Monday, 9 January 2012

The Silliest iOS Issue: No White Backgrounds for App Icons



One of the most ironic things about trying to write about apps from an iOS device is how troublesome it can be to find and post a good looking icon image. We try to feature app icons front and center when we talk about apps on iSource, and the easiest way I’ve found to get a good app icon is to simply visit iTunes Preview in a  desktop browser and snap a screenshot of it. For this post, I googled “Photogene2 itunes” and quickly screen-capped a portion of my screen.

Unfortunately, this has proven impossible on my iPhone and iPad, thanks to the instant App Store re-directs that occur after tapping on a link to an app. Regardless of what I do and which browser I use, I simply cannot get the desktop version of the iTunes Preview website to display on my iOS devices. The result is that I’ve got to simply Google an app name and hope that someone out there has posted a high-resolution version of the icon, or use a whole set of tricks in Photoforge to (badly) crop out the non-white borders around an icon.

There was even one point where I thought I could work around all of this nonsense by setting my home screen wallpaper to pure white and then simply take a screenshot of it. But for some strange reason (perhaps for font legibility), iOS insists on adding a gradient to any pure white wallpaper I use, which ends up surrounding app icons in a strange dull grey (which looks terrible against our white background).

This is, of course, a totally niche problem, but it’s a rather significant and ironic one when you try to write about iOS right from the platform. Until the App Store background changes or I think of some sort of workaround, it seems like I’ll always need to do final posts right from a desktop computer to do things properly.

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