart for your app icon.

Next blog post, I will be talking about App Screenshots

If you didn’t read my previous ASO and Localization posts, you should also check them.

App Store Optimization and Localization: App Name (iOS&Android)

App Store Optimization and Localization: Keywords (iOS&Android)

App Store Optimization and Localization: App Description (iOS&Android)

Don’t forget to comment and share our blog post! Thank you!

2 Responses to “App Store Optimization and Localization: App Icon (iOS&Android)

  • There’s certainly a lot to find out about this issue.
    I like all of the points you have made.

    • Hi, Kristen and thank you! I’ll keep writing about it and will finish this blog series this week.

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