In this guide: How to create and insert your favorite Android smartphone icon pack plus some free, popular icons you can download today.
With the advent of new android smart-phones, you can now use and create several types of icons, and insert/download them into your application's user interface.
You may want to try out something other than the pre-packaged icons that come default with your user interface.
Best of all, there are now a number of useful icons that you can download for free as icon packs.
These graphic icons will bring out a more professional look to your user interface and make it more attractive.
How to create icons (a short & easy guide)
The primary color palette in a basic icon design is made up of white, black and gray scales.
Different combinations of these colors are used to make the launcher icons, the menu icons and status bar icons.
The launcher icons and certain status bar icons are given accents of bright and clear colors which match with the existing icons.
You create the basic steps in these icons in the Adobe Illustrator.
You can make each icon by creating depth and shape, adding color and details. You can also create shadows by tilting the angles and a blurring effect.
Once the icons are created you can then import it to Adobe Photoshop and fit to the desired image size.
For a launcher icon and the menu bar icon, you create an image size of 48*48 px, and 25*25px for a status bar icon.
In Photoshop you adjust shape of the icon in a transparent background.
Once the icons are done you then export the icons in its transparency enabled .png format.
Launcher icons are the most basic of the 3D icons using light and shadows for defining objects.
Structure wise you can place launcher icons either on the top or the front of the home screen.
They are made with smooth rounded shapes to give it that friendly appearance. Menu icon bars are graphical elements that are given a flat appearance and pictured face on.
They are given the debars effect to give it a “deep” look. But they are not viewed from a 3D perspective so the basic primary color palette is used.
With the correct usage of light, effects and shadows you can create that “glowing” look on a menu icon.
The status bar icons represent the various notifications from your application.
Though they look like menu bars they are much smaller, higher in contrast and well rounded.
You can create the dialog icon, the tab icon and the list view icons in this manner but remember to use colors when necessary and to design the colors, size and length in a normal perspective. Keep the icons simple and attractive.
Similarly, if you want to get rid of an Android smart phone icon to declutter your user interface, you must first select the icon that you want to remove.
By clicking and holding the icon for a few seconds you will notice that the icon becomes movable.
The label is separated from the icon and you can then drag the unwanted icon to the applications tab at the bottom of the screen.
This same process can be used to move the icons from one part of the home screen to the other. Once you move it to the applications tab the icon to be deleted and the applications tab will turn red then the icon disappears.
The removed icon is always available if you drag the applications tab up from the bottom of the screen.
There is a free icon pack from the icon library called the Large Android Icons 2009.3 and it contains a huge collection of icons that display various space creatures, robots, crawlers and other appealing figures.
You can also get icons that show their various moods and actions for full effects.
These images are a boon to have in your collection of icons because gifted artists who are professionals in their field create them. These come in bright colors and well-defined edges. These icons are made in the PNG format and come in different sizes. You can download these icons at "Free Large Android Icons 2009.3"
You can download more great icon sets from various websites. Its very easy and you just have to follow their process.
You can get a really big list of large icons at Large-Icons.com
To get some ideas on how to make your own set visit this Forum-XDA-Developers. thread.
Some of the most popularly used icons in the icon pack are the Alarm Clock, Contacts, Calendar, Email, Gallery, Gmail, Google Talk, Camera, Camcorder, Messaging, Music, Maps, You tube, IM, etc.
These are some of the standard icons used in the Android platform.
Once you download these icons, make sure that the action you assign the icon is consistent with the action listed.
You can download the Android templates pack, which contains a wealth of template designs, filters and settings that makes your or your developer's job of creating icons easy.
The templates pack can be accessed in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator file formats, so that when you create the icons in the Android platform, the design and layout are maintained.
You can also load the files into any image editing software although the efficiency of each program varies with the type of program that you use.
The android developers suggest that you download the template pack archive before you begin your icon design.