Submitting an application to the App Store can be a very lengthy process sometimes, whether its to the iOS App Store or the Mac App Store. Here at Mac Genius we review applications that are produced for the Mac operating system, but there is the odd application that when installed on your Mac can help with the submission and creation of iOS applications. Such an app which does this is Prepo, which makes creating the different sized icons needed for an app submission to the App Store that little bit easier.
Opening an Icon
Prepo, in essence, takes the highest resolution icon that you have painstakingly designed and turns it into all of the different sized icons you will need when submitting your iOS application. To open the icon initially with Prepo, it is a simple drag & drop action from the location of your icon to the Prepo window. The Prepo window will handily stay on top of all other windows when you use it. Whilst this can be really annoying for many other applications, because of the one-time short use there is for Prepo, it proves rather handy to have this feature included. There are two Prepo windows to display the "iOS icon" and the "iOS icon results". For opening an icon you will only need the first one, but it would make the whole process much simpler if there as only one windows involved. As well as converting a 512x512 icon, there is also the option of using an @2x artwork icon file as the input file. This will initially scale down the size of the image by 50% as it is intended for a retina display.
Exporting The Icon
After opening the icon with Prepo, it is to export to its different formats with the click of a button. First, select wether you intend to submit the application for iPhone/iPod Touch or if you want to submit it to the iPad as well. This can be done by selecting the checkboxes in the lower left hand corner of the window, and depending on your decision, Prepo will export different files. To export the icon, its as easy as clicking the export button and browsing to a location of your choice. For the purpose of testing this application, we simply created a folder on the desktop and called it "App Icon". At this point Prepo will display a list of all the different icons it has created for you in the iOS icon results window.
Adding your icons to your Project
Having only taken a fraction of a second to export all the different icon files needed to submit your app, it is as easy as opening the playlist file that Prepo creates for you with Xcode. Thats it. All Done. No Photoshop. No resizing. No saving in different formats. Prepo does literally everything for you!
Lets be honest, cutting the time to create a series of icons is hardly the biggest saving to your workflow, but you have to start somewhere. If that somewhere is one icon creation, then Prepo offers a great solution to the laborious task of producing these icons, and it also works great on Lion! If you develop applications for iOS, be sure to get your own copy of Prepo from the Mac App Store. Oh, and I haven't told you the best bit of news yet, its absolutely free! Good Luck creating some awesome apps!