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Apps for new iPhone 5 — what to expect?

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Apps for new iPhone 5 — what to expect?

As we all know from previous leaks iPhone 5 will have different aspect ratio from previous iPhone versions. What this will do to the iPhone apps? iPhone screens have always had a 640-by-960-pixel resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio. Indications are the iPhone 5 will have a 640-by-1136 resolution, which is close to a 16:9 ratio.

Apps that use standard controls will benefit and use the extra space to display more information, static widgets or second row of buttons, we have similar dual-row context menu UI element on Android devices. The controls themselves will remain the same size since they are defined by finger touch requirements and not the screen resolution or aspect ratio. Games which take the full screen will have to do something with space when run on an iPhone 5 at both top/bottom in portrait mode and left/right in landscape. Notorious Angry Birds will definitely do great on wider screen and many action games will win a lot from using left/right space for thumb controls.

The difficulty is that application developers will have to create two versions of the interface for each of the aspect rations. This stuff isn’t exactly new to mobile developers; they have had to deal with multiple resolutions and aspect ratios on Android for years, but iPhone developers enjoyed benefit of having single aspect ratio for four years now and for many there will be a transitional period while they will get the necessary expertise.

Apps for new iPhone 5 — what to expect?

Image via chrisbrownie91 on Flickr
For users most likely there will be also a transitional period while developers adjust their applications to the new aspect ratio/resolution requirements. While this will last a lot of applications will not look great with empty space on the screen which is something iPhone users are not used to.

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