What impact will the iPhone 5 have on web design?

In case you’ve been in hiding for the last week or so, chances are you’ve heard about the latest piece of Apple wizardry to hit the market. Yep, the iPhone 5 has stormed onto the scene and has, as ever, sent Apple lovers into a frenzy—the queues were longer than ever and the demand unprecedented, and anyone who’s anyone has got an opinion on things. But, here at Juno Web Design we’ve just got one key question—what impact will this new smartphone have on web design?

Well, theoretically, it could have quite a big one. The newest addition to the iPhone family boasts a larger screen than ever before—the 4-inch retina display with a 1136-by-640-pixel resolution outstrips the screen of previous incarnations, with all other models offering 960-by-640 pixels. This is the first time that Apple has given the screen an upgrade and that means developers who got complacent might have to adjust their strategy, with truly responsive design being more important than ever before.

Up until now a lot of people have taken the iPhone’s screen size as standard, relying on these set pixel values for their media queries. Now, it’s time to make a change. There’s no longer a “standard” set of screen dimensions which means developers will need to alter their queries accordingly, and unless they make the necessary changes a lot of sites will look odd in this new format. It also offers a lesson for the future—developers shouldn’t rely on companies sticking to the same dimensions and responsive designs shouldn’t be dependent on them, because things are always subject to change.

Of course, this only applies if you’ve taken iOS as being the industry standard, because ideally you should be tailoring your design to suit a whole range of different devices. Designs need to be fluid if they’re going to operate on different screen sizes, so take on board the impact of the iPhone 5 and learn from it—in web design, it’s all about adapting to the changing goalposts with responsive design that can perform no matter which device is used.

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