Tag Archives: web

HOWTO: iPhone Webclip Icons

I remember, years ago, I was baffled by the little 16×16 icons that were showing up in my URL toolbar, and it took a surprising amount of searching to find out how to create one. I refuse to let this happen again.

So: if you want to make a custom icon for your website that will show up in the Springboard when a user makes a “webclip”, using their iPhone or iPod Touch, the dirt simple way is:

  • Create a 57×57 PNG.
  • Name it “apple-touch-icon.png”
  • Throw it in the root folder of your website. (Not the root of your server, the root of your web documents.)

Boom. If you add a webclip for vjarmy.com, you’ll see my smiling mug. If you want more flexibility – perhaps you don’t have access to the site root, perhaps you want to use a different file name or format – you can use a link tag in the head of the document, such as:

<head>
<title>iHelloWorld</title>
<link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="/whatever.jpg"/>
</head>

I’ve tested this with a slightly larger (75×75) JPEG, and it works without trouble – it just scales things down.

If you’re testing this on your iPhone, you may notice a pause of a few seconds before the icon appears when you press “Add To Home Menu”. I’d imagine the icon only downloads when you request to make a webclip, instead of the “request it every time” method used for fetching favicon.ico. (As for why it’s a few seconds – well, that’s EDGE for you. The lag goes away when you use WiFi.)

Apple has more info on their iPhone Dev Center; look at “Create a WebClip Bookmark Icon”.

And don’t worry if your icon design skills aren’t up to snuff, but do worry if you care about the sanctity of your image:

Safari will automatically composite the icon with the standard “glassy” overlay so it looks like a built-in iPhone or iPod application.

Addendum @ 9PM: I should note another oddity: there’s some degree of clipping off the sides of the icon that can’t really be controlled. I found this by scaling down a circular logo (in EPS format) to 57×57, and there was a noticeable clip on the sides. With that in mind, I recommend adding a pixel or two on the sides if you’re using a circular design. Note that scaling the icon down under 57×57 does not solve this, it merely scales it up to fit the 57×57.

Addendum @ 10PM: Neil Epstein, Technology Director for Gothamist LLC, says 47×47 seems to be the usable area, and that he had best luck with 45×45.

Addendum @ 1/16 7AM: Playground Blues notes that because of the resolution of the iPhone screen, using an oversized image (such as his 158×158 image) may result in a crisper icon. [via HicksDesign]

Someone Buy Uncle Ezra A Drink

The legendary Dear Uncle Ezra turned 21 this month according to the Chronicle.

Dear Uncle Ezra was the very first anonymous advice column on the Internet/Intarwebs/Webinet, debuting in 1986. Questions are answered by an anonymous Cornell staffer who farms out what he does not know to other experts within the college. The service is available to everyone, not just the Cornell affiliated.

The first question ever answered on the service is one certainly appropriate for Ithaca:

DEAR UNCLE EZRA MY GIRLFRIEND IS FRIGID, WHAT CAN I DO? CHILLY WILLY

DUE is, in its own way, quite interesting. It’s worth reading, or at least subscribing to.

(If you’re looking for something a little more groupthink, you had damn well better know about Ask Metafilter by now.)

VJ Army 4.0 Preview

In January of 2004, I launched the first major version of VJ Army, my Beatmania IIDX score tracking and community site.

Since that time, over 2500 users have registered, inputting nearly 500,000 scores collectively across 10 different game titles. By all traditional means, the site is a smashing success.

However, reality has set in recently: the site has always been rough around the edges, because I am not a designer. Worse, my time to work on the site has been greatly limited as my work obligations continue to grow.

Luckily, there is relief in sight. I am happy to announce VJ Army 4.0, scheduled for release around September 1st of this year. 4.0 represents massive overhauls to both the codebase and the VJ Army coding process. I’ve been really pleased with what’s been accomplished so far, and I’d like to give you a little tour through some of the fantastical newness.

Warning: lots of mind-blowing screenshots ahead.

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New Template

It’s that once yearly time where I get tired of the layout I have and switch to an entirely different one.

This one finally cures something that’s always bothered me immensely about most MT themes – the artificial 500px content boundary. I’m sure 500px is great for keeping people focused on text, but it’s horrible if you want to post a picture with reasonable size.

This theme is “darkhash“, with a couple tweaks to fit my overly particular nature. It’s my vote to win the MT/LJ/TypePad Style Contest.

Some content has settled in transit and may be missing for the time being; it’ll be back soon, I promise.

UPDATE: I’ve ungimped the comment form, upped the font size to make the pages easier to read, increased the width a little, replaced a handful of icons, and added a tag cloud to the archives page. I appreciate the feedback I’ve gotten and certainly won’t mind getting more.

Backwards Logic

I’ve been on the Internet for eight and a half years. Not long compared to some people, but long enough to have seen a lot of really, really confusing things. Things in every category about every topic imaginable.

Today, I have had to re-adjust my logic meter, because obviously there is a new zero point.

Adam Curry – yes, the ex-MTV VJ Adam Curry – is taking a stand in the RSS/n-echo war. To quote Homer Simpson, a freaky stand. Let’s dissect this.

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