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Game App Development for the Apple iPhone 5: An Analysis

Is the Latest iPhone 5 a Boon or Bane for Game App Developers?


Game App Development for the Apple iPhone 5: An Analysis

Image © Hannah Johnston/Getty Images

Updated November 06, 2012

The latest Apple iPhone 5 has received mixed reactions from app developers, especially game app developers. While many developers are excited about the new and taller design of the smartphone’s screen, there are others who are less than pleased with its new form factor. The new 4-inch screen of the iPhone 5 is probably the biggest ever challenge that iOS developers have had to face up until now. Though not apparently a very radical design, app developers now have to deal with an altogether different aspect ratio, plus the fact that this change leads to a fragmentation in iOS devices. Needless to say, it also implies that iOS developers now have to design their games in such a way that it is compatible with the regular iPhone, the iPad, the Retina Display iPad and now, the taller screen as well.

  • Devleoping for the Apple iPhone 5: Your Views
  • So, is the latest iPhone 5 a boon or bane for game developers? Here is a quick analysis of the same.

    Developing Apps for Different Resolutions

    Experienced iOS developers and those who are used to developing apps for Android devices are not negatively impacted by this screen size change. Most of these developers find it convenient to develop games around a flexible resolution, which can then be worked to be made compatible with different devices. Apple had mentioned the new design, much before it released the iPhone 5 and so, many developers feel that the change did not come as too much of a shock.

    Most developers are also of the view that the Retina Display does not in way pose a major issue for the way their games appear on the screen of the device. While some developers prefer to add an extra border or bar to adjust it to the new screen size, there are many who do not desire to modify their game just to suit it. Many feel that the change of screen size is more a design issue than one of resolution.

    Developers generally are of the opinion, though, that newer games and game developers have the rather unfair advantage of being provided a larger screen to develop apps for. Older developers, on the other hand, have the double task of updating and maintaining their existing apps, while also making them compatible to newer devices.

  • iPhone Game Development: What Developers Should be Aware Of
  • New Aspect Ratio a Boon

    Several game app developers have welcomed the taller screen of the iPhone 5, as they feel that this will help enhance the general look and functioning of their app. Those who have been into Android app development actually feel comfortable with this change, as the new aspect ratio is somewhat similar to Android requirements, and hence, is actually easier to develop apps for. These developers have already had to deal with the existing fragmentation of the Android OS, and hence, do not feel particularly concerned about the change.

    Developers creating action and RPG apps aver that the new aspect ratio is a boon, as it enables them to add more UI elements to their apps, thus making them more engaging and entertaining for users. They see this new feature giving rise to noteworthy improvements in future iOS game apps.

    App developers are of the opinion that 3D games or those that have ample artwork on the sides of the screen would find it easier to adapt to the new screen size, while 2D developers who have been used to developing for a fixed resolution would invariably find it more difficult to make the transition.

  • The Apple iPhone 5: Not Quite So Special?
  • Far More Powerful Processor

    The new and extremely powerful A6 chip, which powers the iPhone 5, has received rave reviews, especially from action and racing game developers. This chip exponentially increases the device’s performance, thereby making the game an experience to remember from the point of the user. This, combined with the smartphone’s time-shifting feature and enhanced visual capabilities delivers performance that could rival some of the best ever gaming consoles.

  • Apple iOS 6: 8 Best Features for App Developers
  • All-in-all, iOS game developers feel that though the new screen size of the iPhone 5 definitely requires them to invest more time, effort and money into their existing apps, this is also a blessing in disguise, and one that would change the very future of mobile gaming for all time to come.

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