At this point it seems pretty certain that Apple will indeed bump up the iPhone’s display size to at least four inches. As great as this is, there are potential problems with the new screen size because of the resolution of App Store applications. However, if the past is any indication of Apple’s future plans, the change in size will not be an issue.
Continuing with the “it just works” mantra, Apple will surely make the new screen resolution compatible with the overwhelming number of existing App Store apps. I had not given this issue much thought, but I can understand why some developers might be worried – it would definitely be annoying to change every aspect of an old application to make it fit a new screen resolution. But it looks like developers are just as trusting of Apple as I am.
Erica Ogg over at GigaOm conducted a study to see how developers were feeling about the possible transition to a 4-inch device. The results: they’re not very worried. Lenny Rachitsky, CEO of Localmind said he’s confident that Apple won’t “pull an Android and fragment the device market unnecessarily.” I’m inclined to agree. Android’s fragmentation is an issue that Apple has actually commented on directly, so it wouldn’t make much sense to split the App Store in a similar fashion.
What’s more, this rumored screen change is not the first one in the iPhone’s history. Similar resolution problems could have arisen when Apple debuted the Retina display, but the company made sure that every new aspect was compatible with applications developed for the older screen. In fact, Apple even put in some extra work to make all the text in apps Retina-ready and provided developers with super easy tools to transition the rest of an application’s elements over to Retina quality.
All in all, it looks like the move to a 4-inch screen will be a good thing for developers and consumers alike. Is there anything about a new screen size that is still troubling you or are you just as excited as I am to test out an iPhone rockin’ a 4-inch Retina display?