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How To Create App Splash Screens For Android And iOS In C++

Splash Screen is a graphical control element consisting of a window containing an image or a logo and sometimes includes the details about the current version number of the software and components used. A Splash Image can appear on a Splash Screen while a game or program is launching.

In Multi-Device C++ Builder applications, Splash Screens are the images that are shown on your mobile before the application is launched. These image forms are stored in mobile packages and served up when you deploy your application to stores like Google Play and the Apple Store. Windows applications don’t have this as a mandatory thing, but you can launch a splash window before your main window is launched.

What is the file type for splash screen images?

Generally, it is PNG format due to support to alpha color, no pixel reduction, and smaller image file size compared to other formats like BMP files.

In C++ Builder, the *.PNG file format is required to define the splash screen of your applications.

What splash image sizes are used in mobile apps?

The number of mobile device screen sizes for iOS and Android presents a bit of a challenge to application developers. You may spend a considerable amount of time producing slightly different versions of your basic splash screen to suite the requirements of both iOS and Android. There are some free tools which can be found via a web search but care should be used since some contain restrictions or are advertising supported in ways you might want to avoid.

When you design a splash image start with 2048×2048 pixel size canvas. In the end, reduce its size to required splash image sizes. Splash Image sizes are 426×320, 470×320, 640×480, 960×720 but check your copy of RAD Studio because these requirements change often whenever Apple or Android releases a new version of the operating system and there may be newer requirements which have appeared since this article was written.

Noe that, in C++ Builder, FireMonkey applications require 36×36, 48×48, 72×72, 96x96x144 hbpi icons.

What are the basic tips to create a mobile app splash screen?

  • Your application splash screen should be unique for your application and as simple as possible.
  • The splash image may have your company logo, application logo, application name with company name, or a smart looking graphic.
  • Use 24bit color PNG format.
  • Use alpha color as the background.
  • Avoid using the full screen, reduce the drawing area as much as possible. Try to use a narrow vertical or horizontal drawing area or a central logo. Note that splash images are referenced in your deployment package and use up application and device memory. Larger splash images may affect the size of your app’s bundle or package and that might result in fewer downloads for people who are sensitive to how much of their precious device storage is going to be used by your app.
  • If you design a 3D Splash Screen, the perspective camera angle is important. Note that 3D objects represent more solid objects.
  • Consider the light source of your splash screen. Generally, a top-left light source is effective, which causes shadows to the bottom and right of your objects
  • Shadows are really important and count them as in 2-3 color limits in design.
  • You can use any design application to create a splash image, but in the end, you need to convert your image PNG file format.
  • Colors and saturation are really important, consider their visibility in different color backgrounds (dark and light), use 24bit or 32bit color format. You can use gradient colors for more realistic icons.

How can I create a simple app splash screen for free?

Normally C++ Builder has a default splash screen for FireMonkey applications. You can change them to a custom splash screen in the given steps below:

  1. Simply you can use your company logo or application logo or use MS Paint, PowerPoint, GIMP, or any other graphical applications to design your splash image. PowerPoint can be used as a drawing tool, it has nice effects on shapes and texts, and images. Note that, whatever you use, the final image result should be converted to a PNG file.
  2. Whatever you design with, open your image file (BMP, GIF, PNG,…) – i suggest using the the GIMP GNU Image Manipulation application
  3. Set size of your splash image canvas to 960×720 or double, quadruple size of these sizes.
  4. Select Colors->Color to Alpha menu to define alpha background color, and select your background color.
  5. Select File->Export menu and save the file in PNG format in your main size:
  6. Resize your canvas to 960×720, 426×320, 470×320, 640×480 hdpi resolutions and save each of them in different file names.

How do I apply splash screens to my mobile applications?

  1. In C++ Builder, RAD Studio, select Project->Options.. menu, and In the Project Options window navigate to Application->Icons sections.
  2. Here you will see your default application icons, you can modify your application Launcher Icons and Notification Icons.
  3. Splash Images can be uploaded from Application->Icons in the “Splash Images” tab, go to this tab and set images in the sizes required there. For example in RAD Studio 11, required Splash Image sizes are 426×320, 470×320, 640×480, 960×720 hdpi
How To Create App Splash Screens For Android And iOS In C++ - the project options screen for defining icons and splash screens

What else do I need to know about app splash screens and icons?

If MS Paint and GIMP is not enough for your needs, then you can use more professional applications like Photoshop, CorelDraw to draw more graphically-advanced Splash Screens. You can create 3D Rendered Splash Screens for your applications by using 3D apps such as Blender which is a free app from Google. If you want to go down the commercial route then might want to look at AutoCAD, Inventor, SolidWorks, StudioMax3D, MaxonCinema, LightWave all of which offer tools which can be used for realistic 3D professional renders.

C++ Builder is the easiest and fastest C and C++ IDE for building simple or professional applications on the Windows, MacOS, iOS & Android operating systems. It is also easy for beginners to learn with its wide range of samples, tutorials, help files, and LSP support for code. RAD Studio’s C++ Builder version comes with the award-winning VCL framework for high-performance native Windows apps and the powerful FireMonkey (FMX) framework for cross-platform UIs.

There is a free C++ Builder Community Edition for students, beginners, and startups; it can be downloaded from here. For professional developers, there are Professional, Architect, or Enterprise versions of C++ Builder and there is a trial version you can download from here.

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About author

33+ years of coding with more than 30+ programming languages, mostly C++ on Windows, Android, Mac-OS, iOS, Linux and some other operating systems. Dr. Yilmaz Yoru was born in 1974, Eskisehir-Turkey. He graduated from the department of Mechanical Engineering of Eskisehir Osmangazi University in 1997. One year later he started to work in the same university as an assistant. He received his MSc and PhD degrees from the same department of the same university. He has married and he is a father of a son. Some of his interests are Programming, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics and Artificial Intelligence. He also likes the graphical 2D & 3D design and high-end innovations.
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