Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Sep 2012 19:13 UTC
Apple As expected, Apple announced its new iPhone tonight, dubbed the iPhone 5. The rumours and leaks nailed it, with the most prominent feature being the move from 3.5" to 4" (1136x640). Due to the way iOS handles resolutions, applications need to be adapted for this new display, and if they are not, they will be letterboxed (black bars). It has a faster processor, better camera, LTE, and several other improvements, while the. As always, Apple does it right: shipping 21 September in the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore - the rest of the world will follow later.
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RE: Letterboxed.
by d3vi1 on Wed 12th Sep 2012 20:34 UTC in reply to "Letterboxed."
d3vi1
Member since:
2006-01-28

Is it me or iOS is already showing it's age?

Even MacOS Classic handled display resolution dynamically, and while even hobby OSes or GUI frameworks can handle it fine, iOS, written only 5-6 years ago, was not designed with multiple resolutions in mind!?!

Well done, guys, congratulations.


iOS handles random resolutions just fine. The current shipping resolutions are 480x320, 960x640, 1024x768, 1136x640 and 2048x1536.

That being said, everyone designed their apps for 480x320 (and it's HiDPI version of 960x640) or 1024x768 (respectively 2048x1536).

If the application has a flag that it can handle 1136x640 gracefully (which Apple can't really be sure of otherwise) it will let it use the whole screen, otherwise, to ensure compatibility with the app they are forcing another window size. It's the same thing with running iPhone apps on the iPad. If your app declares itself as compatible (which pre-iPad apps wouldn't), knock yourself out.

It's a way for Apple to ensure that if the programer made stupid assumptions they are still valid even on the new iPhone. It's a way for Apple to ensure that old apps still work!

iOS is MacOS with a different Shell and Window Manager so it can easily do what MacOS can.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Letterboxed.
by phoudoin on Wed 12th Sep 2012 20:49 in reply to "RE: Letterboxed."
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

It's a way for Apple to ensure that old apps still work!


How others can be stupid enough to use a resolution independent layout manager instead of... letterboxing?

Sorry, but it's a way for Apple to increase display resolution of a platform on which the software UI API was not design to be resolution independent, nothing more, nothing less.
While 15 years ago it could have some valid reason (limited memory or computation power comes to mind) for such feature being lacked, there is absolutly none for a platform conceived at most 6 years ago.

MacOS Classic used to have several API with Pascal strings format, up to 255 chars max, which leads to duplicate a lot of API to support null-terminated strings instead, and forcing here and there on-the-fly convertion. While I did understand then the history behind to such ugly situation, I today don't understand why a young OS with lot of (virtual) memory, running on hardware N times more power than any 1990's computer don't include a layout manager.

Beside that Apple released it too early, before it has the critical components to support long term evolution.
Maybe the fact that initially third parties apps were not yet planned could also be an explanation, though.

Edited 2012-09-12 21:01 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Letterboxed.
by arcterex on Wed 12th Sep 2012 23:47 in reply to "RE[2]: Letterboxed."
arcterex Member since:
2007-08-14

"It's a way for Apple to ensure that old apps still work!


How others can be stupid enough to use a resolution independent layout manager instead of... letterboxing?
"

My guess would be games or badly written apps. This is a developer issue not an iOS issue. iOS is just dealing with badly written apps in a graceful way. Also compounded by Apple's secrecy, if they had pre-announced the new iPhone having a 4" screen the devs would be able to have everything updated already (well, most, I assume that again, crappy apps that no one cares about wouldn't be updated anyway).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Letterboxed.
by No it isnt on Wed 12th Sep 2012 23:30 in reply to "RE: Letterboxed."
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

So iOS handles random resolutions just fine, it just has no way of letting apps handle random resolutions, which is to say iOS does not handle random resolutions well at all.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Letterboxed.
by d3vi1 on Thu 13th Sep 2012 04:59 in reply to "RE[2]: Letterboxed."
d3vi1 Member since:
2006-01-28

So iOS handles random resolutions just fine, it just has no way of letting apps handle random resolutions, which is to say iOS does not handle random resolutions well at all.


iOS handles random resolutions just fine. Apps can and some do handle random resolutions just fine, but most don't as they haven't been tested on random resolutions. Presumably due to internal testing results, iOS won't assume that the app will work just fine so it restricts the resolutions unless the app specifically says it supports that resolution just fine.
I personally know a few games that after adding the iPhone 5 resolution to it's list of supported resolutions will work as expected with no further code modifications.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Letterboxed.
by _txf_ on Thu 13th Sep 2012 10:59 in reply to "RE: Letterboxed."
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

iOS handles random resolutions just fine. The current shipping resolutions are 480x320, 960x640, 1024x768, 1136x640 and 2048x1536.


Except that it cant handle arbitrary resolutions or viewport sizes. Instead of having a scalable toolkit everything is arranged on a fixed grid.

Those aren't random resolutions. Most of them are fixed multiples (double each dimension) of the previous resolution.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Letterboxed.
by plague on Thu 13th Sep 2012 18:06 in reply to "RE: Letterboxed."
plague Member since:
2006-05-08

They basically had two resolutions: 480x320 and 1024x768.
The other two are just multiples of those.
Now they kinda, sorta, added a third: 1136x640.

And they basically made the exact same mistake as the TV makers did when they decided on 1366x768 for "HD Ready", instead of following the 16:9 standard resolution 1280x720, because keeping the vertical resolution compatible with the standard 1024x768 was oh so much more important than keeping every god damned 720p movie from beeing badly upscaled 86 pixels horizontally and 48 pixels vertically.

1136x640 is NOT 16:9 (nor a standard resolution), 1136/16=71 71*9=639, so they either put a one-pixel black bar for 16:9 content or they upscale that pixel. Sure, most people won't notice a damn thing, but it's just not good design, plain and simple.

Now I know you could claim it's not for viewing movies/videos anyways, but come on, why do you think they finally went with widescreen? Movies and/or videos.

Btw, expect the next iPad to have a 2732x1536 resolution. Hint: it's a multiple of 1366x768.

Crappy design.

Reply Parent Score: 2