By Julie Clover
Apple today introduced SF Symbols 5, a new version of the icon library the company makes available to developers for use in apps. The icons were created to integrate with San Francisco, the system font that Apple uses for its devices.
There are over 5,000 symbols in total, with SF Symbols 5 adding 700 symbols. Some of the new symbols in the update include game controller buttons, weather conditions, additional currencies, and car indicators. Symbols are available in apps running iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS Sonoma, tvOS 17, and watchOS 10.
The update also introduces symbol animations with features like bouncing, zooming, and pulsing to determine how symbols and their layers move. Apple says animated effects “bring life to interfaces and provide user feedback while communicating changes in status and ongoing activity.” To support animation, characters have been redrawn and optimized for movement.
Apple has included improved tools for developers who want to create their own characters, including a library of body shapes, icons, and slashes, as well as updated tools annotations. A new inspector lets you preview animations of system and user symbols.
Developers can use Apple SF symbols anywhere interface icons appear, including navigation bars, toolbars, tab bars, and context menus.
SF Characters 5 can be downloaded from the Apple developer site.