There’s a lot of talk swirling around the web that Apple is testing a 13-inch iPad and 4.5-inch iPhone. It’s very likely that Apple has a wealth of prototypes with different screen sizes and resolutions. That doesn’t mean any of them will ever see the light of day. Nevertheless, devices with larger screen sizes could very well reinvigorate the App Store.
When the Retina display was introduced it dramatically highlighted older apps that hadn’t been updated to make use of the doubled-resolution. As a result, app developers that didn’t bother to update their apps quickly saw a reduction in sales, giving competitors a chance to replace and outshine them. In short, by highlighting dead-end apps and lazy developers, customers could easily determine which apps were high-quality and more likely to be updated going forward.
We’re likely to see something similar happen when iOS 7 is released in September. Apps that don’t take advantage of the new design and features are going to stick out like a sore thumb and quickly get deleted. But we’re also likely to see a new generation of apps that take advantage of translucency, animation and physics. It’s an exciting time to be a developer.
Apple will never cling to one screen resolution or ratio just to please developers, doing so would only stagnate a thriving industry that’s constantly innovating to please and attract new users. By changing the rules with bigger screens and/or new ratios, Apple is likely to kick-start the app store gold rush once again with even more opportunities for new developers to emerge and get attention; and leave those that refuse to update in the digital dust.