John Gruber Confirms 4" iPhone 5 Screen & How It's Done

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ddarko, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. ddarko, Apr 10, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012

    ddarko macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Interesting post by John Gruber of Daring Fireball - who has contacts within Apple - that basically says Apple will come out with a 4" iPhone screen and how it will be done (keep the width the same at 640 pixels and increase the length to 1152 pixels, ppi doesn't drop). Quoting a story on the Verge that included speculation on this approach, Gruber ends his post:

    Gruber's post is here:

    http://daringfireball.net/linked/2012/04/10/iphone-aspect-ratio

    and the Verge's story is here:

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/9/2937265/the-4-inch-iphone-5
     
  2. Kyotoma macrumors 68000

    Kyotoma

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    #2
    That theory entirely screws the aspect ratio of the screen, which would change the way everything looks. I honestly doubt this has real merit at all.
     
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #3
    This is very interesting, but I think 'confirms' is too strong a word.

    Or, if you want to use the word, you could say that he's confirming that he knows Apple has experimented with it. Doesn't mean that's what they'll decide to ship, though.

    John is always coy with his knowledge, but I don't think this one rises to the level of 'he knows for sure.' This is more like 'he knows they've played with it.'

    Still, an interesting article.
     
  4. ddarko, Apr 10, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012

    ddarko thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    It does change the aspect ratio but it doesn't screw everything up as much as you'd think. Take a look at the Verge post which has illlustrations. I think a lot of them look fine, though I don't think Apple will go with the "squeezed in on the sides" look for the keyboard. It looks too distorted.


    Fair enough but I read his coyness here as equivalent to confirmation. He knows how to say "Apple is experimenting" - he said just that about a smaller iPad last week - and he knows how to say "a little birdie told me this is what Apple is doing (wink wink)" Personally, I think this falls into the latter category. This is phrased in the way he typically phrases hard insider knowledge passed along to him.
     
  5. Feed Me macrumors 6502a

    Feed Me

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    #5
    I saw this too... It's very interesting...
    I really don't know though. Changing the aspect ratio raises a lot more problems for developers than doubling the pixels. A lot of apps may have to be completely re-laid out.
     
  6. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #6
    What I like about this solution, though, is that the amount of work needed is much, much less than the other 'large screen' solutions I've seen. (Remember, doubling the pixels involved developer work too...for many that was more work than this would be!)

    So while it's still a solution that requires developer involvement, it's a very small amount of work for many of them. This is the first idea I've seen that's done that.

    That doesn't mean it's what Apple will do, but I will say that this is the most plausible 'big screen' idea I've seen proposed yet. That alone makes it interesting.
     
  7. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #7
    I'm no developer, but the Verge article basically says the opposite. Most apps in the article would just get more screen real estate to work with.

    If the app's UI is affected, then perhaps the next iOS will allow for apps to do letterboxing. It's only 96 64 pixels on either end.
     
  8. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    #8
    If they do go with this route, I would not be surprised if they go with letterboxing for older apps. I think they would also be able to keep the external dimensions of the phone the same if they make the home button a bit smaller. So I would not be surprised at all if this is the route Apple takes. The new aspect ratio would be 16:9, so it'd actually be better for movies too
     
  9. Haoshiro macrumors 68000

    Haoshiro

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    #9
    It's terrible looking, imo.

    Apple has never changed the aspect ratio of either the iPhone nor the iPad, this idea is just an "idea", and a bad one imho.

    More vertical area would be alright for reading, but the work is high.
     
  10. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

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    #10
    Interesting, and I think someone suggested something to this effect last year during the last “the next iPhone will be 4 inches” debate.

    re: the aspect ratio

    So many apps are lists, or scrolling pages of data (contacts, Twitter, Facebook, text editors, readers, music playlists...). These all (like the Verge mockups show) would be easy to redesign. Simply keep all the fixed UI elements the same, and lengthen the visible scroll area. Heck, I could see this as a simple bit of dynamic code to account for the available area.

    Fixed layouts of course would be a little trickier, and I imagine some apps would want to be written to capitalize on the extra space (like make tabs an option in Safari).

    Another thing to note: 1152x640 = 1.8 ratio, and widescreen TV sets are +also+ ~1.8 (1920x1080 = ~1.77)

    That would mean the device would use most of the display for widescreen video.
     
  11. ddarko thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    A very important point. Apple hasn't shied away from new hardware that requires software changes, whether it was developers having to update apps for the Retina display when the iPhone 4 came out or even having to create a whole new ecosystem for new hardware (the iPad). I think the key consideration for Apple is figuring out how to minimize the change and not break the legacy ecosystem. This has a eureka feel to it where it makes so much sense that you wonder why you didn't think of it yourself.
     
  12. sk1wbw Suspended

    sk1wbw

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    #12
    Wow, and I predict that next year Ford will come out with a new redesigned F-150...

    Gruber is a douche.
     
  13. Stealthipad macrumors 68040

    Stealthipad

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    #13
    They need to keep the same aspect ratio and must make the iPhone 5 slightly wider! There is nothing that Apple can do that will not piss of some of it's users so they might as well get it done. They can not keep this tiny screen forever in todays phone market. Not saying they need to be 5" but at least 4 to make the most happy.

    Apple has some real competition on the horizon and no matter how hard you hug your "teddy bear" the world will still change! Apple will have to change, too!:eek:
     
  14. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #14
    LOL what? This is not at all what this article is about... It's not about predicting something redisgined will surfaace. It's about predicting what that redesign will be. Very different than just saying there will be a new iPhone...
     
  15. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    #15
    The beauty of it is that old apps can run slightly letter boxed without issue. Assuming Apple puts a high-contrast display in there (OLED maybe?) then the letter boxed areas wouldn't look any worse than the black surround we already have.

    Ensuring new apps are compatible with new and old wouldn't be very difficult either in most cases.
     
  16. Vook macrumors member

    Vook

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  17. Jordan921 macrumors 68040

    Jordan921

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    #17
    I actually wouldn't mind if Apple did this with the new iPhone. The phone would still be the same size with bigger screen which would be ideal.
     
  18. Sedrick macrumors 68030

    Sedrick

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    #18
    What would really be a let-down is if all that extra height was used up by touch screen controls (and losing the physical home button). Apple could say they went 4", but nothing much would really change size-wise.
     
  19. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #19
    Yes, this would be a letdown, but I just don't see it happening. Increasing the screen size and reserving a space on the screen at all times for a digital button seems pointless. Take a look at what Android did. Proper execution, IMO.
     
  20. BFizzzle, Apr 10, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012

    BFizzzle macrumors 68020

    BFizzzle

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    #20
    not really, i work for a 2d animation studio. we (and 99% of the studios) send our work in 1920x1080 (now 2048-by-1536 for obvious reason) :) then they build the game... so its really quite simple to make it for a larger screen if its the same aspect ratio..
     
  21. terraphantm, Apr 10, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012

    terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    #21
    Your post is just evidence to the opposite point of what you're making. 1920x1080 is a lot closer to 1152x640 than 960x640 in terms of aspect ratio. All it would take to scale the image is to crop it a little differently.

    The reason this is more feasible than other aspect ratio changes is because it allows Apple to retain compatibility with old apps without having a black box around the whole image or stretching pixels. Instead all they have to do is slightly letter box the apps.
     
  22. Feed Me macrumors 6502a

    Feed Me

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    #22
    You completely missed his point.
    He's saying that making artwork at a certain aspect ratio, no matter the size, is easier than changing the artwork to fit a different aspect ratio. You can't just "crop it a little differently".
     
  23. BFizzzle macrumors 68020

    BFizzzle

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    #23
    thhhhankkk you sir. :D
     
  24. terraphantm macrumors 68040

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    #24
    Isn't that exactly what his company does to get a 1920x1080 source image to work on iPhone and iPad apps? Both devices have completely different resolutions and aspect ratios. Yet the source image is the same (which also happens to be rendered in a completely different aspect ratio than either of the devices it will be displayed on). In this case since the source image is 16x9, adapting it to a hypothetical 1152x640 iPhone would be almost no work. Very minor crops would be required - not enough to remove a significant amount of detail or information from whatever the artwork may be.

    In situations where a graphical artist designed things at the pixel level, then this could pose a problem, sure. But for anyone who works with much higher resolution files and then scales/crops them down to match whatever device they're working on, it's not terribly difficult to get the artwork to fit.
     
  25. saintforlife macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    God, no. Anything other than a 3:2 aspect ration looks horrible on a small screen like a smart phone. 16:9 wide screen gets too rectangular as the screen size gets smaller. If the widescreen galaxy tablets look so weird and unnatural in portrait mode, you can imagine how bad it will be on a smart phone. It is silly. And who the frick cares about letter boxing in movies on smartphones? A smartphone is used for other things 99.5% of the time, a majority of which it is in portrait mode. So please stop this nonsense of 16:9 or 9:5 aspect ratio for smartphones.
     

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