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I'm following this tutorial on making icons for a React Native app using Xcode. It recommends using Icon Set Creator to make the set of icons of various sizes for iOS, and Android Asset Studio for Android. In both of these, they instruct you to drag and drop your original icon, which the apps will convert into icons of the sizes you need. The problem is that they both say to use an original image of at least 1024x1024 pixels, but mine is 512x512.

One of the icons the apps generate is 1024x1024, so I know for this one the image quality will suffer. What I want to know is, will this be a problem in practice? Does anyone know where that 1024x1024 image gets used, and will it be a problem that the image quality is cut in half for that icon?

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Your app icon is displayed in many places, including in Finder, the Dock, Launchpad, and the App Store. To ensure that your app icon looks great everywhere people see it, provide it in the following sizes.

  • 512px × 512px (512pt × 512pt @1x)
  • 1024px × 1024px (512pt × 512pt @2x)

https://developer.apple.com/design/human-interface-guidelines/macos/icons-and-images/app-icon/

Technical Q&A QA1686 lists the specific uses of each icon size in iOS, but I can't find an equivalent resource for macOS.

You should use an actual 1024px image if at all possible. An upscaled icon may be rejected by App Store Review.

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For best quality, you will want to use a 1024x1024 original image. Apple usually downscales those for display on its various App stores (unless your app is featured)

In practice, I've (re)submitted to the App Store old 512x512 icon images and even older 114x114 icons that I just upscaled to the required 1024x1024 size using Preview, and Apple has approved those submissions.

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