Big Phones, Big Real Estate, New Image Construction

The new version of iPhone (6 and 6+) boast bigger screen sizes, specifically now 4.7″ and 5.5″ across diagonally, which is quite a step up from the 4″ for the iPhone 5 series fleet. See here for a more detailed breakdown of all the iPhone screen sizes in history. Advancements or changes to hardware often drive what developers will build, and since the camera is by and far the most important (and lucrative) sensor on a mobile phone/computer, we will see a fresh new wave of image-based apps, including photosharing, videosharing/editing, and everything around this. Recent apps like Cap and Tiiny, built by Valley insiders, also demonstrate that some of the most creative developers see the new fleet of iPhones as a larger canvas upon which to build.

Take a look, for instance, at the layout of Tiiny [link to image]. On a 4.7″ or 5.5″ phone screen, a developer can create a grid of photos 3 wide by 5 long, 15 slots to place any type of media — not just photos — but also emojis, stickers, ads, user actions, videos, artwork, and so much more. iPhone users’ eyes are trained to see photos across a 4″ diagonal, but now a larger screen makes the tile layout possible. If a static picture could tell a 1,000 words, this new layout could perhaps 15x that ROI for a creator of an image.

When the iPhone 4 hit, Instagram become the leader for building a network on top of a networked camera; with iPhone 5’s camera speed, Snapchat exploded as users wanted a way to prevent recipients of images from saving the media to their own camera roll and Vine and Instagram introduced video in new ways. Now, with iPhone 6 and 6+, the continuous camera hardware and software improvements combined with better battery life and larger screen sizes, create more chances and real estate upon which developers can build on top off. What will the next one be? Tiled pictures? Better videos with quicker upload/download times? Capturing more of the light field, like Lytro? I have no idea what it will be, but if recent history is any guide, the camera is the sensor to watch.

Haystack is written by Semil Shah, and is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. Copyright © 2018 Semil Shah.

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