As part of our review of all the great things we’ve come across in 2010, we’ve picked 15 of our favorite iOS icons that stand out from the rest for being beautifully designed, brilliantly colorful, and wonderfully unique.
We’ve selected icons that make you want to find out more about an application, icons that you’d proudly place on your home screen for all to see, and icons that represent the awesome apps behind them.
There are, of course, hundred of thousands of iOS apps in the App Store, and we’ve selected just 15 of our favorites – we hope you like them. Check them out after the break.
Of course, we probably missed a bunch. Please nominate your favorite icons in the comments. We’ll give out free app codes for the best ideas.
Age of Zombies – ($0.99) Universal – Games
The first of two Halfbrick Studios icons to feature in the best iOS icons of 2010 is Age of Zombies. We love this icon, not just because it features a zombie dinosaur, but because it looks great. Despite the vacant, glowing eyes, patches of blood, and visible ribcage, it’s still rather attractive. Age of Zombies is a dual-stick shooter in which you play Barry Steakfries – a man looking for nothing more than to shoot down some zombies with a selection of weapons and make it home in time for a good dinner. In true Halfbrick style, this game is guaranteed to please.
Articles – ($2.99) iPhone/($4.99) iPad – Reference
We love the Articles icon because of its pleasant, sophisticated design. The filing cabinet represents a repository of information which is exactly what the application provides. Articles is the best experience for finding and reading Wikipedia articles on your iOS device. Simply enter a search term and Articles will find the Wikipedia entry you’re looking for. Its wealth of features makes Articles more than just a basic Wikipedia browser.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – ($0.99) iPhone – Games
The Battlefield icon features in our favorites list because it oozes action. A soldier, carrying an assault rifle and marching away from an explosion tells you the game is going to be a good one. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is one of the bestselling first-person shooters there is, and after being around on consoles for a while, it recently made its iOS debut on the iPhone & iPod Touch. The game boasts 14 single-player missions across 5 incredibly detailed battle zones, 4-player online multiplayer, intuitive controls, and awesome visuals.
Bento – ($4.99) iPhone/($4.99) iPad – Productivity
We like the Bento icon because there’s a lot going on, and it signifies the variety of things you can do within the application. Bento is an incredibly useful app that makes it easy to organize all the details of your busy life. Manage contacts and club members, coordinate parties and projects – even track vet bills and vehicle maintenance in one, easy to use application.
C64 Paint XL – ($2.99) Universal – Photography
The C64 Paint icon is big, bright, and retro, and that’s why we love it. The 8-bit graphics within the icon show off the kind of images you can create within the app. C64 Paint lets you paint on a canvas up to 200×200 pixels with all 16 colors of the classic 8-bit computer of the 1980s – the Commodore 64. Create awesome paintings of your own or import photos from your camera roll and turn them in awesome 8-bit pictures.
Commodore 64 – ($4.99) iPhone – Games
Another icon chosen for its retro feel and nostalgic goodness, the Commodore 64 icon includes an old Commodore joystick that instantly reminds gamers (old enough to remember) of the C64’s classic titles. The iPhone & iPod Touch application offers an authentic C64 gaming experience with various C64 games included, and the opportunity to purchase more within the app.
Living Earth HD – ($0.99) Universal – Utilities
The Living Earth icon is one of our favorites thanks to its stunning, detailed picture of our home planet. Living Earth HD gives you a stunning live 3D simulation of our planet at any given moment in time, along with global weather, forecasts, and a world clock for cities around the world. It features realistic live 3D rendering of Earth with near real-time cloud data that lets you view global cloud patterns and tropical storms as they are happening. Observe the changing seasons throughout the year and view snow and ice coverage as well as other changes around the globe.
Minigore – ($0.99) iPhone/($0.99) iPad – Games
We love the Minigore icon purely because it features a lovingly crafted picture of an elderly couple wielding a sawn-off shotgun and an uzi. However, it’s not just this Minigore icon that deserves to be recognized – with each update comes a new icon and every one of them has featured a great graphic. Minigore is an action-packed dual-stick shooter in which you help John Gore avoid his enemies whilst filling them full of lead. It’s a game of survival that requires you to stay alive for as long as possible for the highest score, and the various loveable characters that feature -together with the assortment of awesome weapons – make it a great load of fun.
MobileMe Gallery – (Free) Universal – Photography
The MobileMe Gallery icon is one of my personal favorites because it looks subtle and refined. A father and his son, sat in a boat, floating on a tranquil sea is also very calming – which is just what you need when you’re pulling your hair out due to the frustrations your MobileMe photo galleries can sometimes cause. MobileMe Gallery is a free Apple application that lets you take your galleries everywhere on your iOS device and enjoy them whenever wish. It has its downsides, like not being able to create new albums within the app, but the basics are all there.
Monster Dash – ($0.99) Universal – Games
As promised, this is the second Halfbrick game to feature in the best iOS icons of 2010, and just like Age of Zombies, the Monster Dash icon features a brilliantly bright cartoon graphic. Monster Dash is a fast-paced action game that requires you to run as far as you can. It sounds simple, but along the way there dangerous drops and deadly objects that are determined to get in your way, and a whole host of horrible little critters that need to be blasted. The simplicity and excitement contained in Monster Dash means you’ll be addicted in no time at all.
Osmos – ($0.99) iPhone/($4.99) iPad – Games
The Osmos icon has been chosen for the beautifully colored, ambient ‘mote’ that floats in its centre representing the beauty of the game. Osmos is a unique physics-based game that requires you to take control of your mote and absorb smaller motes in order to become the largest. Propel your mote by ejecting matter behind you and try to find the balance that will navigate you around the solar system. If you are absorbed by a larger mote, it’s game over.
Percolator – ($1.99) iPhone – Photography
As a self-confessed coffee addict, the full-bodied, well-rounded Percolator icon is one that gets my mouth watering. Percolator is a unique photography application for your iPhone that ‘brews’ your photos in to dazzling multicolor mosaics. Use it to mix new color palettes for your designs, add a dash of old typography, generate breath-taking patterns and more.
Pocket God – ($0.99) iPhone – Games
Much like Minigore, Pocket God deserves recognition for all of the icons it delivers that help brighten up our iPhones. Every Pocket God icon features a cute little pygmy with a humorous look on his face, and it changes with every update. Pocket God is a distinctive game in which you play God and take control of an island of pygmies. You can bring in new life and take it away just as quickly. Exercise your powers on the islanders by lifting them in the air, altering gravity, frying them with lightening bolts, feeding them to the sharks, and lots, lots more. The possibilities are endless and you really must try it to experience its greatness. Each update features an awesome mini game, and because it’s updated frequently, you’ll never get the chance to become bored.
Postman – ($2.99) iPhone – Travel
We love the Postman icon because of its bright, detailed design and soothing seaside scenery. Postman enables you to conveniently create stunning postcards whilst you’re on vacation and share them with your friends and family over Facebook, Twitter, email, and the web. Snap a photo of a famous landmark, a gorgeous beach, or insert a picture of your location on Google Maps; add a title to your picture and a greeting on the back; pick a wonderful theme to spiff it up a little; then share it with your friends in an instant.
Voices 2 – ($0.99) iPhone – Entertainment
Possibly the only place you’ll ever see a chipmunk, the grim reaper, and a clown on stage together is in the adorable Voices 2 icon. Voices 2 lets you speak in to your iPhone and convert your voice into over a dozen different voices including a squeaky chipmunk, a futuristic cyborg, and a super-slow turtle. It features a slick, stylish interface, the ability to save your voices and send them to friends, and more.
Nominate Your Favorite Icon
These are just 15 of our favorite iOS application icons, and now it’s your turn to show us your favorites! Nominate your favorite app icon by leaving us a comment below and we’ll publish the best suggestions and give you a shout-out.