What The iPhone 5 Means For App Developers

Apple announced the new iPhone 5 yesterday and one of the biggest differences in the new device is that it has a larger screen size than previous models. The new 4″ screen will run older apps in a letterboxed format, so app developers should be thinking about the user experience and getting to work on updates. The device ships September 21st, so the time for reformatting is now.

The Next Web explains that, “Some apps, ones that use a ‘table view’ element, will likely be able to simply ‘stretch the middle’, letting the table spread out to the top and bottom of the screen,” and explains that ‘apps that use custom graphics all around, like those with bespoke interfaces or many 2D games, will need a full revamp.”

Cult of Mac pointed out that many people will still be using old iPhones, which developers should be aware of as they design for users. The blog also points out that the redesign could affect apps which are designed for the iPhone and the iPad. The blog continues: “The iPad isn’t a 16:9 screen by any means, so how wil developers create a full screen experience on both devices? Do we now face a day when developers are essentially encouraged to create two different apps for iPad and the new iPhone? The reverse is also true – how will new iPhone 5 apps run on an iPad? Will they squish up or run letterboxed, like movies do on older TVs? Will they run at all? for games, this is a concern.”