Chapter 5. Polishing your app


This chapter covers

  • Setting your application’s icon and start image
  • Using images for buttons
  • Customizing built-in views
  • Animating view transitions

The flashcards app from the last chapter does what it needs to do, but without any style. Professional iPhone apps need to do better than that.

There are some things that Apple requires you to do, like making an application icon. Other things, such as transition animations, make your app look a lot more polished, and iPhone users will expect and appreciate them.

Pick up your phone right now, and start your favorite app: not necessarily the most useful one, but the one that gives you the best feeling when you use it. What do you notice? Professional iPhone apps have a polished look and professional graphic design and imagery, and they make extensive use of animations.

If you want to see apps from well- known designers, check out anything from Tapbots to Sophiestication. For example, here are two screenshots of Tapbot’s Weightbot.

Figure 5.1. Weightbot main screen
Figure 5.2. Weightbot summary

And at right is the main screen of Sophiestication’s Groceries app.

The designers of these apps paid careful attention to the details, and the apps are top sellers in their competitive categories because of that work. It’s not just the colors and imagery. The designers also use animations to add life to their apps.

Setting up your application’s images

Using images for buttons

Adding animation

Making your apps look professional with graphic design