Maker Year Project #11: Letter Apps

Letter apps are apps whose icon’s primary visual element is a letter. For instance, Hyperlapse, Gmail, and Groupon are letter apps.

icon-mistaken icon-abstracted icon-letter

I looked through the top 10 000 apps on the iTunes App Store on January 1 2015. From those, I found 834 letter apps. Then I visualized them. Tap or click the visualization below to see it in its full glory.

It looks really good really big. 1 MB


When using a colour background, white is almost always used for the foreground.

For the letter C, over half of the icons have white backgrounds. No other letter has such a high percentage of white icons.

Many names of the O apps don’t actually begin with O.

M and S are very popular letters (62 and 57 icons). This is probably because a lot of app names begin with M and S.

J, K, and I are least popular (6, 11, and 11). Most likely because there aren’t many apps beginning with J, K, or I. But I like to think the dots on the i and j make them particularly unpopular.


Sometimes apps like Guitar Master Class are letter apps and sometimes they’re not. In some, the icon dominates the letter. In others like Gmail, the letter dominates the icon.


I didn’t include apps like CamCard because there’s more than one letter. But if I did, there’d be 386 more apps in the set.