May 11th, 2010
What are the most popular iPhone app icon colors? With Icon Rainbow, now you know
One of the things I love most about this whole Web thing is that if you take creative people and give them access to data? They’ll come up with some pretty interesting ways to munge that data and represent it in really beautiful ways.
Take Portland-based Icon Rainbow (@iconrainbow), a new project from Ryan Snyder (@ryansnyder) and Crystal Beasley (@skinny) that analyzes iPhone app icon colors and tells you which colors are currently the most popular.
The Icon Rainbow (@iconrainbow) is a color analyzer for iPhone app icons. In the first iteration, we fetched a subset of iPhone app icons and grabbed the color for every single pixel in each of the images. We then determined which colors were most prominent in each app’s icon, in each app category, and also in the entire icon subset.
And what they’ve found might surprise you. Like the fact that blue is not the most popular color—at least in the initial subset they’ve chosen. Beige is, currently. I hear taupe is very soothing.
But it’s more than a list. Not only does Icon Rainbow allow you to see the top colors overall, it allows you to slice and dice the list by application type. Need more detail? Clicking on any color takes you on a deep dive to see a swath of the app icons that employ that color, all the types of applications that use it, and the color’s popularity by app type.
More visually oriented? You’re going to love Icon Rainbow’s spectrum menu. No. I mean, really. Just click on any of the colors running along the top of the site and you’ll jump directly to the details on that particular color. Or just randomly click along to get a smattering of interesting colors and apps.
But what about the converse? I mean, what if you want to know which colors appear in a particular icon? No worries. They’ve got you covered. Simply click on any icon and you’ll get a listing of all the colors in the icon, the name of the app, and the category in which it falls. Then, of course, you can dive into each of those colors separately.
That’s right. Completely awesome time sink. And not bad for two days of effort.
But so what? What’s the utility? Well, there are several ways you could use it. Especially if you’re designing iPhone apps. What if you want an icon that stands out from the majority? Well, you could look for some of the least used colors in Icon Rainbow and choose those for your icon. What if you see an icon that really seems to work? You can use Icon Rainbow to determine the HEX values that the icon employs—and maybe emulate that palette yourself.
Or you could exercise your mouse finger by just sitting there clicking and clicking and clicking like me. I like shiny objects. So sue me.
Even if you couldn’t care less about iPhone or iPad apps, Icon Rainbow is well worth some of your time—if only to see a beautiful representation of an incredibly interesting data set.
For more information or to try it yourself, visit Icon Rainbow. But be forewarned, you’re going to get sucked into it. So go ahead. Get your HEX on.