Thursday, November 19, 2015

Can moving icons be far away?

  During the testing of Apps for the i(Whatever) devices, I do look at the icons a lot.  The App icon, the little image of the screen of your iPad, is one your best advertisements to your user.  Once the App is installed on your device, that App icon will be your way of seeing and using the program.  It helps to have a good looking App icon that does not get lost in the mix of other App icons.
  Of course we have to create our own icons and most of our artwork, but it doesn't hurt to look at how the other guy is doing it.  Good contrast, recognizable images that match the function of the App, interesting art work, there are a lot of great examples out there.  Some can really catch your eye or just work real well.  Others, not so much.  I notice that even Apple will switch around their classic App icons when the mood fits them or a new Operating System demands it.  (Looking at you OS X)
  So the App icon is important.  Everyone wants a recogizable icon that catches your attention.

  Why not have moving icons?

  I am wondering how long before the App device folks add the means for a developer to add multiple images to your icon?  The device knows when it is moved, so why not have the icons move a bit too? They already do this a bit with static images, but it seems pretty simple to add additional images to be 'flickered' through when a movement is detected.  More of the 'Harry Potter' portrait look to your icons when you move the device.  
   We already see a lot of moving GIF images on webpages.  These are just images lined up to display in sequence like a mini movie.  ( Or that flip-book corner page drawings we did as kids.  You didn't?  Well, it was before Atari. )  The 5-10 images are tiny and cycle through real fast to make the ball appear to bounch or the cookie to walk.

Now imagine how cool (and annoying) if some of your icons had some kind of animation effect when you moved your device.  Maybe the icon man runs a bit or the treasure chest gets a nice gold sheen flickered across it.  The knife chops the carrot.  The guitar chord vibrates a bit.  

That would catch some eyes.   I suspect Marketing is interested, at the very least.

Geek Note - As a developer, I already am creating multiple single images of the same icon for each release.  Every version seems to add/reduce the number of images depending on the iOS of the year.  I am not looking forward to adding even more images to the mix, but Marketing never listens to IT anyway....

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