Apple’s icon revenge


As annoying as it is that the favicon’s namesake is an ode to Internet Explorer’s Favorites, Apple’s new WebClip default icon name of apple-touch-icon.png is even more annoying. Is Apple hoping to get their new icon W3C sanctioned? At least Microsoft didn’t include their name.

I’m all for vendors pushing forward on browser rendering abilities where there lacks any formal definition of how that rendering should work, but it should be done in a way that promotes a standard rather than a single device/application. Favicon is a terrible name. Not only is the term favorites unique to one browser, the icon isn’t just for bookmarks. This wasn’t originally the case but a bit of foresight could have resulted in a more generic and meaningful name.

So what happens when the fifty other mobile device companies implement a function similar to WebClips? What if they decide to use the same size icon? Are they supposed to default to using an image called apple-touch-icon.png? Or do developers get to litter their servers with a bunch of different icon’s or redirects? Given the flexibility in .png resizing, a single image could likely be used on different devices even if they render it at different sizes. A more generic name would be fitting given its possible generic usage.

Similarly, if it is desired to use a differently named image in combination with a link tag, the required rel attribute is just as device centric: apple-touch-icon. Using Microsoft’s proprietary HTML makes me want to rip off my hands. Using any other vendor’s inflicts the same feeling. Apple is not exempt from this.


  1. majafa 20080120

    I like “favicon” and besides, what else could it be called? Browsicon? Siteicon? Being an ode to IE’s favourites is a bit odd, but I understand it. When i look at my Favourites list of sites I look for the favicon rather than site name…finding a logo is much quicker than finding the text names.

    As for ripping off your hands…if you do I get your p-bass.

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