Buried in Apple’s latest version of its Xcode development software (an app creation program) is a line of code that seemingly reveals just how impressive the iPhone screen will be. While we’ve heard a lot about how large the iPhone 6 screen will be, we haven’t yet learned what resolution it will be.
On August 4, a file that controls where apps are placed on the iPhone’s home screen was added to the beta build of development software Xcode. 9to5Mac has spotted that the new file indicates that the iOS 8 home screen will be optimised for devices with a resolution of 736 x 414. The actual iPhone Retina screen resolution is usually double the hardware resolution, which means that the new iPhones could have a resolution of 1472 x 828.
The current Retina screen resolution on iPhone 5S is 1136 x 640.
Apple has been striving to improve the resolution and sharpness of its screens since introducing the Retina display with the iPhone 4 in 2010. Any display with a pixels per square inch (PPI) value over 300 is classed as “Retina.” So just how sharp is the iPhone 6 screen going to be?
9to5Mac has done the maths on the new resolution, and it looks like the new iPhone is going to have an incredibly sharp display. If the rumours are true and the iPhone 6 will come in two models: one with a 4.7 inch screen and another with a 5.5 inch screen, then both will be well over the 300 PPI figure touted by Apple as its Retina benchmark. The 4.7 inch screen would come in at 359.34 PPI, while the larger screen would be 307.07 PPI.
While the rumoured new resolution is impressive, it doesn’t beat the iPhone’s competitors. As Forbes reports, the Samsung Galaxy S features a 1920 x 1080 screen, which gives the phone an impressive 423 ppi.
If the new resolution figure found in the Xcode file is real, then it confirms that Apple is sticking with a 16:9 screen resolution for the new iPhone. Retaining the industry-standard widescreen resolution will mean that developers find it easier to create or modify apps for the iPhone 6.
A 414 x 736 resolution for the new iPhone will mean that Apple can pack more apps onto each screen. 9to5Mac reports that the new Xcode file indicates Apple is planning to pack in 20 apps for each home screen page, not including apps in the dock. The new resolution provides enough room for Apple to add two rows and one column to each home screen.
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