Taking Down Assets from SFSymbols.com

August 20, 2019

At the beginning of June, I launched sfsymbols.com since there wasn't a reference available on the web for searching and filtering the list of 1500+ system icons included in iOS 13+.

Yesterday I received a notice from an attorney representing Apple, informing me that this was not actually allowed under the terms of the Xcode license agreement, specifically section 2.12:

The system-provided images owned by Apple and documented as such in Apple's Human Interface Guidelines for iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and/or macOS (“System-Provided Images”) are licensed to You solely for the purpose of developing Applications for Apple-branded products that run on the system for which the image was provided.

I definitely didn't realize this project would violate those terms, so I've happily removed the icon assets from sfsymbols.com and the associated GitHub page. As far as I understand, the site should be able to stay up, though no symbol images means it's not very useful, so I'll probably end up decomissioning it next year when the domain expires.

Everything's always governed by a license, and I don't want to discount the great work of the folks who designed these icons. I do hope that in the future Apple will provide an interface for browsing the symbols that's not a Mac app, so that folks on non-Mac platforms (especially those who might work with iOS developers but aren't developers themselves) will be able to browse as well.

Thanks to the ~2,300 unique users who visited the site since it launched, and those who tweeted about it! It was a fun little project and I learned a fair bit about React building it. I hope it was helpful 👍

Picture of me with a corgi

Noah Gilmore

Hello! I'm Noah, a software developer based in the San Francisco bay area. I focus mainly on iOS, Apple platform development, and full stack web development.

  • 💻 I'm writing a macOS editor for Atlassian Confluence called Fluency
  • 📱 I wrote an app which lets you create transparent app icons called Transparent App Icons
  • 🧩 I made a puzzle game for iPhone and iPad called Trestle
  • 🎨 I wrote a CoreImage filter utility app for iOS developers called CIFilter.io
  • 👋 Please feel free to reach out on Twitter