What the iPad Mini means for iOS development

Developing for iOS is a pleasure. Apple has released wonderful tools, and great documentation. The existence of StackOverflow helps out quite a bit as well.


I’ve been asked by a few people what this will do for the fragmentation problem for developers. On Android this problem is huge. To release an Android app that supports all devices you would need to duplicate graphics and layout code 7–12 times over.

With the iPad update there won’t be much of a change in code, but it will add more testing work.

More non-retina

One nice thing about the age of iPhone’s Retina screens is that as you start requiring the newest OS, you can start dropping the lower resolution images. The same is not true for the iPad:

Although this new device is smaller, it has the same 1024-by–768 resolution as the iPad 2. This means no changes are necessary to your iPad application. It should run on the iPad mini without a redesign and will use the same non-Retina app icons and launch images as the original iPad and iPad 2.

This just means that for a bit longer, non-retina images are going to remain a necessary annoyance in the product bundle.

Get testing

The screen size is indeed smaller. And because it’s a lower price, you can be sure Apple is going to sell quite a few of them. Likely as fast as they can produce them. That means that for developers, this is a product their apps need to look and perform well on.

The processor is slower, and touch targets are going to be physically smaller. For the best user experience, the app needs to be tested on the device. That’s likely the biggest change for developers with the new iPad Mini.

Image Source: Telerik

Joshua Howland

Joshua is a mobile application developer, entrepreneur, and technology enthusiast. He is currently building a company that focuses on educational mobile applications: LearnStack. His favorite posts to write compare companies and products. He loves sports and start ups and talks about them (along with tech) on Twitter (@jkhowland) and his blog (jkhowland.me).

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