The exodus towards the 'Prerendered Icon'

I guess “death” would be too strong a word. In the beginning of the AppStore, the Prerendered Icon Flag was rarely used. Most apps on the App Store consented to having a gloss effect applied to them.

As seen here, all of the games appear to have the default gloss effect.

Over time, the percentage of apps using the Prerendered Icon Flag increased. By now, most, if not all apps have forgone using Apple’s default gloss overlay. They now sport they’re own “prerendered icons”, as one might call them.

One screenshot shows the Top Grossing page while the other shows the Top Free page as of November 17th. Nine out of the ten featured apps have opted out of using the gloss effect.

The only app that is still using the glossy effect is a — ah, shall we call it — a lower quality app that we’re all above downloading (right?). Most apps that still use the gloss effect are the apps with next to no functionality, created by companies that have thousands of apps under their belts. When I search for an app, I find myself seeing apps with the default gloss as inferior. It’s become a habit after two years.

Apps that do have meaningfulness have applied their own effects to their icons. Imagine the gloss effect on Angry Birds or Minigore. They don’t go along well, do they? Neither does the effect do well with most app icons. Even the Jirbo Jive app from the previous screenshot is now using a prerendered icon.

Disabling the default effect is now the norm. The Prerendered Icon Flag would be more helpful as an optional value instead of as the default value right now. Developers would manually add the value and the gloss effect would be a nice add on instead be written on the “oh, lets remove that first” todo note.

Anson Liu