Launch Images for AIR Applications on iOS

Apple expects all its iOS applications to have launch images for all supported devices and resolutions to enhance the user experience at application launch.  In general, an iPhone application should have a Portrait launch image and an iPad application should have a launch image as per the launch orientation of the application. As mentioned here, every application must include launch image for different sizes and resolution. Looking at the sizes closely, we notice that Apple expects fullscreen launch images for iPhone whereas it expects non fullscreen launch images for iPad. This size recommendation by Apple is irrespective of the fact whether the application is meant to be fullscreen or not.

A launch image must be visible instantly when the user starts the application and must remain visible until the application is fully ready to use. For AIR applications, AIR Runtime needs to be initialized too and launch image must remain visible till this initialization is complete. To achieve this, AIR Runtime shows the same launch image as shown by iOS till the time application is fully ready to use. Recently, we faced some issues where launch images appeared to drift slightly during application launch. This occurred because of the above mentioned fact that Apple expected fullscreen launch images for iPhone and non fullscreen launch images for iPad. Drifts were observed due to image scaling when we tried to display the fullscreen launch image in non fullscreen area(on iPhone) or a non fullscreen launch image in fullscreen area(on iPad).

To overcome these issues permanently, we changed the guidelines for launch screen image sizes for iPad in AIR 3.4. We now expect all AIR applications meant for iOS platform to include only the fullscreen launch images as the resolution of the supported device. This means that expected image size of default portrait image for high resolution iPad would be 1536×2048 from AIR 3.4 onwards. This is irrespective of the fact that application is meant to be fullscreen or not. The extra 40 pixels are hidden behind the status bar for non fullscreen applications.

From AIR 3.4 onwards, the expected launch image sizes for AIR applications targeted for iOS platform are mentioned in the table below:-


Launch Image Size

 iPhone and iPod (3rd Generation) 

320 x 480

 iPhone4, iPhone 4S & iPod Touch (4th Generation)

640 x 960

 iPhone 5 and iPod Touch (5th Generation)

640 x 1136

 iPad 1 and iPad 2

768 x 1024 (portrait)

1024 x 768 (landscape)

 iPad 3rd Generation

1536 x 2048 (portrait)

2048 x 1536 (landscape)

For more details on naming conventions of launch images, please refer to article available here

5 Responses to Launch Images for AIR Applications on iOS

  1. Pingback: Launch Images for AIR Applications on iOS | TechnoVeille

  2. David Knight says:

    What is the naming convention for the iPhone5 images? Does it matter or can they be named anything? The linked article gives names for the other launch images, but is not updated for iPhone5.

    Also, is it possible to run an App in a ‘non-retina’ mode on iPhone5 by providing a providing only a 320×568 launch image? This works on iPhone 4 and 4S, by providing only a 320×480 image, and similarly on iPad3. By reading the Apple docs, I don’t see support for such a mode on iPhone5, but wanted to check if AIR supports that somehow.


    • Varun Bhatia says:

      Naming conventions for launch image meant for iPhone 5 remain same except the fact that -568h needs to appended to launch image. So default name would look like Default-568h@2x.png. Non retina mode is supported in iPhone 5 too. But since launch images should be packaged as per the device, its better to package Default-568h@2x.png and still use the non retina resolution in the app.

  3. Leon M. says:

    It also appears, per the link to the iOS human interface provided in the article, that we have to add app icons for ALL supported devices, correct? Looking at the app icons for App store, AIR does not support the recommended 1024×1024 size at this point. Will the next release of AIR support the 1024 size?

    • Varun Bhatia says:

      AIR does support 1024×01024 icon size. Try packaging this using image1024x1024 tag in icons tag in application descriptor.