Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian company which manufacturers BlackBerry, is working really hard on the new BlackBerry 10 operating system for sure. How can I say this? Well, the new design guidelines for BlackBerry 10 apps indirectly says so. If you observe the two images given above, both of which have been taken from the Urban Glow Cam thread from CrackBerry forums, indicate the older design of the BlackBerry 10 icons, and a mock up of the new design according to the updated guidelines. The image on the right is the actual screen shot of an early release of the BlackBerry 10. The image on the left is the new mock up.
A lot of designers had complained to the Canadian company that the icons on the operating system do not look good. They do not indeed look good, with all the rectangular icons and another rectangle for the name of the app. And it looks like the Canadian company has been listening to the courts.
RIM had started with a 150 x 150 pixel image for the icons of the apps on BlackBerry 10. But now, the company has reduced this is to 114 x 114 pixels and has made the background a transparent background from a square background. If you are a developer and want to more about the design guidelines, you can have a look at them here. Below is an excerpt from the same.
Designing an icon for your BlackBerry smartphone application gives you the opportunity to showcase your application to BlackBerry users. In the BlackBerry World storefront, an icon is the first introduction that users have to your application. The icon also appears on the home screen as the way for users to open your application.
Your icon is placed on a transparent tile automatically with the application name label underneath the icon.
The following best practices help your icon fit in with the application icons on the home screen.
- Create an icon that is a 114 x 114 pixel square. This approach is the best (and easiest) way for your icon to fit in with other BlackBerry application icons. Larger icons will be scaled down to 114 x 114 pixels.
- Focus on a single iconic metaphor that clearly represents the application. Think of your icon as a road sign that people understand quickly.
- Base your icon on a square, circle, or rectangle shape.
- Use a silhouette to differentiate your icon from other icons.
- Try to maintain consistency with other BlackBerry application icons in scale, volume, and perspective.
Perspective and lighting
- Apply lighting that is top-down at a 90 degree angle.
- Create a focal point in the center of the icon.
- Keep the icon flat and avoid excessive depth.
- Apply the following properties for drop shadows: distance: 2 pixels, size: 2 pixels, and angle: 90 degrees.
- Create an icon that is 106 x 106 pixels if you want to allow room for a drop shadow or outer glow.
- If you use a symbol in your icon, try to make it the same size as the symbols in otherBlackBerry application icons.
- Use a five pixel stroke where appropriate. This is especially important so that icons with a dark background are always visible on the home screen.
- Limit the number of colors that you use in your icon.
Limit the number of materials that you use. BlackBerry application icons draw from the following materials: soft plastic, paper, metal, and gloss.