The Clever iPhone Launch Image Trick You Need To Learn From

While your app loads, Apple allows you to add a launch image so the user is not starring at a black screen. Here are a few traditional launch images from popular apps (just open the app, and these will appear for a second or two):

Dropbox Launch Image

dropbox launch image

LinkedIn Launch Image

LinkedIn Launch Image

Yelp Launch Image

Yelp Launch Image

The Clever New Trend

Today, as I was looking for sample launch images for my app, I found that apps like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Pinterest are instead using the app outline as their launch app, giving me and all their users the illusion that their app is already launched and is just getting the data. It just feels so fast!

Check it out!

Pinterest Launch Image

Pinterest Launch Image

Twitter Launch Image

Twitter Launch Image

Facebook Launch Image

Facebook Launch Image

Foursquare Launch Image

Foursquare Launch Image

The brilliant lesson here is that when you can’t control things (such as how long the app will take to launch), create the illusion that you’re in control and your app is working seamlessly.

Update

A few people on Twitter (thanks Gabe Kangas and Vladimir!) pointed out that creating a launch image that is an outline of your app is actually recommended by Apple in their Human Interface Guidelines.

Remember, the launch image doesn’t provide you with an opportunity for artistic expression. It’s solely intended to enhance the user’s perception of your app as quick to launch and immediately ready for use.

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  • That’s a really good tip that a lot of beginners miss. It really does give you a sense of speed compared to the static loading screen.

    • Ironically, the newes Twitter app has the old-fashioned loading screen – blue with a tweetie bird – I can see a new designer coming in and being confused by it or something, lol.

      The newes Facebook has the fast loading launch screen, but right when it launches, it adds an old style loading screen – blue with a spinner – until it gets the data, so the whole transition feels pretty weird. Maybe they’re experimenting on me…