Understanding screen sizes and mobile app design
Screen size is a very important point to consider during mobile app design. The term is often used interchangeably with screen resolution, but they actually refer to two different elements of mobile phone screens.
The difference between screen size and screen resolution
Screen size refers to the size of the screen measured from the top-left corner to the bottom-right corner. There are a variety of screen sizes on the market today, ranging from 4 inches to over 6 inches.
Screen resolution is the number of pixels visible along the width and height of the screen. The resolution determines the aspect ratio, which is another important factor. For example, the standard HD resolution is 1080 X 1920 pixels, which is an aspect ratio of 16:9.
The screen size and resolution together determine the pixels-per-inch, or pixel density. This is the number of pixels making up the display. A higher pixel density means a sharper image. You can have a larger 6-inch screen with a lower pixel density than a smaller smartphone with a 4-inch screen. This is why screen size and resolution can’t be used interchangeably.
One last factor to consider in mobile app design is the screen orientation. Do you want your app to be used in portrait mode or landscape, or will you allow for both? Accelerometers in phones can allow the screen to switch automatically if the phone is rotated. Generally portrait mode is the preferred orientation for most apps, though games and videos are usually used in landscape. You should consider the environment and situations in which the app will be used when deciding on the orientation.
How to design for all screen sizes
With so many different screen sizes and resolutions on the market, how do you design a mobile app without having to have a different version for each possible variant?
A great solution is to create an app that is responsive to different resolutions, with images, text and UI that change size and layout based on the resolution and orientation of the device on which the app is running. This allows you to focus on developing the app rather than spending time tweaking each element for each type of screen. Of course, it’s important to test that responsiveness properly to ensure that all of your users get the best experience.
Call the experts in mobile app design
At Netgen, we mostly use React Native as a framework for all of the mobile apps we develop. This platform allows us to create responsive, scalable apps for both Android and iOS, ensuring that your app looks good on all phones, regardless of screen size, resolution or operating system. If you’re looking to develop a mobile app, get in touch today.