Friday, January 02, 2009

On iPhone SDK and its pretty icons on tab bar items

After having made some experimentation around the iPhone SDK, I have now a simple - but useful - native application. I focused on the functionality, and up until now, I had a tab-bar with no icons. But that's not the Apple-way to present things. iPhone apps are pretty, and have simple but elegant icons with a gray tone that turn blue when selected. So i looked upon a library/bundle for some of those standard buttons, and found... none! Ok, no worries, let's find out how to make them. Wait. There isn't a specification for them! Yes, it's a shame, but Apple's iPhone SDK documentation is still a bit unfinished. The good news is that what is done, is easy to read and helpful. I ended up looking at other apps resources, found out they were 32x32 png images, and figured they had to have at least an alpha channel outside the image itself. So I fired Gimp, made a plain brush doodle and removed the background white, saved and tested. And it simply works! All colors are turned into the desired gray tone, and automatically swap to a smooth blue with a top glare when selected. Conclusion: the trick is to experiment. Chances are that what you want to do is *that* simple!


philfreo said...

It's described here: