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Status Bar Icons

New Guides for App Designers!

Check out the new documents for designers at Android Design, including more guidelines for Iconography.

Status bar icons are used to represent notifications from your application in the status bar.

As described in Providing Density-Specific Icon Sets and Supporting Multiple Screens, you should create separate icons for all generalized screen densities, including low-, medium-, high-, and extra-high-density screens. This ensures that your icons will display properly across the range of devices on which your application can be installed. See Tips for Designers for suggestions on how to work with multiple sets of icons.

Templates for creating icons in Adobe Photoshop are available in the Icon Templates Pack.

Warning:The style and dimensions of status bar icons have changed dramatically in Android 3.0 and 2.3 compared to previous versions. To provide support for all Android versions, developers should:

  1. Place status bar icons for Android 3.0 and later in the drawable-xhdpi-v11, drawable-hdpi-v11,drawable-mdpi-v11, and drawable-ldpi-v11 directories.
  2. Place status bar icons for Android 2.3 in the drawable-xhdpi-v9, drawable-hdpi-v9, drawable-mdpi-v9, and drawable-ldpi-v9 directories.
  3. Place status bar icons for previous versions in drawable-xhdpi, drawable-hdpi, drawable-mdpi, and drawable-ldpi directories.

Android 3.0 and Later

The following guidelines describe how to design status bar icons for Android 3.0 (API Level 11) and later.

Overview of changes

The design for status bar (notification) icons has been revised in Android 3.0. Status bar icons used in Android 3.0 and later are easier to create, and they allow for more flexible presentation in a variety of situations:

These larger and brighter icons, while highly legible, are too intense for use on dark phone status bars. These icons would be too distracting if used directly in the status bar. Therefore:

Size and format

Status bar icons should be 32-bit PNGs with an alpha channel for transparency. The finished status bar icon dimensions corresponding to a given generalized screen density are shown in the table below.

Note: The system will shrink and dim status bar icons to minimize distractions, allowing users to focus on the foreground activity.

Table 1. Summary of finished icon dimensions for each generalized screen density.

ldpi (120 dpi)
(Low density screen)
mdpi (160 dpi)
(Medium density screen)
hdpi (240 dpi)
(High density screen)
xhdpi (320 dpi)
(Extra-high density screen)
Status Bar Icon Size
(Android 3.0 and Later)
18 x 18 px 24 x 24 px 36 x 36 px 48 x 48 px

You can also include a few pixels of padding in status bar icons to maintain a consistent visual weight with adjacent icons. For example, a 48 x 48 pixel xhdpi status bar icon can contain a 44 x 44 pixel shape with 2 pixels on each side for padding.

Style, colors, and effects

Status bar icons are flat, pictured face on, and must be white on a transparent background.

In order to maintain consistency across all status bar notifications, status bar icons should use the styling shown in Figure 1.

A view of effects for status bar icons.

Figure 1. Style for status bar icons.

1.Fill color:#ffffff

2.Inner content:Inner content should subtract from the outer shape and consist purely of transparent pixels.

Automatic dimming

The system may dim and shrink status bar icons to allow users to focus on the foreground activity. For example, in Android 4.0, the platform-standard status bar for handset-size devices reduces icons to 18 x 18 dip and 40% opacity in the status bar, while drawing them full-size and at full intensity in the expanded notification panel. An example of what this looks like is shown below in Figure 2.

Automatic shrinking and dimming behavior in Android 3.0 and later

Figure 2. Automatic shrinking and dimming behavior in Android 3.0 and later.

Example icons

Shown below are example extra-high-density status bar icons that are used throughout Android system applications.

Warning: Because resources can change between platform versions, you should not reference built-in icons using the Android platform resource IDs (i.e. status bar icons under android.R.drawable). If you want to use any icons or other internal drawable resources, you should store a local copy of those icons or drawables in your application resources, then reference the local copy from your application code. In that way, you can maintain control over the appearance of your icons, even if the system's copy changes. Note that the grid below is not intended to be complete.

Android 2.3

The following guidelines describe how to design status bar icons for Android 2.3 (API Levels 9 and 10).

Size and positioning

Status bar icons should use simple shapes and forms and those must be scaled and positioned inside the final asset.

Figure 3 illustrates various ways of positioning the icon inside the asset. You should size the icons smaller than the actual bounds of the asset. Status bar icons may vary in width, but only minimally.

In order to indicate the recommended size for the icon, each example in Figure 3 includes two different guide rectangles:

  1. Status bar icon dimensions for high-density (hdpi) screens:
    1. Full Asset: 24w x 38h px (preferred, width may vary)
    2. Icon: 24w x 24h px (preferred, width may vary)
  1. Status bar icon dimensions for medium-density (mdpi) screens:
    1. Full Asset: 16w x 25 px (preferred, width may vary)
    2. Icon: 16w x 16w px (preferred, width may vary)
  1. Status bar icon dimensions for low-density (ldpi) screens:
    1. Full Asset: 12w x 19h px (preferred, width may vary)
    2. Icon: 12w x 12h px (preferred, width may vary)

Figure 3. Status bar icon sizing and positioning inside the bounds of the icon asset.

Style, colors, and effects

Status bar icons are flat, matte, and pictured face-on.

A view of effects for status bar icons.

Figure 4. Style and effects for status icons.

Note: all pixel dimensions are for medium density and should be scaled appropriately for other densities.

1.Fill gradient:90°, from #828282 to #919191

2.Inner shadow:#FFFFFF, 10% opacity
angle 90°
distance 1px
size 0px

3.Inner content:Inner content should subtract from the outer shape and consist purely of transparent pixels.

Do's and don'ts

Below are some "do and don't" examples to consider when creating status bar icons for your application.

Example icons

Shown below are standard high-density status bar icons that are used in the Android platform.

Warning: Because these resources can change between platform versions, you should not reference these icons using the Android platform resource IDs (i.e. status bar icons under android.R.drawable). If you want to use any icons or other internal drawable resources, you should store a local copy of those icons or drawables in your application resources, then reference the local copy from your application code. In that way, you can maintain control over the appearance of your icons, even if the system's copy changes. Note that the grid below is not intended to be complete.

Android 2.2 and Earlier

The following guidelines describe how to design status bar icons for Android 2.2 (API Level 8) and earlier.

Structure

A view of
status bar icon structure.

Figure 5. Safeframe and corner-rounding for status bar icons. Icon size is 25x25.

Light, effects, and shadows

Status bar icons are slightly debossed, high in contrast, and pictured face-on to enhance clarity at small sizes.

Figure 6. Light, effects, and shadows for status bar icons.

1.Front part:Use fill gradient from primary color palette
2.Inner bevel:depth 100% | direction down
size 0px | angle 90° |
altitude 30°
highlight white 75% opacity
shadow black 75% opacity
3.Detail:white
4.Disabled detail:grey gradient from palette
+ inner bevel: smooth | depth 1% | direction down | size 0px | angle 117° |
altitude 42° | highlight white 70% | no shadow

Color palette

Only status bar icons related to the phone function use full color; all other status bar icons should remain monochromatic.

White
r 255 | g 255 | b 255
Used for details within the icons and bevel highlight.
Grey gradient
1:  r 169 | g 169 | b 169
2:  r 126 | g 126 | b 126
Used for disabled details within the icon.
Fill gradient
1:  1 r 105 | g 105 | b 105
2:  r 10 | g 10 | b 10
Used as color fill.
Black
r 0 | g 0 | b 0
Used for bevel shadow.

Step by step

  1. In a tool like Adobe Photoshop, create the base shape within a 25x25 px image on a transparent background. Mind the safeframe, and keep the upper and lower 2 pixels free.
  2. Add rounded corners as specified in Figure 5.
  3. Add light, effects, and shadows as specified in Figure 6.
  4. Export the icon at 25x25 as a PNG file with transparency enabled.
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