iPhone 5 bigger display no problem for developers

News and speculation about the Apple iPhone 5 continues to flood in at present and some of the most recent rumors have surrounded an increased display size. This idea has gathered pace lately with more and more leaks and reliable news sources talking about a 4-inch display. Although there were concerns from some about how developers would handle this, it now seems that a bigger display for the iPhone 5 seems to be no real problem for developers.

The question of a 4-inch display for the iPhone 5 rather than the 3.5-inches on the current iPhone 4S has led to questions about how the change in iPhone screen size could be handled and whether it would it be at the expense of the iPhone’s famed Retina Display. There have been many ideas about how this could be achieved including scaling the display up and reducing the pixel density slightly, changing the aspect ration, stretching the screen height and maintaining the current pixel density or moving to a screen even larger than 4-inches and using a 16:9 resolution instead.

There has also been plenty of talk about how any changes may affect third-party app developers who may have to completely rebuild apps so that they work on a larger display but news today suggests that developers are not as worried about this issue as we may have thought. It seems that many developers of iOS apps just don’t think Apple will want to fragment the platform and make it more difficult for developers who would then have to work on different screen sizes.

A report on GigaOm notes the opinions of some of these developers, for example Sam Shank, CEO of hotel-finding app Hotel Tonight. Although Shank doesn’t discount a change in screen size for the iPhone 5 he doesn’t think that Apple will interfere with the pixel density or aspect ratio. Shank said in a recent interview that 50% of iOS development is involved in the layout of the app and so designing apps for two different aspect ratios would considerably increase the workload.

Another developer, Lenny Rachitsky CEO of Localmind says that his company hasn’t even put a lot of thought into the possibilities of Apple fragmenting the platform yet as they have assumed “Apple isn’t going to pull an Android.” Rachitsky feels that in the rare event that this would happen that Apple would want to avoid friction with developers by providing easy migration tools. Nelson Gauthier, the chief iOS developer for Localmind, also points to the fact that Apple made the transition to Retina Display and the iPad as pain-free for developers as possible with the provision of good tools and plenty of warning.

Another CEO, Ken Seto of iOS game app maker Massive Damage Inc., also doesn’t appear to think that Apple will really expect developers to cope with another resolution. Seto feels that if the screen size is increased Apple will want to avoid further fragmentation and will be likely to retain the aspect ratio. Furthermore Seto thinks that if the display size does increase Apple could simply scale up the current retina resolutions as the display increase would not be too much bigger.

Finally developer Donnie Dinch, co-founder of ticketing app WillCall points out that any changes made will affect some iOS developers more than others. Whereas a screen size change would not be of much significance to an app such as WillCall it would be a different story for gaming developers. However Dinch does feel that if Apple negatively affects the screen in any way in order to achieve a larger display then “that would be insane.”

None of this brings us any closer to knowing whether the much talked about larger display is really coming or not but it’s certainly interesting to hear that at least some developers don’t seem too concerned about possible consequences. Are you expecting a larger display for the iPhone 5? If it finally releases with the same sized screen as the current iPhone would this be a dealbreaker for you? Maybe you’d prefer the next iPhone to stick to the current screen size? Let us know by sending your comments.


9 thoughts on “iPhone 5 bigger display no problem for developers”

  1. It’s gonna be awesome when Apple gets sued by EVERY OTHER SMART PHONE MAKER ON THE PLANET FOR SCREEN SIZE INFRINGEMENT!!! Hey if Apple wants to keep playing their petty game this is what’s gonna happen. Apple should innovate not litigate…

      1. Reply
        joshua_mcmillan says:

        you cant patent a screen size dumb ass. Thats like a car manufacture patenting the amount of seats there car has! 

        1. Reply
          Rick Hardo says:

          Guys I think he was trying to be funny. Don’t think he was being serious. He was suggesting that apple sue everyone else for petty things and now the tables were about to turn.

          No sense of humour here?

    1. Reply
      DannonLeRoc says:

      You’re an idiot. They can’t get sued for using a 4 inch screen size just because another manufacturer has before, idiot. Otherwise we’d have television manufacturers fighting over screen sizes.

      LOL, get out of here.

    2. Reply
      guest says:

      Because apple sues other companies for having phones with sharp corners or that are black. they are suing samsung because the galaxy s II looks too much like the iphone. he was making a joke about that

  2. Reply
    Michaelbeasley says:

    @facebook-53101110:disqus they can’t get sued for using a 4 inch screen size just because another manufacturer has before, idiot. Otherwise we’d have television manufacturers fighting over screen sizes.

  3. Reply
    Django_Wildheart says:

    any physical feature of a product could in theory form the basis of a piece of intellectual property – functional elements are covered by patents, and registered designs and their international equivalents cover aesthetic qualities.  They have assorted merits and demerits from the perspective of intellectual property management.  It is not plainly ludicrous that changing the size of something could be sufficiently novel and inventive to form  the substance of a patent claim, just a little difficult to imagine the exact scenario – you have to remember that certain patents are allowed for novel uses of known substances – that doesn’t even involve changing the size!!  I seem to remember that Butterworths did a decent book under 30mm thick that introduced intellectual property law fairly well from my time at the QMUL IPRI – anyone wanting to have knowledge to back passionate opinions could wade through a book that thick in a couple of evenings I reckon :-))

  4. well it seems many such news about iphone 5 revolving around online web, I have even found that such device is going to be launched with 8 MP of camera along with dual core A/5 and A/6 processor. 

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