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Why no 8" iPad


iPF Noob
Mar 25, 2010
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An interesting analysis of why the iPad is kicking other tablets to the ground is making a lot of sense to me. It also explains why we should not expect to see an iPad mini any time soon. I appreciate the potential of the smaller iPad, but it makes sense for Apple to be cautious.

The point was made by a writer that one big advantage that iOS has over Android is that it is optimized for just two screen sizes. Four if you count the different resolutions. This means that anyone writing a program for iOS just has to deal with those sizes. With Android, or any other open system, it can be displayed on any size or format. This need to be flexible is never going to allow the best graphics for all apps. When the iPad first came out, we had to deal with a number of iPhone apps X2 view. It never did look right.

This explains why a new iPhone with a larger screen has not been released. It also may mean that android has to deal with this issue to be competitive in the long run. I expect that an effort will be made to reduce the screen options, or a new way of sizing discovered.

Skull One

iPF Novice
Mar 7, 2012
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Ah yes. A subject near and dear to my heart as a software developer :)

iOS developers only have to deal with two coordinate systems. If the wish to make the program work properly with retina display, they simply have to add the same graphic name/asset with a @2x at the end. No extra programming, no figuring out what device you are on. The iOS API calls handle everything automagically for the developer. This is, simply put, the best design feature for coding under iOS.

Now Android developers, on the other hand, have to deal with 4 XML layout system, 7 possible screen resolutions and hardware vs software graphic drivers. Not to mention their code, until recently, could only be done in Java and had to be run thru a Dalvik Virtual Machine, which introduces issues and overhead of its own.

If Apple should ever decide a smaller tablet is needed, you can just about bet it will be done with the 1024x768 display system. But this creates a problem which is why I don't believe they will ever do it. Text. Everyone is used to reading the text at a particular size. Not pixels mind you but physical size at a certain viewing distance. By shrinking the physical display that changes the text size dramatically. I doubt Apple will comprise their product because of that one issue.
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