Updated design or ads needed to fill extra space

Indian app developers are yet to adapt to the large screen size of iPhone5. The question now is: Will app developers tweak their offerings or should they seek advertisers’ help to do away with the black spaces on the handset’s screen?

Apple’s iPhone5 has a screen height of four inches, compared with its predecessors whose screen sizes were 3.5 inches.

Hence, if applications are not tweaked, users will see apps running ‘letter-boxed’- black borders along the screen space on top and bottom - on their handsets until these are updated.

“Our gaming applications will not be impacted. But in some of the content-based ones we might have to make some minor adjustments,” S. Rajendran, cofounder of Nextwave, told Business Line.

It might take Rajendran a month to re-write some of these content-based applications and upgrade them.


Games running on a three-dimensional engine (3D) will be able to scale up automatically because of the inbuilt capacity to adapt to multiple screen resolutions, Rajendran adds.

Nextwave’s cricket games have been popular across platforms. The company has over 20 applications (50 per cent are content-based) which will be upgraded to iPhone5.

“Ideally, a better processor in iPhone5 will make it a gamer’s delight. Moreover, chat platforms too will benefit from the larger screen size,” Munish Kanchan, Development Director, Nimbuzz, said.

Programming an App

Hitesh Rawtani, Director - Engineering & Technology, Queppelin, explains the technology. During programming, an “absolute layout” will need re-working while a “relative layout” will automatically adjust to an increased screen size.

Queppelin is planning to introduce three apps on the iOS platform soon, one of which will be India-specific.


Compared to an Android or Nokia store, India-specific apps are still low on iOS. “This is primarily because of the lower number of iPhone users in India compared to the USA or Europe,” a market source said.

This is also one of the reasons why developers have shied away from developing India-specific apps.

“My audience is primarily global and hence most of the apps are designed accordingly. The user base for Apple in India is limited and hence developing India-specific apps is not an option,” Mukund Mohan, CEO, Vangal Software Solutions said.


With 17-odd applications (12 gaming and five non-game) running on iOS, Mohan has found a way to get around the “letter-box” problem. Black borders (on the lower part of the screen) on two of his apps will be taken care of by the advertisers.

“Some of the advertisers have assured us that they will take care of additional spaces created because of an increase in screen size. We are yet to see how this works out,” Mohan adds.

This apart two new apps will be developed for iPhone5; while his existing apps too will be upgraded soon.


(This article was published on November 2, 2012)
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