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There are so many rumours about the new “iPhone 6″, including; the shape, how thick (thin) it might be, the screen size and if it will solve all of mankind’s problems.
Some software features we gain include; new ways of connecting one device to another, increased social links, ways to listen out for the music playing, tv shows being watched – the list goes on.
The rumoured potential screen sizes could be anywhere from the current 4″ to 6” and several steps in between. So how will this affect us? We can logically assume that a larger screen size will have a larger resolution.
Currently we have these resolutions
- 320 x 480 Original
- 640 x 960 Retina
- 960 x 1136 Retina Tall
So what will the iPhone 6 resolution be?
The likeliest resolution will be; 960 x 1704 – but why? Simple it is a scaled up version of the most recent resolution. The exact size is based on a scale factor.
The original iPhone was a scale factor of x1, Retina was a simple x2 however Retina Tall changed the aspect ratio, but remained x2 in essence.
If the iPhone standard resolution was scaled to x3 then then the width would be 320 x 3 = 960 and the height (adjusted for tall) 568 x 3 = 1704.
For those who did not already know the iPhone Retina Tall does NOT have a 16:9 aspect display. Whilst this is commonly referred to as a wide screen display it is actually; 40:71. This is clearly not an aspect ratio that is overly common.
Why would Apple choose x3 scale?
Well the simplest answer would be; “make it as easy for developers as possible”. By making the change to x3 and having the device continue to use the same device independent scale system – this would be;
- Original; 1 pixel = 1 dp
- Retina; 2 pixels = 1 dp
- Retina Tall; 2 pixels = 1dp
- iPhone 6; 3 pixels = 1dp – could be
We can make the same apps with the same visuals in the same place – very little work has to be done by developers. The graphic designers re-supply artwork in new @3x files and all should be nice and easy. In time developers can choose to add extras for the increased resolution devices should they wish – but for now, nothing breaks.
What if they choose a different aspect ratio?
They can and have. Remember the iPhone Retina Tall changed from the original 5:6 to 40:71. Developers had to make a few changes to accommodate the new aspect ratio. However Apple has a solution; letter box mode. All existing apps and those not adapted had a black bar top and bottom of the new taller display. We coped – we are a strong group of developers.
What could a different aspect ratio be?
The most likely would be 1080×1920. The logical reason for this would be that existing display panels already exist at this resolution and in a variety of different sizes, from different suppliers and using different display technologies.
Another and compelling reason is the competition already have devices using that resolution. Apple may not want to look as if they are behind the game.
If this was to happen then our letterbox idea would still occur but this time the existing apps would have a black border around each edge. 60 pixels on the left and right side and 108 pixels on the top and bottom. Would this happen – possibly – but Apple like things to be cleaner and simpler. Would Sir Jony Ive approve of such a thing?
Just one more thing
Apple could change the whole iPhone design up a notch and bring out something special – there are rumours of a flexible display being considered. Keep in mind a flexible display does NOT usually mean that you are able to flex it. Rather Apple could use that flexibility to wrap the screen around one or more edges. They could even have a curved display, however the two examples already available in the market use simple curved displays as more of a gimmick than a benefit to he user.
Just one more other thing
What if they jumped even higher and went x4? This would give a resolution of 1280×2272 and would require no changes at all to the layout of any apps. We would then be able to add the newer imagery as soon as we were able. This would also remove the problem that x4 would give – ‘some pixels would not have an even increase in size’.
So I vote for x4 and 1280×2272 – who is with me?
Image Credit: Ciccarese