Mar 122012

Intended Audience – Fellow Bloggers and Webmasters:

If in your website reports you see hits to a nonexistent file named apple-touch-icon.png or apple-touch-icon-precomposed.png, don’t worry. It’s not a hack or an indicator that your website has been compromised (at least not because of this). It is actually a good sign. I saw this in my reports, so I got curious and snooped around the wonderful internet armed with Google and discovered the hidden meaning of this strange activity. In most cases this means that someone has put a shortcut to my website on their iPhone or tablet’s desktop. When that happens, iOS then looks for an icon in the root directory of the website named as above.

What’s weird in my report however, is that it shows that most of my visitors with these shortcuts are using Android OS and it’s still looking for the same icon name. I guess this is one of those “if you can’t beat them, join them” cases, where Android is compatible with the same Apple icon format and my faithful visitors are most likely HP TouchPad Android OS users, because I have a number of HP TouchPad related posts and articles on this site.

Fav Bookmark IconMy next move was to create an icon to distinguish my site and I named it apple-touch-icon.png. Had I named it apple-touch-icon-precomposed.png, the OS wouldn’t “mess” with the icon and put the round edges, glass effect and shading on it, but I prefer it this way – less work for me, so I can leave it in its rogue form as you can see here. It looks much better on iPhone. Originally I made it in 57×57 pixel resolution, but that’s good only for the small iPhone screen, so I recreated it in 114×114 size which is best – good for iPad and Android and the phones can scale it down to 57×57 or 72×72.

If you have a website and you want to be mobile-friendly you may consider doing the same. This brings me to my next poll about my website’s mobile theme and my dilemma whether to continue using it because I keep switching all mobile sites from mobile to desktop theme on my phone and tablets. (If you’re reading this on a mobile device, this site has a desktop/mobile switch link at the bottom left – it automatically loads in mobile mode when it detects a mobile OS/browser.) I’m getting to believe this blog is better experienced in desktop mode because I try to keep graphics to a minimum so it loads fast enough and it should view well even on slow phones, but that poll will be in one of my next posts.

  5 Responses to “Seeing Hits to apple-touch-icon-precomposed.png in Stats Reports?”

  1. Thank you very much for the info!!!

  2. Thanks, I have been getting a lot of hit errors calling for apple icons, and you’ve inspired me to mop them up. By the way, there are several apple iOS icon generator websites that can help you make these quickly, and in the various sizes the different iOS devices prefer. I googled “apple mobile icon generator” and got several choices.

  3. Hey, finally found the correct reason these unknown sub URLs are popping up in my “word fence” stats!!! Thank you, the only right answer on this search!!!

  4. honesty this page should be the first on google as it accurately explains the issue.

  5. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

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