Differences between XP Icons and MAC Icons

The icons in an application are the soul of the application; they give it the modern and dynamic look the application has. Also, if the icons are intuitive – the end user will easily remember the task behind the icon – easy to memorize then the end users will definitely choose the respective application against one with clogged and strange icons. Icon designers are trying their best to make their creation as intuitive as possible so to make it easier for the end users to work with the applications.

Furthermore, a too colorful or dynamic look given by the icons of an application is not a good thing especially for the commercial applications. That is because these types of applications are used in the business sector where we don’t need too many colors; the need is for simplicity and efficiency.

The differences between applications are, in part, given by their icons; different applications have different styles of icons. To the inexperienced eye, it might seem that some of them are alike but in fact they are definitely dissimilar when it comes to style, sizes, colors and file types. If we are to compare XP stock icons with MAC stock icons we can easily see they are different: different style, size, color, file kind. But most of all their differences come from the way the end users perceive the icons: to some of us XP icons look better and are more appropriately used then the MAC icons, but for other the situation might be opposite.

When it comes to XP icons, many people say that XP’s interface is new and more beautiful then the past version of Windows. If we look at the new confront of XP we will surely see the differences between this version and the past version of Windows. Some people say, that at a closer look at the icons, we can observe that not all of them are new and beautiful. A few of the icons are used from the past version without being improved at all. Some of them don’t already look like the new ones and they are not already lined up with the new icons. Other people complain that some of the icons were not already changed compared with the past version, and additionally they were borrowed from other responsibilities. As an example we can say that some of the icons in the administrator elements of XP look alike few of the icons in the admin section. Other users complain about few font icons that were “left behind”, meaning when comparing the icons in the new, larger Tile view with the traditional 32 x 32 pixels icon we can see that some of them are just scaled up from the smaller icon. except the end users that criticize the new look of XP there are also users that enjoy the new confront of the application. They think the interface is more alluring then the one from the old version, it is easier to change it, more easily to understand the responsibilities behind the icons, and basically the icons are more attractive. So, we can say that it all depends on the taste of the end users: some of them like and others don’t like the new style of XP icons.

Compared with XP stock icons, MAC icons have more good reviews. It can be noticed that not too many people have something to complain about the MAC icons. Generally, people are happy and delighted about the style and colors of the MAC icons. They don’t say like for the XP icons that are to colorful and bright, the end users believe that MAC icons are serious and well integrated into the application. But comparing the number of XP users with the number of MAC users, the proportion is disadvantageous for the MAC users and this is maybe why the number of complaints about the look and the integration of the icons is so small almost nonexistent.

The XP icons and MAC icons have different file kind extensions and that is why they cannot be exchanged between applications unless you transform them. There are various applications that can transform MAC icons to be used in XP style applications and the other way around. This is of course an advantage because if

you use both operating systems it will be quite difficult to adapt to both of them, so it is best to adapt the applications by using the icons from one of them (which ever you like best) for the other. Because the XP and MAC icons are different, icon designer must know from the start for what kind of application are you going to use the icons. It is best to know from the beginning if the icons are for XP or MAC applications because their style, format, file kind are quite different and converting them after finalization is not that easy. Above this, after conversion the icons will not have the same good quality as before.

Regarding the file kind extension, XP icons use the .ico extension and the MAC icons use the .icns extension. Compared with XP icons, that always have the extension besides the name of the file, MAC icons do not always characterize extension .icns. Another difference between XP and MAC icons is that MAC icons are not like traditional icons, their custom image is not displayed on the file like an image but it is stored inside the file as data. Unlike the MAC icons, XP icons characterize the image they represent, being easier to clarify them. Another difference between those to types of icons is that for XP icons the number of sizes most often used is of four: 8 x 8 pixels, 16 x 16 pixels, 32 x 32 pixels and 64 x 64 pixels, while for the MAC icons the shared sizes are 32 x 32 pixels, 48 x 48 pixels and sometimes 128 x 128 pixels.

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