Wouldn't a 4-inch screen work just fine?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sportsfrk214, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. sportsfrk214 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I could be wrong about this but wouldn't a 4-inch screen be relatively easy to implement? Again I could be wrong, but everyone keeps saying it would cause fragmentation issues with current apps...but how? If Apple keeps the current screen resolution and stretches it out over a 4 inch screen, wouldn't apps be able to run perfectly? Sure, the screen would not be as crystal clear as the iPhone 4, but according to my calculations the current iPhone resolution over a 4 inch screen would still leave you with 288dpi, which is still very high. I could be very wrong about all of this, but I feel like a 4 inch screen would work perfectly as long as the resolution was kept the same. Thoughts?
     
  2. elan123 macrumors 6502

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    #2
    It has to scale perfectly or distortion would occur...
     
  3. iphoneIA macrumors regular

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    #3
    If there was a 4 inch screen could they still use the "Retina" display logo? I thought that if you spread it out the clarity would go down therefore they couldn't use the "Retina" display.
     
  4. sportsfrk214 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    They call it a "Retina" display because the claim is that when the device is held at a certain distance from your eyes, it is impossible for your eyes to discern individual pixels. I unfortunately do not know what distance from your eyes Apple used for this calculation, and I do not know what ppi they came up with where pixels are not discernible. Obviously the 326 ppi of the current iPhone 4 surpasses this value so it is a "Retina" display....I don't know if the 288 ppi of a 4-inch screen would meet this requirement. Anyone have the information here that I'm missing? I know I've seen it before I just can't find it.
     
  5. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Yes, as long as the resolution stays the same, there would be no fragmentation issue. Unless I'm wrong, wouldn't a 4" iPhone at the same resolution still have a higher ppi than Android phones with 4" screens? There might be a few upcoming Android phones that would be able to match it, but I think a 4" iPhone at the same resolution would still look VERY good.
     
  6. neko girl macrumors 6502a

    neko girl

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    #6
    Seems like Apple boxed themselves in through their own clever marketing.
     
  7. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #7
    It would look fine, and Apple could still apply the Retina moniker since it's nothing more than a marketing term they invented in the first place. Simply adjust the viewing distance for which the term is accurate, et voila.
     
  8. decafjava macrumors 68000

    decafjava

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    #8
    +1
     
  9. sportsfrk214 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Totally agreed. From a normal viewing distance pixels would still be near impossible to see, and you'd have a much bigger screen to look at. I think the net result would be a wonderful screen, and would allow more room for games, movies, the keyboard, etc.
     
  10. spacemnspiff macrumors 6502a

    spacemnspiff

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    #10
    Any increase in size with the same aspect ratio will not fit in the current width. If the aspect ratio of the screen changes then it might not look right and will result in lost screen real estate when playing videos and games.
     
  11. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #11
    They could easily broaden the device back to 3G/3GS levels and have plenty of room for a 4-inch screen. No biggie.
     
  12. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

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    #12
    What benefits would a 4" screen at a lower pixel density bring?
    If they kept the resolution the same, and just increased the screen size, all that would happen is that everything would be slightly bigger - you wouldn't have any more icons on the screen or more room for text, etc on mail, etc.
     
  13. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    #13
    Everything being slightly bigger, especially when it's still displaying at 288DPI, is not a bad thing.
     
  14. Nishi100 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    With a 4 inch screen, Apple could say that you'll hold your phone further away from you; therefore, the lower PPI doesn't matter and you'll still get the retina effect, as the further away you hold the phone, the more the pixels "merge" together. That's why, on a 50inch 50PPI full HD TV, you can't see the pixels - you're further away.
     
  15. milani macrumors 68000

    milani

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    #15
    No, a 4 inch screen would not work. Here's why:

    If you change the screen size and adjust the resolution accordingly UI elements (buttons, text, etc) will be blurry. The PPI means that if the artwork isn't designed to fit the view it will look degraded (pixelated). Granted, it wouldn't be as dramatic as non-retina UI elements on a retina display but it would be close.

    Besides the fact that developers would have to rebuild their apps with new artwork, this method would only effectively increase the size of everything - so you don't actually gain any screen real estate - you just get bigger buttons, icons, and so on.

    If Apple kept the same screen resolution but increased the physical size of the screen, then all of the app UIs would break. The problem is inherent to how Interface Builder works. It simply does not allow scaling.

    In this case, developers would have to rebuild their apps from the ground up, compiling a third variant - one for the current 3.5 screen (with retina art), one for the iPad, and another one for the new four inch screen.

    Given that the real gains in screen real estate might be .5 inches of vertical scrolling area total, the benefit seems extemely minor given the huge costs associated with breaking all current apps and/or forcing all developers to build out a third UI variant for no real benefit in usability.
     
  16. kdarling macrumors demi-god

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    #16
    The whole retina thing came from the common claim that "print quality" is 300dpi at 12" away. (*)

    326ppi works out to be retina at only 11" away... an whole inch closer.

    Sure, at 288ppi, it's "retina" at about 12.5" away... a half inch further away than normal print quality distance. Not a big deal.

    (*) Apple couldn't use "print quality" because other phones with 300+ppi had used that in ads years before. So they made up a new name.
     
  17. gloss macrumors 601

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    #17
    No rebuilding necessary, and you're still talking about a screen that has twice the DPI of a 3GS. I don't think this 'degraded quality' you're talking about will even be noticeable. It will be almost identical, just slightly larger. The placement of the interface elements will be nearly identical.

    As kdarling points out, you're talking an extra 1.5 inches further from your face to achieve "Retina quality".

    This is completely absurd. There would be NO SCALING INVOLVED.
     
  18. kre62 macrumors 68000

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    #18

    Youre 100% wrong.

    You're approaching this as if the resolution itself would change, that is not being suggested.

    If the same 960x640 resolution was kept, there would be no difference whatsoever. The GPU does not know how big the screen is, it just outputs a signal at 960x640. It doesn't matter if the screen is 3.5", 4" or 200". The pixel size would just increase a bit the larger the screen, thats all. No adjustments neccesary.
     
  19. milani macrumors 68000

    milani

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    #19
    ^ Sigh. Email a developer. I'm not going to explain it over and over again. Many articles were published last year around the time of the iPhone nano nonsense speculation that perfectly articulated the exact same points. The UI breaks because of how its designed. If there was going to be a new screen size then you'd first see a new version of Xcode. The fact that you haven't should tell you something. It isn't a resolution issue it's a screen size issue. The UI elements are positioned based on a standard screen size (the physical measure of the screen) - if you change that size then the apps break.
     
  20. kdarling macrumors demi-god

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    #20
    You're probably alluding to use of points instead of pixels for dimensions. The OS then converts points into a fixed pixel size for that device.

    Apple could simply convert points to be exactly appropriate to a 4" screen.

    And before you say, wait some UI elements would be a slightly larger physical size... well, think about the iPad's double-size option.
     
  21. Reach9 macrumors 68020

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    #21
    Heres hoping for a 4" screen in the iPhone 5.
     
  22. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

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    #22
    It's not how big your screen is, it's how you use it.
     
  23. Roadking macrumors 6502

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  24. Sedrick, Feb 23, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011

    Sedrick macrumors 68030

    Sedrick

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    #24
    haha, I figured milani would be all over this in his one man quest to squash any talk of a 4" screen.

    I'm quite certain Apple has the smarts to adjust the interface code (as kdarling suggests) so that no action would be needed by app developers, as long as the aspect ratio stays the same.

    Any why is it that Android is on everything from 3.1" to 4.3"? They know something Apple doesn't?

    It's not like Apple is throwing up their collective hands and saying: "durp, we ain't smart enough to figure this out". I give them more credit than that.

    And, really, isn't this the whole point of a larger screen? To make everything slightly larger so you can actually see things without a magnifying glass?

    milani's whole point seems to be that Apple has painted themselves in a corner with no way out except to have the app developers re-write every single UI element in all their programs. Again, I give Apple more credit than that.
     
  25. BergerFan macrumors 68020

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    #25
    Not gonna happen.

    A 4-inch screen wouldn't work, because to keep the same aspect ratio, the whole device would have to be a lot wider.
    To change the aspect ratio and make it more widescreen in landscape orientation(taller in portrait), would mean all existing apps would look poor, as they would be stretched.
     

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