How to: create a website bookmark icon for the iPhone

For those of you who follow me on twitter - you may have read that I recently became the owner of an Apple iPhone. I must admit that it was quite a hard decision, the lack of a camera above 3 megapixels being the main reason I didn't really want to join the Apple masses. Nevertheless, I now have the device and must admit: I love it!

One of the first things I did with my new iPhone was to check out my site to see how it looks and feels, to be honest I think the theme could do with some tweaks to make it more mobile device friendly, but at the moment I am concentrating more on other projects so it is sitting on the back burner!

In the meantime, I added my site to the iPhone home screen to see what sort of icon came up for the bookmark - I thought it may take the favicon already in place and use that for the bookmark icon but it didn't. So I did some searching online and found that it is ridiculously simple to add a custom bookmark icon for your own website for use with the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Here is how it's done:

1. Create your custom icon.

Apple provide some official guidelines for creating a custom bookmark:




The optimal dimensions for an iPhone bookmark icon are 57 x 57 px - any image larger than this will be scaled to fit but ideally you want to work to 57x57.
Although all the iPhone icons have rounded corners and gloss, this is actually added by the iPhone itself - this function basically ensures all the icons all conform to the same general look.

Once you are happy with your new icon image - save it as: apple-touch-icon.png

2.Upload your custom icon

Once you have your saved image simply upload it to your websites root directory!

3.Check it out!

Visit your website from your iPhone or iPod Touch - click on the plus icon and add it to the homescreen:


And that's it!

Links: Apple Safari development reference library, iPhone development reference library

Branding Graphic design Mobile


Rob E says:

That's a good tip. I had a similar issue with my site: a very bland icon. Now it's a little better, but I'm wondering if it can't be better still by having code on the site update the image under certain circumstances. That might make the icon itself give a little information, like the counter that appears on some other icons. Not perfect, because I expect you'll have to visit the site to get the updated image, but there's still some value to have some info remain available after you've left the site behind.

08 Feb 2010