Why is the Ipad screen not 16:9?

gadget123

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As the title says?

If the new Iphone will be 16:9 why was this never? Could they make it 16:9 in it's current size for Ipad 4?

If it does go 16:9 I hope they make the shape a bit more square and drop the curve. :p
 

spice weasel

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If the iPad were 16:9, it would make it great for viewing movies and video, but horrible for reading books and magazines and for web browsing. A 16:9 aspect ratio just doesn't work for those types of activities.
 

gadget123

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If the iPad were 16:9, it would make it great for viewing movies and video, but horrible for reading books and magazines and for web browsing. A 16:9 aspect ratio just doesn't work for those types of activities.
Could they have an option to switch between 4:3 and 16:9?
 

scaredpoet

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Apr 6, 2007
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Could they have an option to switch between 4:3 and 16:9?
You can't physically change the size of the screen.

However, plenty of movies I've watched that are in the 16:9 format play fine on the iPad screen. You just get some letterboxing at the top and bottom.
 

Piggie

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Feb 23, 2010
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The great benefit 16:9 or 16:10 would bring is that in landscape mode, which time and time again most people have said they use the most is that in the future it gives the ability to run, to some extent two apps side by side.

You have to forget those people who think 16:9 means chopping off the top and bottom of the current screen, when it can just as easy mean adding MORE screen to the current display so you see more.

Windows 8 Surface tablets have a special mode where an app can run in a small area to the side of the main display.

Also Samsung have shown this in action in their latest tablet..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbgBxr4H59A&feature=player_embedded

See how much easier it COULD be on an iPad if you could see two apps at once and drag/drop data across two apps on screen.
 

Renzatic

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You know, the iPad sporting a 4:3 screen was one of the things I originally didn't like about it. I thought that in this day and age, it was kinda stupid to go back to that old long since past standard. That'd it'd be sacrificing a goodly bit of potential just so a few people could read books on it a little easier.

Now that I've actually got one, I've come around to thinking that it's the perfect shape for a 10" tablet. The iPad actually sports a little more screen in comparison to the wider 10" tablets. All the apps fit comfortably on it, are perfectly usable, and yes, it's a better fit for internet pages and books. Having to watch Netflix movies letterboxed on it isn't nearly as bad as I thought it'd be.

I'm now wishing more tablets were 4:3.
 

Piggie

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Feb 23, 2010
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You know, the iPad sporting a 4:3 screen was one of the things I originally didn't like about it. I thought that in this day and age, it was kinda stupid to go back to that old long since past standard. That'd it'd be sacrificing a goodly bit of potential just so a few people could read books on it a little easier.

Now that I've actually got one, I've come around to thinking that it's the perfect shape for a 10" tablet. The iPad actually sports a little more screen in comparison to the wider 10" tablets. All the apps fit comfortably on it, are perfectly usable, and yes, it's a better fit for internet pages and books. Having to watch Netflix movies letterboxed on it isn't nearly as bad as I thought it'd be.

I'm now wishing more tablets were 4:3.
Rather than seeing it in this way (as so many people seem to) how would you like the idea of a little MORE screen, with MORE pixels be added to the left and right side of your current iPad screen ?
 

Renzatic

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Rather than seeing it in this way (as so many people seem to) how would you like the idea of a little MORE screen, with MORE pixels be added to the left and right side of your current iPad screen ?
You have to think about the pixels less, and more about how comfortable it is to hold. The iPad is mainly designed to be held in portrait orientation, like a book or magazine. A 16:9 or 16:10 screen would be too unwieldy in comparison, and reading on a wider screen in landscape would require you to scroll up and down a helluva lot more. I don't even like reading on the iPad in landscape.

For media consumption (a phrase almost as abused as "innovation"), a 4:3 screen is a better ratio overall. But...

There will come a point when we'll be using our tablets for more than just reading, checking out emails, and all the other things we love doing on the iPad. We'll reach a point where they'll be sporting enough power to run a true, proper version of Photoshop, or Office, or Max and Maya and Modo. Content creation. For all these programs, you'll want that extra space to see what you're working on and still have enough room for your UI. Even on a super dense retina display, 4:3 will be wayyy too cramped in comparison.

You can see proof of this by comparing PS Touch on Android to the iPad. Almost every Android tablet is widescreen, and the UI feels a bit more spacious over there.

So I guess it all depends on what you'll be using your tablet for. 4:3 is the perfect size for the iPad as it currently is. But for work, you'll want a little more.
 

Beta Particle

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Jun 25, 2012
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The great benefit 16:9 or 16:10 would bring is that in landscape mode, which time and time again most people have said they use the most is that in the future it gives the ability to run, to some extent two apps side by side.
16:9 or 16:10 really isn't that much wider as far as running applications are concerned. The issue is more to do with ergonomics. 16:9 or 16:10 displays are horrible to use in the portrait orientation, whereas 4:3 is well balanced in the hand, and very close to the aspect ratio of magazines that size. (which is no coincidence)

Look at how unweildy the Surface (blue) is compared to the iPad. (green) This is to scale:



16:9 or 16:10 is essentially a landscape-only tablet, and is focused on watching videos over anything else. I almost never watch videos on my iPad, its primary function is as a reading device.

Windows 8 Surface tablets have a special mode where an app can run in a small area to the side of the main display.
It's a nice idea in theory, but almost entirely useless in practice. So far I have yet to find anything that is actually useful when snapped to the side like that.

Metro only allows for a 25/75 split, and the slim bar that you get at the side is nothing like working with multiple windows on a notebook. Essentially, you get a 4:3 tablet app with a little sliver of another app at the side, but they're barely functional in that view, more like widgets than apps.
 

Zetaprime

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Dec 4, 2011
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As the title says?

If the new Iphone will be 16:9 why was this never? Could they make it 16:9 in it's current size for Ipad 4?

If it does go 16:9 I hope they make the shape a bit more square and drop the curve. :p
I have a feeling future iPads will go to 16:9 with the next iPhone leading the way. I use my iPad mostly in landscape mode and 16:9 is just fine on my Macbook Air, so I don't see why an iPad of the same shape would be a bad thing at all.
 

ixodes

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Jan 11, 2012
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If the iPad were 16:9, it would make it great for viewing movies and video, but horrible for reading books and magazines and for web browsing. A 16:9 aspect ratio just doesn't work for those types of activities.
Well said. It's precisely why, if the new iPhone has the horribly restrictive, narrow elongated display we've seen, it will not be much of an upgrade.

The most interesting aspect of this rumored choice may never be revealed. And that's why? It fails to follow any logical deduction, but rather begs the question: why does Apple insist on such an odd choice.

I know & have read most of the reasons given here from those who admire what Apple does, no matter how strange. But it will be interesting to see if we ever find out the true method to their madness.
 

voronoi

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Jul 14, 2012
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I don't buy that 16:9 is better for movies. Most movies I've seen are in 2.35:1, which results in quite a bit of letterboxing, even on a 16:9 screen. I could understand the argument for TV shows or home videos.

As far as general use goes, it might work if we only ever used tablets in landscape mode, but we don't and there are many valid portrait orientation uses that work better with a 4:3 ratio (e.g. reading). Also for web browsing 16:9 can be incredibly short, since many websites expand to fill the width of the screen, regardless of how it looks (websites are best read vertically in a column).

If there is to be an iPad mini, I'd recommend a 3:2 ratio. At a smaller size, it would feel more like a paperback book. It reduces letterboxing for videos without becoming so narrow as to be cumbersome in portrait orientation and web browsing. For photos, this it would be ideal since most cameras default to 3:2. App development would be less of a pain to optimize since the iPhone already uses something very close to this aspect ratio.
 

Pressure

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May 30, 2006
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Hopefully never!

The 4:3 aspect ratio is way superior when consuming everything else than movies (which mostly are 1.85:1 and 2.39:1 and not 16:9).
 

BergerFan

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The 16:9 aspect ratio is a one-trick pony - It only shines with video.
In any other situation, 4:3 is a by far better compromise, in my opinion, where tablets are concerned.

Ironically, 16:9 does feel better in a phone, probably because it's primarily used in portrait mode, and because of the small footprint.
 
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augustya

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Feb 17, 2012
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The 16:9 aspect ratio is a one-trick pony - It only shines with video.
In any other situation, 4:3 is a by far better compromise, in my opinion, where tablets are concerned.
Yep ! Couldn't agree more !

Ironically, 16:9 does feel better in a phone, probably because it's primarily used in portrait mode, and because of the small footprint.
Nope didn't understand what you mean :-( how is watching a 16:9 screen in a portrait mode in a Phone more ideal than in a portrait mode on a 9.7 inch tablet ?
 

darngooddesign

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Jul 4, 2007
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16:9 is worse for most regular tasks in landscape. Because of the way that web pages, for example, scale up to fit the screen's width you will see less content vertically.

The attached image is the iPad 2's 1024x768 which is 4:3. The red box is 1024x600 which is 16:9. Text will also be smaller when viewed in portrait.

Assuming Apple has decided their keyboard size is ideal from a usage pov, consider how much less of the screen you would see when the keyboard is visible.

I do think people like 16:9 because it makes for a smaller device without going significatly smaller.
 

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Piggie

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You'd doing it again.

You are removing the top and bottom parts of the current screen to turn it from 4:3 into 16:9 or 16:10 rather than adding extra screen onto the side.

As I've pointed out, (and as Microsoft and Samsung have shown) You could have the same 4:3 web browser view on screen, but then perhaps an extra sidebar area for a second program to run, say a email app or a video app, or something else to can drag/drop onto or from.

I can't help but feel as time goes on, two apps on screen, in some way is going to become a no brainer way of making tablet usage more practical. And that's going to call for a wider screen at 4:3 really is just no suitable for splitting.

I don't expect the Microsoft Surface tablets will get the split screen idea right on their 1st attempt, but really it's such an obvious thing to wish to do. Not having to copy data, close the app, open another full screen app, paste the data in, do back to the 1st app, copy some more data, reopen the 2nd app, paste more in.

Come on, even you can accept this is no sensible way to do computing.
 

darngooddesign

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Jul 4, 2007
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You are removing the top and bottom parts of the current screen to turn it from 4:3 into 16:9 or 16:10 rather than adding extra screen onto the side.
I posted that image to illustrate my point. Since the web page is scaled to the width of the screen, there is no way not to loose the content outside of the red box.

Having used Quasar on my JB iPad I agree that being able to display two apps is very nice. I can watch Hulu while surfing.
 

Piggie

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Apps are irrelevant to this discussion because the interface can be designed for the wider screen, but web pages are a different matter.

I posted that image to illustrate my point. Since the web page is scaled to the width of the screen, there is no way not to loose the content outside of the red box.
There is no reason at all for the web browser to scale up in width to match whatever screen size (pixels) there are, None at all.

On your proper computer you can change the width of the web browser window and you do not lose any height
 

darngooddesign

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There is no reason at all for the web browser to scale up in width to match whatever screen size (pixels) there are, None at all.
We are discussing iOS in its current form.

Currently iOS scales its Safari up to fit the width of the screen, so currently 16:9 will result in less vertical content displayed.

All iOS apps are currently full-screen, and iOS renders desktop webpages exactly as they are. So if Safari displayed the same vertical content on a 16:9 device you would end up with black bars or wasted space on either side, just like when you display a widescreen movie on the iPad's screen.

Discussing a theoretical evolution of iOS where there are non-full screen, windowed apps or one app and a sidebar does not answer the question of why the current iPad is 4:3 instead of 16:9 and what would happen if the current iOS were displayed on a 16:9 device like the rumored taller iPhone 5.

If the iPhone 5 is a taller device, instead of a proportionally larger device, it will make pretty clear whether a 16:9 iPad would be better or worse. You can just do the same email and web browsing to see for yourself.

On your proper computer you can change the width of the web browser window and you do not lose any height
We are not discussing a proper computer, we are discussing iOS which has full screen apps that scale to fit the width of the device.
 
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BergerFan

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Nope didn't understand what you mean :-( how is watching a 16:9 screen in a portrait mode in a Phone more ideal than in a portrait mode on a 9.7 inch tablet ?
I know it's weird. :D
I guess, it's because of the sheer device size and that a phone is predominantly used one-handed and in portrait mode, hence no landscape home screens.
 

TheWheelMan

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Mar 15, 2011
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Rather than seeing it in this way (as so many people seem to) how would you like the idea of a little MORE screen, with MORE pixels be added to the left and right side of your current iPad screen ?
You can "see" it any way you like, but it would still be a change in the aspect ration and a reduction in the iPad's usability for the things I use it for. The iPad is way more than just a media consumption device, and the reason it is good for so many things in in part because of the screen size.
 

Piggie

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Feb 23, 2010
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You can "see" it any way you like, but it would still be a change in the aspect ration and a reduction in the iPad's usability for the things I use it for. The iPad is way more than just a media consumption device, and the reason it is good for so many things in in part because of the screen size.
How can more screen space (as the iPhone5 is getting) with more pixels cause a reduction in the iPad's usability?

More pixels could only allow more options. If you reduced the size of the screen of reduced the resolution then you could say that.