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What the Taller Screen of the iPhone 5 Implies for Developers

The New iPhone 5 Design from the Perspective of App Developers

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What the Taller Screen of the iPhone 5 Implies for Developers

Image © Apple Inc.

Updated November 06, 2012

The new Apple iPhone 5 is finally out after much brouhaha over it. As always, every new Apple iPhone comes with a new set of features, leaving iOS developers to work with making their apps compatible with all of the iPhone models. While iOS developers are quite used to this process, this year’s iPhone is a little more complicated, as it also includes the latest iOS 6. Besides, the screen of the iPhone 5 is slightly taller than earlier models. Developers need to take this point into consideration as well.

  • The Apple iPhone 5: Not Quite So Special?
  • What is the implication of this latest screen size for iOS app developers? Is it a very different experience developing for the latest iPhone 5? Read on for more….

    The Screen Resolution Issue

    Many developers find it rather intimidating to develop apps for taller display screens. Several apps, especially those which are predominantly landscape-oriented, would have to be worked on all over again, from scratch, in order to suit a taller screen. Adding an extra set of buttons in the navigation bar or adding a search bar on top could work as a good trick for easier handling. However, this also would also end up fragmenting several other UI elements you need to work with. Other developers simply choose to make the app appear “taller”, which is also a good way of handling the issue.

    In general, the iPhone 5 may spark off a new trend of app design, whereby the focus would shift off the use of buttons on screen and instead, use more swipes than taps on the screen. This would probably go on to create entirely new ideas and concepts of screen-to-screen navigation. However, the fact still remains that creating and maintaining apps that are compatible with older iPhone models as well as the latest one, would pose a problem for developers.

  • FAQ on Designing Multi-Platform Mobile Applications
  • Not Enough Time to Prepare

    Many iOS app developers feel that they should have been given more time to prepare for this new change in the device design. App developers usually get just about a week to make their apps compatible with the latest iPhone models. While this amount of time is usually enough to make small modifications to existing apps, it becomes a lot more difficult for developers to handle changes as big as manipulating their apps to make them compatible with a larger or taller screen.

    App users invariably tend to get upset if they are not provided with these updates on time. App developers, on the other hand, have very little information about the upcoming model of the iPhone. Game developers find this process especially complicated, as many of them would have to modify many elements of their game app, also changing entire layouts, in order to make it compatible for a new iPhone.

  • Game App Development for the Apple iPhone 5: An Analysis
  • More Real Estate – An Advantage?

    Some developers see the taller screen of the iPhone 5 as an opportunity to present more information on the screen. This new feature helps them serve up more content to their user, without compromising on the size of the font, quality of resolution and so on. The user too would be benefitted by this, as he or she would get to see more information displayed on the screen, without having to scroll down for it.

    Yet other developers could use this feature to further monetize their app by adding an advertisement at the bottom of the screen. This way, they would not have to modify any other element of their app and could also make extra income out of it. Of course, the disadvantage here would be that the ad could well end up ruining the look of the original app itself.

  • How to Make Money by Selling Free Apps
  • In Conclusion

    The coming few weeks will reveal the exact implication of the taller screen size of the iPhone 5 for app developers. Of course, developers are quite prepared to face such challenges with each new model, and hence, this should not pose too major an issue.

    Besides, as mentioned earlier, this new taller screen of the Apple iPhone 5 could also give rise to hitherto unexplored possibilities for navigation, which may in turn benefit the entire mobile device industry as a whole.

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