Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

Apple's hands are tied by decisions made long ago re display layout. Because elements are positioned absolutely and not via a layout manager, they can't go with an intemdiate resolution - they're tied to either 1024x768 or 2x that.

Cocoa Touch has a scale factor for handling retina displays, in the form of the UIView contentScaleFactor property. It is a float, so if there were the will, unusual scales could be handled, somehow, even with absolutely-positioned elements. The UI for my game is laid out based on a 320x480 screen, and yet we somehow manage to make it not look too horrendous on the full range of iOS devices. It's not impossible. Images would be more of an issue than the actual layout.

But the latest iOS has some kind of layout manager anyway. Perhaps the iOS device range is going to become even more fragmented in the future. I'm not sure that's a great idea from anybody's perspective, but as long as people keep buying the devices, developers will continue to suck it up.

Doubtful: the new iPhone shows they are willing to throw that out the window.

If you notice carefully the new iPhone is not a resolution change but a size change; they can letterbox old apps because the dimensions and resolution is identical to old iPhones that way.

There is no comparable solution if you simply increase the PPI of the iPad Mini by 50%. It's either 1x pixels or 4x pixels, there is no middle ground.

less like "thrown out the window" and more like "nudged slightly"

The iPhone 5 lengthens the screen by 176 pixels in 1 direction, leaving an old style layout with 88 pixels of banding (a bit over 6mm) on each edge.

For Apple to run with a sreen resolution similar to the Nexus, say 1200 x 900, we'd have banding of 88 and 66 pixels along each long and short side respectively, so it wouldn't be too bad.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact