This might not satisfy you, but it at least explains where it comes from.
The Chrome/Gears API says the following:
'An application at http://example.com/index.html');
icons - An object containing one or more of these named properties: 128x128, 48x48, 32x32, 16x16. The value of each property must be the URL of a PNG-formatted image with dimensions matching the property name. A data URL containing base64-encoded PNG data can also be used.
So I guess right now it just uses something that's on the website where you link to. If they don't have a high quality version, you get the ugly one you mention. Replacing it would require you to change the link inside the shortcut.
Since this is already starting to get a tedious job, it's probably better to follow these steps:
Step 1: Save the icon on your computer
- You have already done this successfully I believe :)
- In your browser's addressbar, type in the domain of the website, followed by the text "favicon.ico" For example, if you want the icon for the Yahoo website, the
address to type is "http://www.yahoo.com/favicon.ico". Similarly, the
Google icon can be found at "://www.google.com/favicon.ico".
- Once you type in the address specified above, a page will
load containing only the icon for the website.
- Right click the picture and choose "save picture as.."
- Save all the icons in a central folder, say "My Documents\My Icons"
Now you have a permanent copy of the icon. The next step is to associate it with the shortcut.
Step 2: Associate the icon with the shortcut
- Right click on the website shortcut on your desktop
- From the popup menu that appears, choose "Properties"
- In the dialog box that appears, switch to the "Web Document" tab.
- Click the "Change Icon..." button present there.
- This will popup the Change Icon dialog which will allow you
to browse for and select the saved icon file.
- Then click Ok a couple of times and exit all the dialogs.
This probably requires Chrome to be your standard browser to open Web Documents with though!
With special thanks to Theta-ga