Category: Windows Phone 7

Creating Splash or Launch images for Cross-platform apps with a Photoshop script

There are a bewildering number of screen sizes when publishing a cross platform app (See also Icons, Tiles, Splash screens and other images when publishing phone apps with Xamarin). Creating Splash or Launch screens for all these resolutions can be a real pain. This is what they look like to scale.


Rather than trying to create all these by hand I have created a Photoshop script to generate all the variations from a portrait source and a landscape source. You can download this from All Mobile Splash Screens.js The source images must be 1536 x 2008 for Portrait and conversely 2008 x 1536 for landscape. Due to variation in aspect ratios, If your splash screen has a logo or text of some sort it’s best to make sure this lies with a of 204px left and right padding area for portrait or top and bottom for landscape.


for example, you can see below all my ‘important’ stuff is inside the bleed area.


If you are really clever then you can start with a single image for both keeping the logo or text within a central box of 1004×1004 as shown here.


Use Photoshop Script

  1. Download the Photoshop script from here. The script is JavaScript, so you can open it in a text editor and have a look.
  2. Copy it to your Photoshop Presets/Scripts folder. Mine was at c:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2014\Presets\Scripts and I create a subfolder to hold my scripts. On a mac or if you have the 32-bit version your local path will vary.
  3. Launch Photoshop and you should now see the script available under File->Scripts called ‘HMS Create All Mobile Splash Screens’
  4. Open either your Portrait (must be 1536 x 2008) or Landscape (must be 2008 x 1536)  source image.
  5. Then run the script by selecting it from the menu.
  6. If you have a landscape just repeat the process for that.

This will generate a series of cropped and new resolution versions of your original image in the same folder. If the source image is not exactly the right size the script will tell you and exit. You should end up with something like the set below, where all the test is still in frame.


For information on all image sizes, including Icons, Tiles and the rest, when deploying cross-platform apps, have a look at my other blog article Icons, Tiles, Splash and other images when publishing phone apps with Xamarin

Here is the full code listing of the Photoshop script. If anyone does any improvements (and there’s lots of potential ;-)), I would love to hear about it.

// HMS Photoshop Script for creating several variations of the SplashScreen
// ------------------------------------------------------------------
// Created by: Nicholas Rogoff
// Last Updated: 2015-04-25
// Copyright Hard Medium Soft Ltd. 2015

var docRef;

function main(){
    var newWidth;
    var newHeight;
    var portraitDims = [
        var landscapeDims = [
     var newDims;
    app.displayDialogs = DialogModes.NO;
    app.preferences.rulerUnits = Units.PIXELS;
    app.preferences.typeUnits = TypeUnits.PIXELS;

    //reference the doc
    if(app.documents.length != 0 && app.activeDocument != null){
        docRef = app.activeDocument;
    } else {
        alert(":( The starting image must be 1536 x 2008 px. No image appears to be loaded. Script cancelled!");

    //Get path
    var origPath = docRef.path;

    //Check resolution
    var origHeight = docRef.height.value;
    var origWidth = docRef.width.value;
    if((origWidth != 1536 && origHeight != 2008) && (origWidth != 2004 && origHeight != 1496)){
        alert(":( The starting image must be 1536 x 2008 for Portrait or 2004 x 1496 for Landscape splash screens. The current image is " + origWidth + " x " + origHeight + " Script cancelled!");

    //Select either Portrait or Landscape size ranges
    if(origWidth == 1536 && origHeight == 2008){
         newDims = portraitDims;
    } else {
        newDims = landscapeDims;
    for(i = 0; i < newDims.length; i++){
         newResizeWidth = (newDims[i][1] / origHeight) * origWidth;

        docRef.resizeImage( newResizeWidth, newDims[i][1] );
        //Set Canvas
        docRef.resizeCanvas(newDims[i][0], newDims[i][1], AnchorPosition.MIDDLECENTER);

        SaveDoc(newDims[i][0], newDims[i][1], origPath);

    alert("All Done ;-)");

//Save document
function SaveDoc (newWidth, newHeight, origPath){    
    var saveFile;
    saveFile = new File(origPath + "/SplashScreen-" + newWidth + "x" + newHeight + ".png");
    var saveOptions = new PNGSaveOptions;
    docRef.saveAs(saveFile, saveOptions, true, Extension.LOWERCASE);

function Revert(){
    var idRvrt = charIDToTypeID( "Rvrt" );
    executeAction( idRvrt, undefined, DialogModes.NO );


Icons, Tiles, Splash screens and other images when publishing phone apps with Xamarin

Publishing an app to one platform is difficult enough, publishing to 3 or 4 different ones can be very time consuming. One area of confusion is the myriad of Icons, Tiles and Splash screen sizes needed. Here I thought I would put it all together, in one place, all the image asset details for all 4 platforms iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Windows Store applications.

See also Creating Splash or Launch images for Cross-platform apps with a Photoshop script

Icon and Tile Images

Useful web apps are about for creating some of the necessary icon sizes. or will help with iOS and Android.

However I found that my favourite was Icon Slayer. It is the most configurable and particularly useful for those developing for Windows Phone and App too. You can also add in some additional sizes that are missing in the standard iOS and Android pre-sets. See my Blog for Generating Screenshots and Icons for Xamarin Cross-platform Apps.

If you tick iOS, Android and Custom, then copy and paste this custom set of sizes (as is, space delimited!),

8 22 70 75 76 80 180 159 110 120 148 150 152 159 173 192 202 300 310 336 358 800

into the ‘Custom’ field in Icon Slayer as shown below, you will produce all the sizes of icons as listed for all platforms below. Icons and Tiles that are do not have an aspect ratio of 1:1 I have highlighted in orange. These will need to be edited by hand, however the images created in Icon Slayer will also cover the width or height of these images too, to help with easy editing later. if you have a transparent or flat background colour, all you will need to do is change the canvas size.

Personally I generate 3 full sets of icons. One set of rounded with effect (use in Android), one set square edged with effect (use in iOS and Windows) and one just plain square with no effect (use for creating other aspect ratio images and sometimes Windows).

Your source Icon or Tile image should be sized to 1024 x 1024 pixels.


iOS Icon Sizes

see Icons and Image Sizes and Xamarin iOS Working with Images and Xamarin iOS Application Icons

When iOS displays an app icon on the Home screen of a device, it automatically applies a mask that rounds the corners. Make sure your icon has 90° corners so it looks good after the mask is applied.

  • Icon Sizes (1:1): 22, 25, 29, 40, 50, 57,  58, 72, 75, 76, 80, 100, 114, 120, 144, 152, 180, 512, 1024

Android Icon Sizes

see Android Iconography

The sizes below include all sizes (including LDPI) for Launcher, Action Bar, Notification, Store and Contextual icons.

  • Icon Sizes (1:1): 8, 12, 16, 24, 32, 36, 48, 64, 72, 96, 128, 144, 192, 512

Windows Phone Tile Sizes

see Tile design guidelines for Windows Phone and App submission requirements

  • Flip Tile Sizes: 159×159, 336×336, 691×336
  • Iconic Tile Icon Sizes (ideal): 70×110, 130×202
  • Iconic Tile Icon Sizes (not ideal): 110×110, 202×202

Windows Store App Tile Sizes

Guidelines for tiles and badges

  • Tile Sizes: 70×70, 150×150, 310×150, 310×310

Splash Screen (Launch Screen) Images

I have not found a useful app for making all your splash screens. So I have created a Photoshop script for doing it. You can find more details about how to get and use in this article here.

iOS Launch Screens

Description Size
iPad Landscape 1024×768
iPad Landscape Retina 2048×1536
iPad Portrait 768×1024
iPad Portrait Retina 1536×2048
iPhone Portrait 320×480
iPhone Portrait Retina 640×960
iPhone Landscape 480×320
iPhone Landscape Retina 960×640
iPhone 5 Portrait Retina 640×1136
iPhone 5 Landscape Retina 1136×640
iPhone 6 Portrait Retina 750×1334
iPhone 6 Landscape Retina 1334×750
iPhone 6 Plus Portrait Retina 1242×2208
iPhone 6 Plus Landscape Retina 2208×1242

Android Launch Screens

On Android launch screens or splash screens are not encouraged and not supported directly in the framework. However Xamarin have added this article on how to bake your own

Due to the very large range of screen sizes found on Android, you are advised to have large bleed areas. The minimum sizes documented for Android are below.

Description Size
xlarge screen landscape 960×720
xlarge screen portrait 720×960
large screen landscape 640×480
large screen portrait 480×640
normal screen landscape 470×320
normal screen portrait 320×470
small screen landscape 426×320
small screen portrait 320×426

Windows Phone Splash Screens

To display a splash screen for all resolutions, use a single image file named SplashScreenImage.jpg that is 768 × 1280. The phone automatically scales the image to the correct size.All splash screen images must be in the root folder of your app project and you must set the Build Action property of the image(s) to Content.

Windows Phone 8 Update 3 will default to using the 720p splash screen file on a 1080p phone.

For a Windows Phone Store app, provide the 2.4x asset at a minimum; preferably all. The image file assets themselves should have a transparent background. In your app manifest, set the value of the SplashScreen@Image property to “Assets\.png”, and set a value for VisualElements@BackgroundColor.

see How to create a splash screen fro Windows Phone

Description Size Recommended Filename
Windows Phone 720p Portrait 720×1280 SplashScreenImage.screen-720p.jpg
Windows Phone WXGA Portrait 768×1280 SplashScreenImage.screen-WXGA.jpg
Windows Phone WVGA Portrait 480×800 SplashScreenImage.screen-WVGA.jpg

Windows Store Apps Splash Screens

see Guidelines for splash screens

see Quickstart: Adding a splash screen (XAML)

Use a transparent PNG as your splash screen image for best visual results. Using a transparent PNG lets the background colour you chose show through your splash screen image. Otherwise, if the image has a different background colour, your splash screen may look disjointed and unappealing.

Description Size
1x Splash Screen 620×300
1.4x Splash Screen 868×420
1.8x Splash Screen 1116×540

Other App Store Assets

When finally publishing your app to the store, you may find that additional promotional images are needed. If you have these ahead of time, it can smooth your journey. All stores require screenshots, but I am not going into those here.

iOS Store Assets

  • Spotlight Icons: 29×29, 58×58, 50×50, 100×100, 40×40, 80×80

Android Store Assets

see Graphic assets, screenshots and Video

  • Hi-res graphic: 512×512
  • Feature graphic: 1024×500
  • Promo graphic: 180×120
  • TV Banner: 320×180

Windows Phone Store Assets

  • App Store Icon or Tile Sizes: 300×300, 358×358, 358×173
  • Store Background Image: 100×800

Windows Store Store Assets

** coming soon **

Xamarin Guide Publishing Links

Proud to be Xamarin Certified

After looking at all the various methods and frameworks for cross-platform mobile development, I decided that Xamarin‘s approach and mature tech was the way to go.

I got a subscription and signed up for the Xamarin University training course. Many late nights doing excellent live training, a visit to the Xamarin Evolve 2014 conference in Atlanta and a tough 150 question 3 hour exam later…I am now officially a ‘Certified Xamarin Mobile Developer’

Oh…and it was not easy! 1 minute 12 secs per question and an 80% pass mark!!


Xamarin certification can be verified at and found in the Xamarin Certified Developers LinkedIn Group.

If you are wanting or thinking of developing mobile apps, then this is a brilliant technology for managing the whole process. Code shared across platforms can be as high as 95% when using Xamarin Forms. And it creates native apps…not horrid HTML/JavaScript things!

Refresh a controls binding in Silverlight or WPF without using PropertyChanged

I often need to change the Language (or culture) of a control (changing the Control.Language) or the whole thread (changing CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture). Such as when displaying dates and currencies in a particular culture. Anyone who has tried this will realise that the controls will not reflect the change until an underlying value has updated.

Alternatively you can rebind the control. To help I have created a simple generic method to help.

    /// Rebinds a controls dependency property to it's original binding. Used to refresh a control.
    /// </summary>
    /// <remarks>Can be used after updating a controls Culture</remarks>
    /// <param name="cntrl">The control to which the dependency property exists</param>
    /// <param name="depprop">The dependency property of the control</param>
    public static void ForceControlRebind(Control cntrl, DependencyProperty depprop)
                BindingExpression BindExp = cntrl.GetBindingExpression(depprop);
                Binding Bind = BindExp.ParentBinding;
                cntrl.SetBinding(depprop, Bind);
            catch (Exception)

To rebind a control just pass the Control and the DependencyProperty whose binding you wish to refresh.

So, for a TextBox called txtBox1 the syntax would be:

ForceControlRebind(txtBox1, TextBox.TextProperty);

Interactive demo app of Windows Phone 7 for Android and iPhone

Microsoft have rather cleverly created a little demo web app that lets an android or iPhone user get some idea of how the WP7 phone works.

Check it out at

Start showing people how much better WP7 clearly is as a phone OS.

A bit bizarre, but it does not work in my IE9 browser!!

Creating an easy Grouped ObservableCollection for the LongListSelector

The LongListSelector is great for long lists in Windows Phone 7, but getting your data into the right format can be tricky and confusing (certainly took me a while to work out what to do!). Especially if you want to use ‘pure’ binding to an ObservableCollection.

The answer that I found easiest to understand and follow was to use ‘nested Observable collections’. This also ensure that things are kept up-to-date in the UI without additional coding.

To help me understand what was need I broke it down into some simple stages. I am sure it can be done with a single LINQ statement.

Let say you have a list of contacts that you would like to display with the typical A-Z short cuts as shown here. This includes showing group titles that contain no child records too!


Create the basic object – Contacts

We’ll start with the simple Contact class that has two 3 properties. One is derived to create the key value. This can be any value, but here it’s the first letter of the Name value in lower case. If your data is changing then you should implement the INotifyPropertyChanged interface. I have left it out here for simplicity.

namespace PhoneTester1.Model
    public class Contact
        public string Name { get; set; }
        public string JobTitle { get; set; }

        private string _NameKey;
        /// <summary>
        /// First letter of the Name. Used for grouping in the long list selector
        /// </summary>
        public string NameKey
                //If not set then
                if (_NameKey == null)
                    //get the first letter of the Name
                    char key = char.ToLower(this.Name[0]);
                    if (key < 'a' || key > 'z')
                        key = '#';
                    _NameKey = key.ToString();
                return _NameKey;


Create the Group Observable Collection

Then we’ll create a Group class. I have called it GroupOC for Grouping Observable Collections.

using System.Collections.ObjectModel;

namespace PhoneTester1.Model
    public class GroupedOC<T>:ObservableCollection<T>
        /// <summary>
        /// The Group Title
        /// </summary>
        public string Title

        /// <summary>
        /// Constructor ensure that a Group Title is included
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="name">string to be used as the Group Title</param>
        public GroupedOC(string name)
            this.Title = name;

        /// <summary>
        /// Returns true if the group has a count more than zero
        /// </summary>
        public bool HasItems
                return (Count != 0);
            private set


Create the Helper method to Group the Contacts

I created a static method  called CreateGroupedOC in a static Collection Helper class called CollectionHelper. This can then be called on to group everything up.

using System.Collections.ObjectModel;
using System.Linq;
using PhoneTester1.Model;

namespace PhoneTester1.Functions
    public static class CollectionHelpers
        /// <summary>
        /// Groups a passed Contacts ObservableCollection
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="InitialContactsList">Unordered collection of Contacts</param>
        /// <returns>Grouped Observable Collection of Contacts suitable for the LongListSelector</returns>
        public static ObservableCollection<GroupedOC<Contact>> CreateGroupedOC(ObservableCollection<Contact> InitialContactsList)

            //Initialise the Grouped OC to populate and return
            ObservableCollection<GroupedOC<Contact>> GroupedContacts = new ObservableCollection<GroupedOC<Contact>>();

            //first sort our contacts collection into a temp List using LINQ
            var SortedList = (from con in InitialContactsList
                              orderby con.Name
                              select con).ToList();

            //Now enumerate throw the alphabet creating empty groups objects
            //This ensure that the whole alphabet exists even if we never populate them
            string Alpha = "#abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz";
            foreach (char c in Alpha)
                //Create GroupedOC for given letter
                GroupedOC<Contact> thisGOC = new GroupedOC<Contact>(c.ToString());

                //Create a temp list with the appropriate Contacts that have this NameKey
                var SubsetOfCons = (from con in SortedList
                                    where con.NameKey == c.ToString()
                                    select con).ToList<Contact>();

                //Populate the GroupedOC
                foreach (Contact csm in SubsetOfCons)

                //Add this GroupedOC to the observable collection that is being returned 
                // and the LongListSelector can be bound to.
            return GroupedContacts;


Tie it together in your ViewModel

In my projects I am usually populating a collection of objects either from a database or web service. Here we’ll start with a collection of Contacts that is populated in a random order. This ObservableCollection we would pass to the method shown above (CreateGroupedOC ) to group it and return a grouped ObservableCollection.. This can then be referenced in your ViewModel and bound to the LongListSelector control.

I also use the very handy MVVM Light Toolkit produced by the very excellent Laurent Bugnion of GalaSoft. This you can find at and some info about it at I strongly recommend using it.

I have included my whole ViewModel below. Hopefully the comments make it self explanatory!

using System;
using System.Collections.ObjectModel;
using System.Text;
using GalaSoft.MvvmLight;
using PhoneTester1.Functions;
using PhoneTester1.Model;

namespace PhoneTester1.ViewModel
    /// <summary>
    /// This class contains properties that the main View can data bind to.
    /// You can also use Blend to data bind with the tool's support.
    /// This code is provided as is by Hard Medium Soft Ltd.
    /// see us at
    /// </summary>
    public class MainViewModel : ViewModelBase
        public string ApplicationTitle
                return "Nicholas Rogoff for Hard Medium Soft Ltd.";

        public string PageName
                return "Tester App";

        /// <summary>
        /// The <see cref="GroupedContacts" /> property's name.
        /// </summary>
        public const string GroupedContactsPropertyName = "GroupedContacts";

        private ObservableCollection<GroupedOC<Contact>> _GroupedContacts = new ObservableCollection<GroupedOC<Contact>>();

        /// <summary>
        /// Gets the GroupedContacts property.
        /// Changes to that property's value raise the PropertyChanged event. 
        /// This property's value is broadcasted by the Messenger's default instance when it changes.
        /// </summary>
        public ObservableCollection<GroupedOC<Contact>> GroupedContacts
                return _GroupedContacts;
                if (_GroupedContacts == value)
                var oldValue = _GroupedContacts;
                _GroupedContacts = value;
                // Update bindings, no broadcast

        /// <summary>
        /// Initializes a new instance of the MainViewModel class.
        /// </summary>
        public MainViewModel()
            //Populate some Contacts with random strings
            ObservableCollection<Contact> tempContactsOC = new ObservableCollection<Contact>();
            for (int i = 0; i < 50; i++)
                Contact tempContact=new Contact(){Name = RandomString(12,false,i) + " - " + i, JobTitle=RandomString(18,false,i)};
            //Create our Nested ObservableCollection
            GroupedContacts = CollectionHelpers.CreateGroupedOC(tempContactsOC);

        #region Random String generator

        /// <summary>
        /// Generates a random string with the given length
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="size">Size of the string</param>
        /// <param name="lowerCase">If true, generate lowercase string</param>
        /// <returns>Random string</returns>
        private string RandomString(int size, bool lowerCase, int seed)
            StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder();
            Random random = new Random((int)DateTime.Now.Ticks * seed);
            char ch;
            for (int i = 0; i < size; i++)
                ch = Convert.ToChar(Convert.ToInt32(Math.Floor(26 * random.NextDouble() + 65)));
            if (lowerCase)
                return builder.ToString().ToLower();
            return builder.ToString();



If you think you can make this simpler or better please let me know. Thanks.