Ugly iOS Icons

by Christopher Paul on June 15, 2011

Ben Brooks of the Brooks Review pens his thought on the ugliest icons found in the iOS platform and App Store. I don’t agree with his ‘good’ choices but his ‘Bad’ and ‘Ugly’ icons are spot on.

OmniOutliner does have a good icon, but Articles looks busy to me. Gowalla’s icon I find hard to read and doesn’t explain what it does (unless ‘Go’ tells you to go somewhere – like a green light does, too). And I don’t know how the hell Brooks can figure out what Everyday is just by looking at a head with shadows in the background.

For the ‘Bad’, I could take or leave Apple’s Mail icon; it’s not the greatest but I recognize it and, on the devices, it doesn’t look as bad as it does on my laptop. I never noticed the fold in the Reeder app. What confuses me about the icon is that the iPad version and the iPhone version are two very different colors; I struggle to find it even though I have my apps organized in the same way. Kindle’s icon is ugly – and busy; I don’t know why there’s a tree in it, either.

On the ugly side, 1Password never bothered me but I can see why he hates the key; I take issue with the ‘Pro’ banner on the lower left. I know what I bought. (UPDATE: Ben pointed out that 1Password’s icon only has the ‘Pro’ banner in the App Store. Once it’s installed, the banner is removed. I do see what Ben pointed out about the key and the more I look at the less I accept it.) TextExpander’s icon is so ugly, I can’t even show it on my laptop’s menu bar; it sucks, too, because it’s such a power app that I love. And on Twitter, I can’t agree more when he says:

“Twitter, specifically Twitter for the iPad: you suck.”

Although, I think the iPhone version is worse because of the color choice. Every time I see that bird icon I want to puke birdseed.

I can’t understand how so many good apps – which function and look stunning in and of themselves – have such horrible icons.

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: iOS App Icons – The Brooks Review

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