One of the biggest difficulties/annoyances in developing an app on whatever platform is having to adjust said app to the screen resolutions of all the different devices in said platform. More variations in screen resolutions across a platform equal more work for an app developer.
Truthfully, BlackBerry hasn't been the kindest platform in this aspect, as evidenced by the image above with the different resolutions currently in play in BB7 only. Well, Research In Motion has definitely noticed this now which is why they've taken a proactive approach at helping devs out.
Today, the Inside BlackBerry Dev Blog put out some huge info on this topic.
"We’ve listened, we’ve learned, and we are now telling you that moving forward new smartphones will be standardizing on the following screen resolutions which will allow you to design your applications to fit two main form factors:
- Full touch devices: 1280 x 720 (16:9)
- Keyboard devices: 720 x720 (1:1)"
Now this is awesome because since last night's news about six different BlackBerry 10 devices coming eventually to the market, many were already starting to worry about how many different resolutions they'd have to deal with. It also brings up a couple of questions and thoughts from a user and developer front that are worth noting.
1. What about the Dev Alpha whose resolution is a well-know 1280x768? The Dev Blog continues:
"This initial 1280 x 768 resolution difference from future devices typically affects those developers that are building a custom full screen UI, such as a game, for the first BlackBerry 10 device. If you are in this camp, you have a couple of options depending on your business needs:
- Modify your application for each resolution to make use of the full resolution of the different BlackBerry 10 device screen resolutions
- Consider “letter boxing” your app to 1280 x 720 on the first BlackBerry 10 device, leaving 24 pixels on both sides of the screen, so that you don’t have any changes to make on the next generation full touch screen resolution."
2. Wont a square screen look odd on a full QWERTY device?
I'll go into this more in a future article but it does seem like RIM is taking a risk by innovating and dictating what the future of the keyboard/touchscreen hybrid device will be.
What do you think about these standards being released publicly for developers benefit? Let us know in the comments below!