I am currently getting the groundwork done for my very first ipad app. I have started to learn xcode, but will be a long while before I master it. Meanwhile, I'm planning to team up with an experienced ios developer (when I find one) to help me complete my app. My plan is to do all the graphics for the UI myself, and then do the coding together with my developer partner. I know I will learn a lot by watching my app getting coded.
I am very good with Photoshop and creating & editing images, which is why I'm very excited to be doing the UI myself. I already downloaded this great ios UI kit, with plenty of high-quality PSD files of all the generic ipad graphics. It makes it easy to get started building a UI. I have a lot of good ideas for my customised graphic elements for the app.
My question is what format should the graphics be, to be used for the UI in the app? Are they just JPG or PNG for example? Also, what dimensions or resolution should they be, and do I need to provide different resolutions if the app will be for both the ipad and iphone?
My app will have no animation of characters (like a person running or anything like that). It will be a music creation app, with a single page where you can choose various built-in audio clips to arrange your own personal audio composition. The user makes his selections with different "drop menus" (if that's what they're called).
And finally...can anyone tell me what format the built-in audio needs to be? My app will be using pre-recorded loops and audio files, so the user can use them to make a unique piece of audio. I need to know what file type to use for the pre-recorded audio files that the app will be using (MP3, FLAC, AAC, etc), and if there are any rules/requirements from Apple regarding bitrates or format, etc. I'm also concerned about licensing issues if using a proprietry format like MP3 (either for outputting or for the source content)? I don't want to end up getting sued on my first app because of something like infringing on a file format copyright.
I hope I have explained myself well, if not please ask for clarification about any of the above.
Thanks in advance to anyone that provides some answers or advice for me.
Cheers for now,
Keep your audio in a lossless format for now (aiff is fine). You'll likely eventually convert to AAC, but you may want to keep them lossless.
For graphics, PNG is preferred, and you'll need twice as big as you think. Depending on your UI, I can't answer whether you'll want different artwork for iPad and iPhone. Keep your PSD files too, in case you need to make changes.
You may want to look at a tool like Paintcode or Opacity - it generates resolution-independent quartz code to do your drawing.
Thanks hayesk for your input. I will check out those programs you mentioned.
In fact, I had a quick look at the Paintcode website, and it was very interesting. I didn't realise that simple graphics in a UI can be fully generated by code. If I use code for the simple stuff like buttons and sliders, it will dramatically decrease the amount of graphic files that the app would need.
This is great news for not only minimising the total size of the app, but also makes the app load & run much quicker & smoother (which is especially an issue for older ios devices).