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Apple planning for New Display Sizes on the iPhone and iPod

iPod Screen 1

Recently there have been a lot of rumors about the next generation iPhones and iPods. Reliable Sources and People are so sure about these devices that they are expecting these to be announced by the end of this year.

And in almost all the rumors and leaked information that was passed on to people via Internet, one of the thing that interested us the most was the ‘Technical Specifications and Configuration’ that we might be able to see in these new devices. I am talking about changes in the current devices that would take the user experience to a whole new level.

For now, let us leave aside all the performance related features like the processor, RAM, better quality camera etc. and focus on one of the most important points with respect to user experience – The Display.

Is Apple planning for New Display Size?

Recently, a lot of reliable sources that have been talking about the ‘New Screen Sizes’ that Apple plans to use in their next generation of iPhones and iPods.

There have been reports that the Next Generation iPhones and iPods might have a 4” inch display instead of standard 3.5” inch display. It is said that this change is being implemented so that Apple devices also becomes a part of the ‘4” inch screen size’ being observed in the market nowadays.

Now this really sounds interesting. You might very soon be able to have an Apple Device with a 4” inch display. But there is one very important factor that has not been properly considered and evaluated. That important factor is ‘New Screen Resolution’!

New Screen Resolution

With the new screen size of 4” inch, there definitely will be a new screen resolution. What I mean to say is that we will no longer have the ‘640 x 960 Retina Display’ resolution because the screen will be big in size for sure. And if it does then the new iPhone could look something like this:

Now the big question here is ‘How will Apple manage to distribute Games and Applications when there are different screen resolution?

Since the launch of the iPhone 4 with Retina Display, Game and App Developers already started using 2 sets of images in order to support devices that have the Retina Display support and those that do not. Besides that, we now have the ‘New iPad’ that again has Retina Display support in it. This means that Games and Apps that are ‘Universal’ which means ones that can run on both iPhone and iPad in full screen mode now need to store ‘4 sets of images’.

So, we already have Games and Applications that are increasing in size so that they can support all Apple Devices. This indirectly means that Apple device users are wasting hard disk space! For example, if you have the ‘Pages’ app or any other Universal Game or App (that also supports Retina Display of the New iPad) on your iPhone 4, your device is storing images and content for the following resolutions:

  • 320 x 480 (1x on the iPhone)
  • 640 x 960 (2x on the iPhone)
  • 1024 x 768 (1x on the iPad)
  • 2048 x 1536 (2x on the iPad)

From the above-mentioned list, your device will only use the 2nd resolution, which has been highlighted in bold. All other resolutions are of no use but you still have to bear with them.

The Real Problems

Now that you know how different screen resolutions affect developers, application sizes and use up hard disk space on your devices, there are some questions or problems that really need to be looked upon. I am listing these questions/problems over here and leave it up to you to think over them:

  • Will all the resolutions (including the new ones) be covered in one single game or app?
  • Will there be separate versions of all the games and apps because of the difference in screen resolutions? (Note: This is not just a matter of 1x and 2x because now even the Width:Height ratio will change)
  • If there are separate versions, then do we have to buy both versions separately as well?
  • How will Apple distribute Games and Apps for new screen resolutions?
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