Monday, September 17, 2012

Tip: Picking a Great Icon for Your App

"App Icons? Oh my I am not a graphics designer what should I do? "

No panic, picking a great icon for your App is easier than it sounds. Ok first things first, what is an App Icon? It is the little image that users click to start your App! For example, four of Google's own Apps icons below:

No no, you don't necessarily have to have draw your own Icon Images! Remember, there's only three rules for a good icon image:

  1. Squarish 
  2. Looks good when shrunk to thumb-size
  3. Squarish 

Hm, I seemed to have repeated myself, but anyway, Google has an official tool for convert your photos and images into a proper icon. Check out the icon generator at Android Asset Studio - a simple interface to resize and trim your images for your icon needs. Click on either "image" to start creating your icon out of whatever image resource you have in hand:

Or you start creating an icon from a short text:

Also, somewhere on your website or blog or content, there has to be some part of it that represents your App well. We would recommend Screen Capture (by Google). Once installed, it allows you to capture images you like from your blog, twitter or any other contents. Just install the extension on Chrome and you can convert any region of web pages into an image:

That's it! Hope you enjoy creating your very own Icon Image for your very own App. Enjoy!

Nemo, Publish5 Team

Nemo is the in-house designer of the Publish5 team. In his free time, he surfs the Internet for squarish images that can be used as App Icons. Seriously!

Tip: DIY Your First App - Start to Finish

So, how exactly do you DIY your very own Android/iOS App? With Publish5, it is seriously simple - all you take is 3 simple steps!

Step 1: Start Publish5 and Design Your App:

The very first step is obvious: get onto Publish5 and start designing your App!  No knowledge of coding or designing is required - our HTML5 based Android/iPhone simulator shows you how your App gonna be like the moment you make changes. It comes with a simple tutorial to get you started too!

Step 2: Preview Your App Design

So, you got your App design ready and want to see how it looks on a real mobile device? Save your design and choose to go to preview your App. For Android users, download the Test Client from Google Play (formerly the Android Market) and load it in. For iOS, you will be given a short URL to test your iOS(HTML5) App on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

Step 3: Generate Your App!

Think your App is ready for version 1.0? Finalize your design and proceed to generation! We now support cross-platform generation so you can create your App to run on both Android and iOS. Our servers will start processing your App once you have chosen your Publish5 Plan. The gnomes inside our server (and our engineers) will start the process of turning your design into reality. You will receive your App within 7 days and that's it, you got your first DIY App!

There you go, instead of spending thousands of dollars on hiring a freelance developer, you have created your own cross-platform mobile App!

Feel free to send us any feedback via the feedback function inside Publish5.

Nemo, Publish5 Team

Nemo is the in-house designer of the Publish5 team. In his free time, he hides from angry freelance developers who have lost their clients to Publish5.