So 4" isn't enough for you?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Mad Mac Maniac, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #1
    *take a breath, long post alert!*

    By now it is 99% certain that the new iPhone will have the long stretched 4" screen. Many people are satisfied with this size, but many are not. There are already threads flooding our forums talking about people disappointed with the screen size and even leaving iOS for android JUST to get a larger screen. I started wondering what would be the best way for Apple increase the screen size from this point (post 4" screen) if they decide to do so again. Now I’m not saying that Apple will do this, or even that they should. Remember that bigger != better, because there will always be tradeoffs with usability. I tend to be extremely analytical, and once I get started, I can’t stop.. So bear with me here… Or don’t, I’m not holding you hostage! :p


    Basically I see 4 potential paths Apple could choose when increasing screen size. Below I lay out each of these possibilities, determined what I believed to be the most likely candidate for each scenario, and calculated all the corresponding math. Some of the calculations may be slightly approximated. I included the rumored iPhone 5 specs/size for reference.

    1. The first possibility is basically what Apple did for the iPhone 5 screen increase. Freeze one dimension and increase the other dimension. I definitely couldn’t see Apple making the iPhone longer again… so wider it is. The most logical possibility (to me) would be to simply widen the screen back to the 3:2 aspect ratio that we have had for the iPhone 1-4S. So I calculated that possibility and here are my results.
      • Results
        • Resolution: 1136 x 757 (reference: 1136x640)
        • Aspect ratio: 3:2 (reference 16:9)
        • Screen dimensions: 3.50” x 2.33” (reference 3.50”x1.94”)
        • Diagonal length 4.2” (reference 4.0”)
        • Area: 8.14in^2 (reference 6.79in^2)
        • PPI: 326 (reference 326)
      • Analysis
        • A benefit would be relatively simple app adaptation, the same as the current transition to iPhone 5. Initially apps could have black bars on the sides, and Apple would probably help make some easy way to stretch horizontally (similar to stretching vertically now). The huge negative would be how WIDE the screen would be. A 4.2” iPhone with 3:2 would be 0.39” wider than it is now. This is as wide as a 4.75” iPhone with 16:9… something to think about.
    2. The second possibility is maintaining the same aspect ratio and resolution, just stretch the entire screen. I chose 4.3” as the likely candidate here. This is large enough to be a substantial increase, but small enough to maintain a relatively high ppi
      • Results
        • Resolution: 1136 x 640 (reference: 1136x640)
        • Aspect ratio: 16:9 (reference 16:9)
        • Screen dimensions: 3.75” x 2.11” (reference 3.50”x1.94”)
        • Diagonal length: 4.3” (reference 4.0”)
        • Area: 7.91 in^2 (reference 6.79in^2)
        • PPI: 303 (reference 326)
      • Analysis
        • This would definitely be the easiest solution for devs. Everything would just work automatically. BUT it would cause a reduction in ppi (although still just above 300ppi) and not really add more usable space. It also may cause icons, buttons and look/feel to look bloated/odd because they would increased in size by approx 17%.
      [*]Maintain aspect ratio, but increase the size and double the resolution (like 3GS to 4 jump). This would allow you to increase the screen to any size and it would still have a superior ppi. Due to the difficulty of manufacturing such high PPI, I tried to pick the largest possible display I could imagine Apple allowing. So I picked 4.5”
      • Results
        • Resoluition: 2272x1280 (reference: 1136x640)
        • Aspect ratio: 16:9 (reference 16:9)
        • Screen dimensions: 3.92”x2.21” (reference 3.50”x1.94”)
        • Diagonal Length: 4.5” (reference 4.0”)
        • Area: 8.65in^2 (reference 6.79in^2)
        • PPI: 580 (reference 326)
      • Analysis
        • A pro would be super high pixel density (but is that really necessary?), and pretty slow, easy transition for devs. Apps could run double pixeled until updated, and then devs could then take their time and eventually redesign their apps to make use of the extra pixels. The negative is cost and feasibility of such a high pixel density. Would also result in enlarged UI elements (by 27.4%) temporarily until apps were custom designed. Many apps would likely never redesign due to lack of incentive, and would stay “enlarged”.
    3. None of the above. Basically screw legacy resolutions.
      • This one would be impossible to predict. Apple could hypothetically choose any screen size, at any resolution they wanted. But this would result in fragmentation. Apple would likely implement a lot of developer tools to ease the transition.

    None of these possibilities really sound ideal to me… Can you think of any other possible ways to increase the screen size? Which way do you think Apple would be most likely to implement? Which would you WANT Apple to implement?
     
  2. Want300 macrumors 65816

    Want300

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  3. troop231 macrumors 603

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    #3
    Great post! I would want Apple to remove the top and bottom black bezels as much as possible, and make a virtual home button, so that the entire front glass is just the screen.
     
  4. cperchard macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    This! That would be awesome.
     
  5. troop231, Sep 5, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012

    troop231 macrumors 603

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    #5
    Something sort-of like this; please excuse the crude image:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Wrathwitch macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Something like that with a 4.3-4.5" screen would be awesome!!
     
  7. Want300 macrumors 65816

    Want300

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    #7
    Agreed, or move the home button to the side of the phone instead of a virtual home button.
     
  8. bandofbrothers macrumors 601

    bandofbrothers

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    #8
    As you have no option of a battery pull and need the home button to enter dfu mode at the very least I don't see this type of home button emerging any time soon.
     
  9. k995 macrumors 6502a

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    #9


    1 Would mean another aspect ratio and would have apple 3 different aspect ratio's (3/2 4/3 16/9 ) with different resolutions , dont see this happening

    2 Seems the most likely, 16/9 is what most manufactorers of such screens make and would be logicly for apple .

    3 isnt going to happen, retina already is as high as the eye can see so increasing is pointless.

    4 Possible, just as they stuck with 3.5" for long, they can just stick with 4" for a long time, screensizes have reach a max with 5" so the difference wont be that big
     
  10. Mad Mac Maniac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #10
    Thanks for being the only person to respond to the meat of my post! haha

    1. No, the iPhone is 3:2 right now (the iPad is 4:3), so it would just go from 3:2 to 16:9 back to 3:2. Or maybe you were including the iPad in your comment, but if you include the iPad Apple will release 3 different aspect ratios with the release of the iPhone 5 anyway

    3. I wouldn't say it's completely pointless. It's a bit overkill definitely, but it would prevent the ppi from decreasing. I'm not sure if it is economically feasible in 2 years though

    4. Max of 5"? Tell that to samsung with their 5.3" note and 5.5" note 2!! But I do agree with you that I don't think it would be worth it for Apple to cause complete fragmentation just to increase another 0.5" or so.... unless Apple can come up with a way to ease the transition
     
  11. NYY FaN macrumors 6502

    NYY FaN

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    #11
    They could always do a power\volume button combination to do a hard reset.
     
  12. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #12
    OP,
    Well thought out post. I like the way you think.

    BTW: In response to the thread's title: 4" may or may not be enough, but it's far below average; more importantly though is the matter of how you use the tools you've got.



    I just don't see this happening. It's too much a part of the iconic design, but more importantly, it serves too many functions and is a fail-safe way to get out/back. Users know that whatever is going on with the screen can be reversed or escaped with a physical button. I think it's here to stay.

    :apple::apple::apple:
     
  13. troop231 macrumors 603

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    #13
    The button can be relocated to somewhere else then. Or make the screen the actual button switch.
     
  14. Mad Mac Maniac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #14
    How's this for a two-part solution for a full screen iPhone (as your mockup).

    Go "home" via a simple swipe up from the bottom of the screen. This would be the same as accessing notifications, only opposite. Now accessing the app tray would be a bit tricky.. I'm thinking maybe a swipe up and hold (maybe half a second)

    An "action/camera" button would be added on the right side of the iPhone towards to bottom. This can be used to take the place of many of the home button tasks. (wake the screen, screenshots, DFU mode, etc). Additionally, when the phone is unlocked this button can be programmed to handle different actions for single tap, doubletap, and maybe even a triple tap(similar to home the home button used to be for the doubletap). It could be programmed to be a camera button (launch and shutter), open any app, autodial a number, etc. Then the press and hold would of course launch Siri.

    Also, looking at your mockup, it looks a bit odd to have those corners... I don't know how difficult it would be to design software for this, but I think it'd be cool if apple gave the screen the same curve that the corners of the iPhone do. This would also enable the bezel to be even smaller. The only weird thing would be videos, but that could probably have two modes, one which looks like your mockup and one which cuts off the corners of the video and fills the entire screen (I mean when is there ever important footage in the edges of the corner anyway?)
     
  15. Darthdingo macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Now this I would buy, make it 4.3" screen, and might get me from buying the next Nexus phone in November.
     
  16. troop231 macrumors 603

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    #16
    All of your ideas make sense and are legit. If Apple comes out with an iPhone with the full glass front as a screen, lots of people would buy it and the design would be unmatched.
     
  17. Vctr macrumors regular

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    #17
    That's what he said.
     
  18. lulla01 macrumors 68020

    lulla01

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  19. Blorzoga macrumors 68030

    Blorzoga

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  20. Purant macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I want a 1280x720p 4.2" screen (or however many inches it needs to be for the ppi to be the same). The devs will need to update their apps anyway, so they might as well put a good and proper screen.
     
  21. Mad Mac Maniac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #21
    I was waiting for a comment like this ;)
     
  22. JazzyGB1, Sep 6, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012

    JazzyGB1 macrumors regular

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    #22
    Too Thin

    I was one of the people desperate for Apple to make a bigger iPhone, so I'm pleased that they have (likely) done so on the iPhone 5, but they should have increased it's width as well.
    Simply making the iPhone longer makes it look out of proportion IMO.
    More importantly I think it makes little use of the extra scree space.
    At the moment the iPhone icons come in a 5x4 grid.
    According to mockups, the iPhone 5 will gain an extra row making it 6x4.
    I think 6x5 would have been much better and would have helped the phone keep closer to it existing look - which to be honest I like.
    Basically I'd just like a bigger screen with its length and width increased proportionately to one another.
    Increasing only the length just makes it look...well...too long! :)
     
  23. jps1012 macrumors 6502a

    jps1012

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    #23
    Haha!!!
     
  24. JediZenMaster macrumors 68000

    JediZenMaster

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    #24
    Eww. That looks like the love child of an iPhone and a galaxy note. No thanks
     
  25. macingman macrumors 68020

    macingman

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    #25
    Apple could add some other way to enter DFU mode, like pressing the power button quickly 3 times and sticking a pin in some new hole added into the phone. I doubt they would do it that exact way, just making the point that there will be other ways Apple can create to fix/restore/jailbreak.


    In regards to post 2 or 3: I'm sure Google or Samsung would try to use it against Apple in court if they "copy" what Android did and create a virtual home button. Some crazy s*** has been happening in patent courts of late.
     

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