Make your own iPhone app in Photoshop: How to design an iPhone app in Photoshop and convert it into a code


Things are getting easier with the advent of technology. Gone are the days of long coding hours and finding errors for hours. Now, it has become easy to design a website. Not only that, even mobile applications are now easy to make. All you need is just basic skills in Photoshop and that is it. You can make your own mobile applications with Photoshop, without coding. Well, here’s how you can do it.

1. Setting up Gridlines

It is required to design high-res retina screen while developing mobile applications. What happens on the mobile phone with high resolutions is that 2-pixel lines appear as 1 point when they're shown on screen.

Therefore the first step is to set up the Photoshop grid to split gridlines into 2 pixels.

Photoshop > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices


Here, in this example, gridlines are set to 20 pixels and is sectioned to every 2 pixels.

Now do the snapping task. Here you need to ensure that you snap setup to snap to all. Here, the functioning should be such that any object movements should snap to the 2px grid.


Also, ensure your shapes tool is setup to snap to pixels.

About colors, you need to ensure that you take color codes to work with precision. Colors are different on different screens. It is important to adjust the color settings.


2. Getting a PSD template

Just like how a web designer keeps a PSD template for designing a website in Photoshop or a framework for making it up in HTML/CSS




And the same thing is required while designing an iPhone app over Photoshop. Here you need to keep static elements in place. Also, you may require a grid to work along with the typical guidelines you might want to use

The canvas is open for adding several elements like button, text, etc.


3. Get iPhone 4 GUI PSD retina display

It easy to get Teehan & Lax’s iPhone 4 GUI PSD retina display elements. Here, all the single pixel elements becomes two or three pixels thick. Here the effects are exaggerated to become visible. It is necessary to be really aware of how the buttons looks on phone and how different are they displayed on your computer screen while using Photoshop.


Get the app


4.  Now, Use Liveview to preview your user interface

It is not remotely possible to gauge the actual iPhone interface for your design on you are designing the same on the monitor screen. There is a free app which lets you preview your UI on iPhone (



                Follow these steps to get the live view of your application interface


1.       Go to Window >> Arrange >> New Window for (file name)

2.       Move the window over unutilized part of the screen.

3.       Run LiveView and place the frame above that unutilized window in Photoshop

4.       Open iView from your iPhone. Then, connect it with the computer.

Your app is be ready. This shall give you the preview of how your app will look



5.       Make sure you have followed these iOS human interface guidelines

First things first, apple have some protocols for the app design. Make sure you have followed those. Check it out if your design fits the criteria mentioned here.

Few of its examples includes;

Ideal tap-able area on screen = 44px

User’s orientation expectation = Portrait

Branding take = unobtrusive

Each app submission requires several icon dimensions

Making efficient use of = contours and gradients

Thing to use sparsely = Modal windows


6.       And lastly, Use


And when, you are done with designing, checking guidelines and also making changes as per the guidelines, you can export the design in a code for get it operational.


All you need to do is that you must go to

And over here, just do how it is guided.

If still in doubt, check out this video



Even though, there are few sub-steps in developing an iPhone app, but this doesn’t restrict you from making your own app. Ideally, I would say you go for testing with iPhone 4S. This is the little friendly version with less security protocols and shall allow you to preview your custom designed app.

It is fun and amazing way to create your own iPhone app in Photoshop. You just need to take care of the above mentioned protocols for launching the app successfully.


Author Bio:

Shahid Abbasi is a marketing consultant with Peerbits, a one of the top mobile app development companies creates highly polished iOS and Android apps. Shahid likes to keep busy with his team, and to provide top-notch mobility solutions for enterpri

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