Creepy snowman iPhone icon

I was going through my web site statistics the other day and saw that the site had accumulated over 4800 Document Not Found (404) errors since the beginning of the month. Curious as to how that number could be so high, I dug a little deeper and found that over 90% of them were unfulfilled requests for two files: apple-touch-icon.png and apple-touch-icon-precomposed.png.

I knew these were the images used when an iOS device added an icon for a web site to its home screen, but I knew perfectly well that thousands of people weren’t adding my site to their screens. Apparently, Mobile Safari asks for these files whenever it visits a site, generating an error on the server if it they’re not there.

The error doesn’t have any real effect—the pages render just fine—but it bothered me anyway. So I made a 114×114 image and put it in the site’s root directory, saving it under both names. This is a waste of bandwidth, I suppose, but it allowed me to add a web clip to my home screen. By including an image with the -precomposed name, I prevented the shiny “swoop” from cutting across the eyes of my snowman.

I don’t think it looks out of place, and it’s fun having a icon for my own site on my phone.