Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray polled 100 developers at WWDC 2012 in San Francisco, Calif., and asked them how difficult it would be to adjust their applications to two new screen sizes, presuming Apple were to make an iPhone with a larger screen, as well as a smaller “iPad mini.”
Developers were asked to indicate, on a scale of one to 10, how difficult it might be for them to change their applications for the new screen sizes. On average, developers at WWDC said the difficulty would be just a 3.4 out of 10, suggesting they don’t see it as a major issue.
Ask yourself this question: How many attendees at WWDC are programmers, and how many are designers, specifically graphic designers?
The reason WWDC attendees as a group aren’t concerned about varying screen sizes is that they won’t necessarily be doing the bulk of the work if these different sizes happen. They’ll need to make changes, obviously, and I don’t want to assume that it’ll be super easy for anyone. Every app will be unique in the level of effort involved. But the lion’s share of the hours involved in accommodating different screen sizes will probably fall on the graphics teams and the UI staff, a demographic that is very under-represented in this sample.
That’s not to say that the graphic artists will be too concerned, either. But I have a feeling many of us are not looking forward to maintaining and chopping several more sizes of graphics for every app. Or worse yet, trying to find the best way to make use of the extra space or deal with the lack of space in our layouts. It’s a lot of work and time to get all those assets just right. And every extra set of variables make your app that much less profitable for you.
So if you’re not at least a little concerned, you’re doing it wrong.