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Splash screen and app icon

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Learn how to add a splash screen and app icon to your Expo project.


A splash screen and an app icon are fundamental elements of a mobile app. They play an important role in the user experience and branding of the app. This guide provides steps on how to create and add them to your app.

Splash screen

A splash screen, also known as a launch screen, is the first screen a user sees when they open your app. It stays visible while the app is loading. You can also control the behavior of when a splash screen disappears by using the native SplashScreen API.

The default splash screen in an Expo project is a blank white screen. It can be customized using the splash property in the project's app config using the steps below.

1

Create a splash screen

To create a splash image, you can use this Figma template. It provides a bare minimum design for an icon and splash images for Android and iOS.

For an in-detail walkthrough, see the video below:

Dealing with various screen sizes for Android and iOS

Android

Android screen sizes vary greatly with the massive variety of devices. See Material Design blog post for more information on how to find the right device metrics for any screen.

iOS

Expo's Splash Screen API will resize the image for your app depending on the size of the device's screen. You can specify the strategy used to resize the image with splash.resizeMode. See the Device screens and sizes specifications from the iOS Human Interface Guidelines for an up-to-date list of screen sizes.

2

Export the splash image as a .png

After creating a splash screen, export it as a .png and save it in the assets/images directory. By default, Expo uses splash.png as the file name. If you decide to change the name of your splash screen file, make sure to use that in the next step.

Note: Currently, only .png images are supported to use as a splash screen in an Expo project. If you use another image format, making a production build of your app will fail.

3

Add the splash screen in app config

Open the app config and add the local path as the value of splash.image property to point to your new splash image.

app.json
{
  "splash": {
    "image": "./assets/images/splash.png"
  }
}

You can test your new splash image by starting the development server with npx expo start and using a development build or Expo Go to preview it.

Note: In development mode, when you test your new splash screen, you will notice an information bar at the bottom of the screen. It displays the information about how much of the JavaScript code is downloaded on the device when preparing your app. It doesn't appear in production apps.

4

Change the background color

If you set a background color other than white for your splash image, you may see a white border around it. This is due to the splash.backgroundColor property that has a default value of #ffffff.

You can update this property's value to match your splash image's background color. For example:

app.json
{
  "splash": {
    "image": "./assets/images/splash.png",
    "backgroundColor": "#FEF9B0"
  }
}

5

Resize a splash screen (optional)

Any splash image you provide gets resized to maintain its aspect ratio and fit the resolution of the user's device.

You can use two properties for resizing: contain (default) and cover. These properties work similar to the resizeMode in React Native <Image>, as demonstrated below:

Applying this to an example:

app.json
{
  "splash": {
    "image": "./assets/images/splash.png",
    "resizeMode": "cover"
    "backgroundColor": "#FFFFFF"
  }
}

In the above example, the image is stretched to fill the entire width while maintaining the aspect ratio. This is why the logo on the splash image is larger when resizeMode is set to contain.

To learn more about the difference between contain and cover, see this blog post.
Configuring splash properties separately for Android and iOS

You can configure any splash properties for a native platform using splash.android and splash.ios to use a platform-specific option:

  • On Android, you can set splash images for different device DPIs from mdpi to xxxhdpi.
  • On iOS, you can set ios.splash.tabletImage to have a different splash image on iPads.
Using bare workflow?

If your app does not use Expo Prebuild (formerly the managed workflow) to generate the native android and iOS directories, then changes in the app config will have no effect. For more information, see how you can customize the configuration manually.

Splash screen API limitations on Android

On Android, the splash screen behaves in most cases the same as on iOS. However, there is a slight difference. In this scenario, extra attention should be paid to android.splash section configuration inside app.json.

Depending on the resizeMode you will get the following behavior on Android:

  • contain: The splash screen API is unable to stretch or scale the splash image. As a result, the contain mode will initially display only the background color, and when the initial view hierarchy is mounted then splash.image will be displayed.
  • cover: This mode has the same limitations as contain.
  • native: In this mode, your app will be leveraging Android's ability to present a static bitmap while the app is starting up. Android (unlike iOS) does not support stretching the provided image, so the app will present the given image centered on the screen. By default splash.image will be used as the xxxdpi resource. It's up to you to provide graphics that meet your expectations and fit the screen dimension. To achieve this, use different resolutions for different device DPIs such as from mdpi to xxxhdpi.
Troubleshooting: New splash screen not appearing on iOS

In iOS development builds, launch screens can sometimes remain cached between builds, making it harder to test new images. Apple recommends clearing the derived data folder before rebuilding, this can be done with Expo CLI by running:

Terminal
npx expo run:ios --no-build-cache

See Apple's guide on testing launch screens for more information.

App icon

An app's icon is what your app users see on their device's home screen and app stores. Android and iOS have different and strict requirements.

1

Create an app icon

To create an app icon, you can use this Figma template. It provides a bare minimum design for an icon and splash images for Android and iOS.

For an in-detail walkthrough, see the video below:

2

Export the icon image as a .png

After creating an app icon, export it as .png and save it in the assets/images directory. By default, Expo uses icon.png as the file name. If you decide to use its file name, make sure to use that in the next step.

After creating a splash screen, export it as a .png and save it in the assets/images directory. By default, Expo uses splash.png as the file name. If you decide to change the name of your splash screen file, make sure to use that in the next step.

3

Add the icon in app config

Open the app config and add the local path as the value of icon property to point it to your new app icon:

app.json
{
  "icon": "./assets/images/icon.png"
}
Custom configuration tips for Android and iOS

Android

Further customization of the Android icon is possible using the android.adaptiveIcon property, which will override both of the previously mentioned settings.

The Android Adaptive Icon is formed from two separate layers — a foreground image and a background color or image. This allows the OS to mask the icon into different shapes and also supports visual effects. For Android 13 and later, the OS supports a themed app icon that uses a wallpaper and theme to determine the color set by the device's theme.

The design you provide should follow the Android Adaptive Icon Guidelines for launcher icons. You should also:

  • Use .png files.
  • Use the android.adaptiveIcon.foregroundImage property to specify the path to your foreground image.
  • Use the android.adaptiveIcon.monochromeImage property to specify the path to your monochrome image.
  • The default background color is white; to specify a different background color, use the android.adaptiveIcon.backgroundColor property. You can instead specify a background image using the android.adaptiveIcon.backgroundImage property. Make sure that it has the same dimensions as your foreground image.

You may also want to provide a separate icon for older Android devices that do not support Adaptive Icons. You can do so with the android.icon property. This single icon would be a combination of your foreground and background layers.

See Apple best practices to ensure your icon looks professional, such as testing your icon on different wallpapers and avoiding text beside your product's wordmark. Provide an icon that's at least 512x512 pixels.

iOS

For iOS, your app's icon should follow the Apple Human Interface Guidelines. You should also:

  • Use a .png file.
  • 1024x1024 is a good size. If you have an Expo project created using npx create-expo-app, EAS Build will generate the other sizes for you. If you are using a bare workflow, generate the icons on your own. The largest size EAS Build generates is 1024x1024.
  • The icon must be exactly square. For example, a 1023x1024 icon is not valid.
  • Make sure the icon fills the whole square, with no rounded corners or other transparent pixels. The operating system will mask your icon when appropriate.