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Points to Ponder While Developing Apps for the iPad 3

Aspects to Consider before Developing for the iPad Retina


April 5, 2012

The latest and hottest gadget in mobile town today is the Apple iPad 3. Every second person you meet on the road is talking about this tablet device. Offering many improvements over its predecessors; the best one being the Retina Display; the iPad 3 is expected to become one of the highest-selling mobile devices in the market. The iPad 3 is already being considered as an “evolutionary” upgrade by most experts and once you get your hands on this device, you are but bound to agree with that view. So how do you go about adapting to the features of the new iPad and what should you take into consideration while developing apps for the iPad Retina Display?

  • Full Review: The Apple iPad 3 for Developers
  • Here are a few things you should consider while creating apps for the latest Apple iPad:

    High Adoption Rate

    Not very surprisingly, the rate of adoption of iPad apps to the latest version is quite high, according to the latest market data. The iPad 3 entered the market only in mid-March this year and yet, the number of apps for this new model comprises nearly 10 percent of the iPad apps currently in the market.

    Experts expect that these apps would constitute at least 25 percent of the iPad app market by this summer. While many iPad developers have already started optimizing their apps for the latest iPad, this trend implies that those who have not yet started, should be adopting this system soon.

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  • The Retina Display Feature

    This is the biggest area of change that you should be concentrating upon. While it is all well for you to immediately start developing apps for the latest iPad, it would pay to keep in mind the preceding generations of this tablet device.

    While developing for the earlier models, you needed to think of a resolution of 1024x768 at 72dpi. But with the new Retina Display, you must now upgrade your own capabilities to 2048x1536 at 264dpi, which makes it almost 3 times the size of what you have handled so far. To further complicate issues, you will now have to think of creating three files for the same image:

  • For the latest iPad
  • Universally, pertaining to all iPads
  • For other smartphones and platforms
  • In case you do not want to work with the higher resolution, iOS 5.1 has the ability to scale your app automatically to suit the new resolution. However, in this case, you should be prepared to see a slightly faded, fuzzy version of your app on the new screen.

  • The Apple iPad 2: How Much Better is it for Developers?
  • Appearance of Icons on Screen

    Not only should you change the resolution of your app images, but you should also consider creating high resolution icons as well. Given below is a list of the dimensions for the different types of icons that would be compatible with the retina display feature of the new iPad:

  • Main App Icon: 144 x 144
  • Launch Image: 1536 x 2008 (for portrait) / 2048 x 1496 (for landscape)
  • App Store Icon: 1024 x 1024
  • Spotlight Search Icon: 100 x 100
  • Toolbar, Navigation and Tab Icons: 40 x 60
  • Settings Icon: 58 x 58
  • Apple’s iOS Dev Center gives you detailed information on all this and much more. Going through this and understanding the entire process before embarking on the same should be of immense help to you in your iPad 3 app development venture.

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  • Footnote

    The above is only an initial list of the things to consider while developing apps for the latest iPad. This is only the tip of the iceberg yet. With the passage of time, we are sure to see many more changes and many more ways to deal with those changes. While it is definitely not an easy experience developing for the iPad 3, this phase could well mark the emergence of an altogether new era for app development.

    Have you tried developing apps for the iPad 3? What is your experience? Do share your thoughts on this subject.

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