Gruber: How Apple could play the bigger-display iPhone thing at WWDC

“For the sake of argument let’s take it as a given that the next iPhone will sport an 1136 × 640 display, with the same 326 pixels-per-inch resolution as the iPhone 4 and 4S, the same width, but an extra 176 pixels in height, changing the aspect ratio from 3:2 to 16:9,” John Gruber, who is by no means convinced the rumor is real, writes for Daring Fireball.

“Let’s further assume that this new iPhone will not be announced until later this year, say, around October, just like the 4S last year,” Gruber writes. “How might Apple get developers on the right track to support a new aspect ratio at WWDC next month while maintaining their standard radio silence regarding as-yet-unannounced products?”

Gruber writes, “The easiest way: By doing nothing at all. iOS 6 could be announced next month without Apple saying a word about supporting multiple aspect ratios. Then they could just announce the new iPhone in October and expect developers to get on board ASAP. Apple says ‘Jump’; iOS developers ask ‘How high?’ But, keep in mind, iPhone apps are already expected to be at least somewhat flexible in height.”

Much more in the full article here.


    1. That made me laugh so thanks for that.
      If you don’t find chat about Apple stuff interesting, why are you here?
      Gruber’s musings on this are quite reasonable, restrained and informed. Why the personal attack? I think you’ve just told us a bit about yourself and nothing else. Rhis is very common on the net but a waste of everyone’s time.

  1. The added height won’t change anything. It will just be dead space. Not unlike when you have an iPhone app on the iPad. App usability will not be diminished so developers won’t have to change anything. A win-win for everyone.

      1. Well for apps that use Cocoa Touch, the vertical space used for lists, for example, will stretch automatically to fit the size of the screen. Thus they will work fine on both screen sizes without much extra effort from the programmer.

        Full-screen apps, e.g. games, will have to detect the size of the screen and adjust their rendering appropriately. I suspect many OpenGL-based games are already written so that their rendering area is dynamic (e.g. Where’s My Water clearly uses the same renderer on iPad and iPhone, but with different screen sizes).

  2. “Apple could, with the introduction of iOS 6, further encourage developers to be flexible in this regard by changing the way notification banners are displayed. As it stands, notification banners are shown one at a time, and cover the content of the underlying app. WebOS seemed more elegant in this regard — WebOS notification banners stacked on screen, and the current app shrunk to fit the remaining space.”

    Here, here. Never understood why Apple didn’t just copy webOS like the rest of the industry did. webOS in terms of its UI seemed more elegant in every regard, PERIOD. Both its notification system and the Cards multi-tasking apparatus were superb. iOS notifications suck. Let’s hope iOS 6 is a huge revamp instead of just tacking on more features when the last ones still need improvement.

  3. Wouldn’t releasing the iPhone 5 in October leave a huge gap for all those contracts to expire from the iPhone 4? Why would Apple leave such a gap for people to get restless and try out a different phone?

    1. Actually they have already closed that gap….
      Most of the phones purchased at the iPhone 4 launch (or shortly thereafter) would have been eligible for “upgrade” late last summer or fall. This would have made the 4s’s launch timing just about at no penalty upgrade time.
      Anyone actually waiting for the end of their contract (and have not upgraded to the 4s) is likely very patient and will wait of a fall release.
      On the other hand; the Verizon iPhone launch was last Feb. making a fall launch perfect for Verizon users who bought the iPhone at launch as they will just becoming eligible for a “no penalty upgrade”

  4. My father has a large screen Android phone. I enjoyed having more real estate, but the phone is on the border of being too large to comfortably fit into and remove easily front a pants pocket. I’m not sure what the diagonal measure was, but 4-4.5″ seems about right. With a case, I think it would be unsuitable for a front pants pocket. For my use, that’s too big. Hopefully Apple can produce a phone with a 4″ screen that is less bulky.

    BTW, I’m not anti-Google or anti-Android, but my experience was that OS was not fun. I was still in the learning curve, but I found the menu hierarchies to occasionally be odd. There were some things I liked about it, but overall it needed to be streamlined. I was also amused that my father got the phone because the iPhone (which I strongly recommended) screen was “too small”, but the resolution of the screen and the size of the icons and font made that phone much more difficult to read (old age sucks) than my iPhone.


  5. I agree with Dany and DRMSSDB the current iPhone is nearly at it’s functional maximum as far as “girth” goes. Any bigger and it won’t fit in a front pants pocket (or the “cell phone pocket” in found in many pairs of “camp shorts”)

    If they can eke out a bit more screen size without increasing bulk, then fine. But, to turn the iPhone into one of those horrid ‘roid Pho-ablets would be a crime against god. (and based on Jon’s recent comments I don’t think that is likely)

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