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Issue 13.6 ('Stay Out of Jail')
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ICNSmini

Issue: 13.6 (November/December 2015)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,157
Starting Page Number: 12
Article Number: 13612
Related Link(s): None

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If you've tried creating ICNS files with the high-resolution icons Apple insists all apps have, you know that such large images can create big files. Now here's Ohanaware with a simple app, ICNSmini, to the rescue.

The interface is minimal—just a window where you drag and drop icons and image files onto it. Instantly the app squishes the files, using better compression to give you a new file that looks the same but is much smaller.

Granted, you do need large files to start with: when I tested it with a 40KB file, it only saved 59 bytes. But a 1MB ICNS file shrank to 321KB!

I tried other formats with similar success: a JPEG went from 1.3MB to 430KB, and I couldn't see any difference. The best result I got was on an uncompressed TIFF—it went from 4.8MB down to just 417KB, a 91% reduction!

Since ICNSmini is a free app, you can download it on the Mac App Store and use it. The only restriction is it will only work with one file at a time. To enable batch processing (which lets you drop multiple files and entire folders of images in one go), you need to pay for the $4.99 in-app purchase. That's a reasonable price and a great way to test the app out before you pay anything.

The only criticism I have is that ICNSmini stores the converted files in a temporary folder hidden deep in the bowels of the system. It auto-opens the folder and shows you the converted file(s), but since these have the exact same name as the originals, it could be confusing as to which is which. This isn't a big deal (you can tell the difference by the file sizes), but I'd prefer it if the app would give me the option of appending something to the name (i.e. mypict.png becomes mypict-shrunk.png) and keeping it in the same folder as the original file.

ICNSmini is terrific and not just for app developers: since it works with JPEG and PNG and other formats, it's great for web and graphic designers, too!

End of article.