Monday, September 24, 2012

Apple's new iPhone 5 begins to fragment the OS for developers as they are forced to adjust their apps for the larger display; BBC History Magazine is updated, but does not include support for the new iPhone

Many long time Apple observers had their doubts that the tech giant would introduce a new iPhone with a larger display for reasons that are slowly beginning to be become apparent – few thought that Apple would intentional fragment its line of devices the way Android is fragmented. By introducing a larger (actually just longer) iPhone, suddenly developers have a bit of a headache as they will need to update their apps if they want them to look as intended.

Many tech sites downplayed the effect of introducing a new display size saying simply that old apps would have a black band along the top and bottom of their apps.
That's true, but the effect is a bit jarring and not at all attractive.

One media app updated today, the magazine BBC History Magazine Digital, must have been in the works for a while, for while it now is universal, it does not seem to have been issued to bring the app to compliance for iOS 6 or to adjust the app for the new iPhone 5.

As seen at left, the app does not take advantage of the iPhone 5's longer display. The effect of having a top and bottom black band added is not too bad on a black iPhone, but on a white phone the app looks like a mistake.

It is odd that the publisher, Immediate Media Company Bristol, which purchased many of the BBC titles last year, would issue an app update and not include support for the new iPhone 5. But then again this app is not very good in any case.

The app for BBC History Magazine is a bare bones replica edition that really is pretty bad on the iPad, but now is positively silly on the iPhone. The few reviews inside the U.S. App Store, written prior to the app update, were brutal. This new update won't give prospective readers any reason to change their minds about the digital editions.