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Looking at the Android Asset Studio Launcher Icon Generator, the launcher icons always end up with a transparent border of at least 2dp. Same goes the App Icon Template. But Googles Design Guide does not mention any best practice or requirements for such a border.

My question: Is there any good reason to follow this suggestion instead of using the available space as you please?

Screenshot of app icon template

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I found the following, hope this helps:

Android Icon Margins

… it was recommend that the icon included a margin around one twelfth of the total size between the edge of the icon and the image it contained. For example the medium density icon is 48×48 pixels, one twelfth of this is 4, giving a margin of 4 pixels around the icon. This means the area available for the image is 40×40 (48 minus the margin of 4 pixels on each side).

However, the bigger screens on today’s devices gives more room for the icons so a smaller margin can be used, for example one eighteenth of the icon size. The margin allows for spaces between the icons on a screen and to allow for any drop shadows or parts of the image that stick out a little.

http://tekeye.biz/2013/android-icon-size

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