With the recent release of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR, developers are eagerly waiting the news to figure out how these updated devices will impact their work. Here’s an overview of what to expect as a developer.
Understanding the Latest Changes
For your screenshots and app previews, you’ll want to take note that a new category has been created in the specifications for Apple development. This is to accommodate the new resolution offered by the iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR.
For your future screenshots and app previews, you’ll want to design it for the new 6.5-inch Super Retina Display that these two new devices feature. The native resolution for these devices is 2688 x 1242 pixels with a 19.9:5 aspect ratio.
However, other resolutions are accepted when uploading your app previews to the App Store, and those are 886 x 1920 pixels for portrait or 1920 x 886 pixels for landscape.
With these new devices entering into the hands of a wider audience, it’s worth updating your screenshots and previews accordingly. The iPhone XS Max is the new optional “default” for the X screenshot category, but a lot of companies are already using this category as the new default for their advertising and PR.
When Should You Update?
These relatively minor changes may not seem like a big deal, but as more users begin getting their hands on these newer devices, it only makes sense that your app is able to best present itself on their large and high-resolution screens.
After all, no user will want to use an app that doesn’t make the most of their brand new display’s capabilities. However, it’s not always best to just instantly update your apps based on the most recent device release, and there are a few reasons why.
First and foremost, these brand new devices are not yet in the hands of the masses. In fact, only a handful of your users probably have these new devices, if any. With that said, of course, it’s expected that more people will upgrade in the coming months.
So, when do you know when the timing is right to update your apps? Should you create specific screenshots or use the same for every device?
The answer to this question really requires you to ask another question: Which device is your app optimized for? If your application has not yet been optimized for the iPhone XS Max or iPhone XR, it’s probably not a top priority to go and update your screenshots for it.
Again, these new devices represent only a slither of the general userbase across every app, so you need to sit down and consider whether the newest device users are likely to install your app and also if you feel they represent a big enough segment of your userbase to justify any extra work regarding optimizing specifically for their devices.
While the App Store does require you to have a set of screenshots for every device type, having screenshots specifically for these two new devices is presently optional. As of right now, you are only required to provide a screenshot set for the 5.5” iPhone display and another for the 12.9” iPad display (if your app is universal and/or for iPad).
If you do choose to upload screenshots for the iPhone XS Max, they can scale down to the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone X devices. Upon uploading an iPhone X screenshot to App Store Connect, you’ll notice that they are going to display with rounded corners.
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to optimize for these two new devices, you’re not alone. Most developers face this same decision every single year, and your choice will really boil down to a few key factors.
Start by watching the adoption of these new devices and then ask, do you see these devices making up a large segment of your own audience? Some developers will wait until the next iPhone version is released before optimizing for these devices since it will make them more accessible, popular, and widely used.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether or not you decide to optimize your own applications for the iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR. If you think it’s worth your time to do so, you should definitely invest it into your apps so that you can reach the widest possible user base while putting your best foot forward.
In either case, be certain that you stay up-to-date with the latest App Specifications here to ensure that your apps continue to operate as seamlessly as possible on as many devices as possible.
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