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Old Feb 11, 2013, 12:37 PM   #1
antihaze
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How to make a 4.8 inch iPhone appealing to both consumers and developers

First of all, I am sorry if this idea has come up before, but a quick Google search turned up zero results for the matter (in the 5 seconds I took to research this).

There has been a lot of talk about the screen size(s) for the next iPhone(s). Some are suggesting that Apple should follow suit after companies like Samsung, who have seen a lot of success releasing devices that are 4.8Ē+, once considered too big for the mass market. I think that consumers would appreciate the option of a larger iPhone, but it is a double-edged sword for Apple. Knowing Apple, they will keep as many things the same as possible while trying to appear to be different. In order to make a device with a larger screen, they would have to either dilute their screen resolution density if opting to keep the same resolution as the iPhone 5 (and tarnish their Retina reputation), or introduce an entirely new resolution (and risk alienating developers, not to mention enter Android-esque fragmentation territory).

Iím assuming that the move to 16:9 with the iPhone 5 will be the direction Apple continues to follow, so a larger 16:9 device makes sense. However, at 4.8 inches, the iPhone 5ís resolution (1152x640) takes a noticeable hit in density (330 ppi to 275 ppi).

If Apple wants to offer a larger device that still offers a retina screen (by todayís standards) and does not force developers to adopt an entirely new resolution to use and test, I propose that Apple use the original iPadís resolution (1024x768) and extend it to a 16:9 ratio like they did with the iPhone 4S to the 5. This would result in a screen that has a resolution of 1366x768 and a screen density of 326 PPI at 4.8 inches; just shy of the 330 that the iPhone 5 currently has. Assuming that users would be able to hold this device further away from their face than the iPhone 5 to read it, it would still qualify as retina.

Other than pleasing developers and capturing some of the large-display market, there are other benefits to introducing a screen this size with this resolution:
  • Less drain on battery than a display with a previously-proposed 3x resolution (1440x960) or a 1920x1080 display
  • Less manufacturing problems as Appleís suppliers are already quite adept at making displays of this pixel density
  • Encouragement of developers to make their apps universal from the beginning instead of rolling it out at a later time
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 12:51 PM   #2
TacticalDesire
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iOS could just scale apps like android does...
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 01:01 PM   #3
antihaze
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iOS could just scale apps like android does...
Wouldn't that look kinda janky though? I'm no developer, but I thought objects are assigned to certain pixels, etc. Blowing up the app would make it look weird.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 01:32 PM   #4
TacticalDesire
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No. There's a difference between just zooming something in and actually have it scale. Apps look just fine and crisp on android. Text and elements are crystal clear (that's obviously dependant on the display). How do you think desktop apps do it?

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Old Feb 11, 2013, 01:42 PM   #5
antihaze
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No. There's a difference between just zooming something in and actually have it scale. Apples look just fine and crisp on android. Text and elements are crystal clear (that's obviously dependant on the display). How do you think desktop apps do it?
Fair enough. But why has Apple tried so hard this whole time to keep the resolutions direct multiples of one another? e.g. 480x320 --> 960x640, 1024x768 --> 2048x1536, etc. I thought it was so the developers didn't have to change too much when designing the new retina apps.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 02:01 PM   #6
MarcBook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antihaze View Post
Fair enough. But why has Apple tried so hard this whole time to keep the resolutions direct multiples of one another? e.g. 480x320 --> 960x640, 1024x768 --> 2048x1536, etc. I thought it was so the developers didn't have to change too much when designing the new retina apps.
Yeah, they've opted for the pixel doubling tactic because it involves far less inconvenience than resolution independence (adaptive scaling). All developers have to do is develop for the Retina resolution and their apps will automatically look fine on non-Retina displays.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:53 PM   #7
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While it would be nice to say the resolution being doubled was so developers would have an easier time supporting the new resolutions, so many have simply not done so. So the question is are they lazy, unwilling or simply don't care. Apple should be telling developers get it done by a certain date or risk having your app pulled. Lost revenue would be a good motivation.
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