The new iOS canvas

The new iPhones bring interesting new screens for developers to work with. Below are all the iOS device screens, minus the Watch. The shapes illustrate the comparative point sizes of the screens (measurements in grey text), and I’ve added their pixel dimensions in blue.

iOS devices screen pixel and point size comparison

The iPhone Plus is a special case though. It’s pixel dimensions are 2208×1242 downscaled onto a 1920×1080 screen. This is just like how the Retina Macbook Pro screens work, but it’s the first time we’ve seen it done on an iOS device. It’s an interesting and surprising approach, although it was literally right in front of us (who use retina MBPs) the whole time.

First hearing the 1920×1080 screen resolution, I was worried that the iPhone 6 Plus was just going to be a blown up iPhone 6 screen. Or worse, a @2x 640×360 point screen, which would show less content than the 4.7″ iPhone 6. But with the resolution scaling, they’ve been able to make it both larger and show more content.

I’ll reserve judgement until I get my hands on one, but I think Apple has struck a good balance. It also signals very clearly that designers really need to stop thinking in pixels and even points, and focus on responsive layout design.

UPDATE – Here’s a much better visualization of the new canvases

UPDATE 2 – Here the comparison of iOS device point & pixel dimensions with the Apple Watch:

iOS canvas 2015