The iPhone 6 has been met with mixed reviews, from initial excitement to the drama of “bendgate”. A big part of the excitement is due to the larger screen on the iPhone 6 Plus and the potential that this screen holds in the world of mobile web design.
With Apple always improving on their products, the question still stands: has the newest iPhone amped up expectations for what’s possible on mobile formats? Here are some insights from tech experts about the possibilities and potential shortcomings of the iPhone 6.
One of the features that Apple has improved upon with the iPhone 6 is the screen resolution. The Retina screens that Apple’s brought into circulation offer a higher pixel density and, therefore, better screen resolution. This improved resolution means that your design details will have to be more precise and sharp. Sloppy mobile design won’t do on the iPhone 6.
A Focus On Size
When it comes to the new iPhone, the main feature that buyers and designers alike are excited about is the larger screen of the iPhone 6 Plus. Well, actually, depending on how responsive your design is, this bigger size can be both an asset and a frustration, as Edward Aten points out, for both the 6 and 6 Plus feature a screen size change.
With the change in screen size, status bars, for example, need to be several pixels larger. On the 6, however, this change is accommodated by the fact that everything remains at the same resolution it was on the iPhone 5: 2x resolution. However, the 6 Plus is 3x resolution, creating a new challenge. All of this means that designs that aren’t fully responsive will need to be redesigned for the new screen format.
More Space and More Functions
When it comes to working with the larger canvas of the iPhone 6 Plus, webpage functionality is a key issue. We build mobile pages with modified functionality in response to their small sizes, but since the 6 Plus has a larger screen, should we start building websites that do more? This question is going to arise a lot in the next few years as “phablets” become more popular.
These phone/tablet hybrids are a size midpoint, but they’re still closer to phones than full tablets, and they should be treated as such. WordPress bloggers and other web designers should keep this in mind when deciding how to adjust their site design for the iPhone 6 Plus. Push some design limits, but don’t push too hard.
Responsive Design Requirements
At the end of the day, the move to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus shouldn’t be a design problem if you’ve been following the rules of responsive design. These kinds of updates, as well as variations between different platforms (such as between iPhone and Android) as well as between different tablet sizes, are precisely the reasons why responsive design exists. It’s a function developed for convenience – yours and the user’s.
If you weren’t sold on responsive design before the iPhone 6/6 Plus, now’s the time to get onboard. More changes are sure to come in the future, and if you don’t make the transition to responsive design now, your work as a web designer will be compromised and made consistently more difficult.
Overall, the iPhone 6 hasn’t significantly changed expectations for web design; page functionality shouldn’t change significantly. However, as the “phablet” market grows, we may expect some consumer pressure for greater web capabilities. Before that can happen, though, expect other tech upgrades to hit the market. For now, keep developing your responsive design functions and fine tuning your mobile sites.